Norman from WA is 51 years of age. He was in prison for seven years.
While he was in prison he heard of meetings on Saturdays run by Prison Fellowship volunteers. At the meeting there would be songs, Bible study and prayer.
“It was because of attending these meetings that I was saved. Through Prison Fellowship, I was led to see the Lord. Before that I was far from being a Christian.
“At the meetings there would be five or six volunteers from all different denominations. But there was one lady who stood out, Betty. There was something about her. She was an encourager. She wasn’t interested in what you were in there for she was interested what you were going to do when you got out of there.
“At the time I had every intention of suicide. I had 27 admissions to a psych facility.
“When you are in prison you can’t see much hope beyond the bars. That’s why we get a lot of re-offending. I got my parole knocked back nine times because they said I was at high risk of re-offending. I had post-traumatic stress syndrome, I had depression, I had anxiety because I was brought up in a boy’s home for 7 – 8 years and I had the attitude that everybody owed me.
“Betty from Prison Fellowship used to pray for me every day all the time I was associated with her. She always kept me on the prayer chain. She taught me the importance of prayer.
“When I got out of prison I chose to follow God, so I joined a church and gave my life to the Lord. I got baptised. Then I kept going to home groups. I have always wanted to go back to the prisons with Prison Fellowship. I had to make sure that I was ready to do it and that it was of the Lord that I wanted to do it. Then I studied in the Bible that, ‘By your testimony others can be saved.’ I have always had that philosophy. And God let me know that it’s time to get active and do something.
“I have not had anything to do with the mental health system for nearly 13 years. I gave up drinking. I am hanging on to the promises of the Lord. And things started changing.”
“Prayer is the key. Prayer is very much important in my life because I had to learn how to hand things over to the Lord because I used to think I could do it my way. People used to say ‘pray and it will happen’, and all that sort of stuff. I would say yeah right-o. Now, being a Christian for 14 years, the importance of prayer is really relevant in my life.
“I have now been married for 7 years. The Lord has delivered me from alcohol and through prayer, delivered me from suicide attempts, delivered me from the mental health system and the psych medicine. He gave me a new life and a new wife.”