(Anthony holds up a student workbook, from the Capstone Curriculum, he will use to teach former prison inmates who stay at a TUMI house located in the Bay area)
Born into a broken home, Anthony was raised by his Christian grandparents who regularly took him to church. He was baptized at an early age, but sadly, the church’s influence couldn’t compete with the lure of neighborhood gang life. Anthony reflected, “I stopped reading my Bible and instead started listening to punk rock music. I began drinking and lived my life as if God didn’t exist. By age sixteen, I ran away from home and started using heroin. I entered the gang life – committing crimes and doing time. My rap sheet began to explode and before I knew it, I was in and out of prison. At the time, I really enjoyed the convict lifestyle I was living and the reputation it gave me among my peers.”
During his fourth incarceration, Anthony woke up in a prison cell after sleeping off the drugs he had used the prior week. And that’s when it hit him – this wasn’t fun anymore. In a moment of surrender, he broke down and poured out his heart to a complete stranger as he cried in the arms of his cellmate. This cellmate just happened to be a Christian and asked Anthony a question that changed his life forever: Do you want to make Jesus Lord of your life? “It was a divine appointment that God placed me in a cell with a believer at a time when my burden was heaviest. This moment was orchestrated by God alone and my salvation has been the greatest gift ever given to me!”
Eager to begin living his new life in Christ, Anthony enrolled in his first TUMI class while still in prison. “It’s one thing to believe in Christ, but it’s a whole other thing to know what you believe about Christ. And that’s what TUMI is doing for me – I’m learning what it is exactly that I have faith in, as well as why.”
Now released from prison, Anthony lives and works at a newly established TUMI house for former inmates in Northern California where he faithfully serves as a TUMI instructor and pastoral intern for a local church.
The Urban Ministry Institute of Los Angeles (TUMI-LA) 2001 South Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90007 (323) 735-3400 ext 372 firstname.lastname@example.org