"God, please help me feel better"
Michael J.

That was the prayer I prayed in March 1998. I was jailed in the Harford County Detention Center (Maryland) after being arrested for stealing cigarettes to support my drug habit. Once in jail I realized my life was a miserable failure. I even lost control of my body as I was detoxing cold turkey from heroin. Once all else I did to feel better was gone I finally called on God. Such a loving and merciful God to have answered my prayer!
Someone in the jail gave me a Bible. It was my only hope to keep me going. I had heard about the Overcomers in Christ program at the jail and I joined the group. Almost right away I began to feel at ease. I enjoyed the fellowship and had a thirst for the truth I wanted to understand how I ended up in jail, hooked on drugs and miserable. The volunteer teachers at Overcomers were exceptional at dispensing the truth. They always met me with a warm and caring greeting.
Soon after joining Overcomers I found enough faith to pray out loud in the group. That drew me even closer to Christ. The 12 goals in the Overcomers manual addressed some of my character flaws and misbeliefs. I learned how the blood of Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for my sins. Most of all, I received my new identity as a child of God.
I have been clean almost fifteen years now, two inside and 13 outside. It's great to have enthusiasm about my life and without being chemically dependent. Since being out of jail the Lord has delivered me from cigarette smoking. I have learned to allow Jesus to help me with all my decisions. I know the enemy has a "Plan B" but with Christ my victory is assured.  I still pray for God to "help me feel better" It worked wonders in 1998.

A note from the president of HCCJM:
I have known Mike for over fifteen years now. What a transformation! I have heard his testimonies about how Christ leads him through adversity each day. He is employed full time and self-supporting. Mike's brother has drug problems to overcome. Please join us in praying for them.

Update 8/4/02
Mike's brother Andy has overcome his addiction and professes Jesus Christ. PRAISE GOD! Continue to pray for their brother Dave. His uses methedone to support his drug habit and doesn't think he has an addiction to be overcome.
The two testimonies below where delivered to our volunteers on August 26, 2002 from the Harford County Detention Center. They demonstrate the victory that Christ is bringing to the hopeless. Since the script is a bit difficult to read the text is reprinted.
To: Tom & Bob,
Thanks for the time you both have spent and shared coming up here teaching the Overcomers Program to myself and others. I learned a lot in this class and I think that the most important thing I would have to say is "self control." I have gained a lot of knowledge, hope and strength also, and I would have to thank y'all. There aren't many people in the world who would take time out of their life to come out to jails to teach classes such as this one. I have had time to think about myself and my daughters and I have come to the conclusions to settle down and take it one day at a time. I have also learned not to let people pull me down, and strive for my goals in life so that I can acheive them and better myself to be a "Full Time Christian"! Reading the word and studying it day by day has taught where I've went wrong and where I need to be in life right now. Thanks again for your time that you've spent teaching me and others and I appreciate all of your help, comments and knowledge that you've shared and passed on.
Sincerely, George K.
Faith in God
Is there a God, do we really know for sure,
Because a book 4,000 years old says there was a lord.
Some say it's real, while some say it's unreal,
I guess its what you believe or just how you feel.
There may be doubts in my mind about the past.
But im sure my love for God will always last.
I look at his wonders, valleys, mountains and seas,
Knowing in my heart these only God could conceive,.
He gave me a woman, a choice to make her my wife,
Have kids raise a family, then live a wonderful life.
He gave us free will so we could pick and choose.
Some made the wrong pick, all their happiness they lose.
They call it "the Bible" written by scholars of the past,
but what makes it so special is the mystic spell it cast.
Most all of the mysteries, all these things that I read
He was born and crucified, rose again, this I believe.
We should thank God for each day that he gives us,
But always have "Faith in God and his son Jesus."
Amen
HARFORD COUNTY CHRISTIAN JAIL MINISTRY, INC.
HCCJM, Inc.   P.O. Box 514   Fallston, Maryland 21047
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Steven Freeland joined our Overcomers group while awaiting sentencing on an assault charge. During the study he discovered the joy of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Life took on a whole new meaning for him and his testimony inspired the group leaders as well as the other group members. In late 2011 he was sentenced to 15 years at MCTC in Hagerstown, MD. Steven is active in leading Bible Studies and Overcomers in his housing unit. Because his spirit has found freedom while his body is locked behind bars, all those who know him now call him "Free." He has also discovered the joy of writing and has entered his work in several contests. Click on the link below to see his first prize winning short story for Thanksgiving 2011.





Victim Free
by Steven Freeland

In life they say there we are predator and prey...
But if you live according to Jesus that's not okay.
Making someone a victim...
Removes all sense of freedom.
They become confined...
To the paranoia of their own mind.
Never feeling safe and secure...
Dark memories always allure.
It startles their way of life...
Making them anxious as they live in strife.
All previous visions of peace of mind...
Now become unrealistic and blind.
Self security starts to fall...
And that's not what Jesus wanted at all.
He taught us to have a God conscious mind...
And to be kind.
To love...
Like our God above,
To consider one another...
as if he were your brother.
In God's word there is endless wealth...
If we would just love others as ourself.
"What Thanksgiving Means to Me"