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Testimonies of Individuals






In order to become more interactive with our web viewers, we include this section “Testimonies of Individuals.” Although Bible Believers Fellowship, Inc. is primarily a prison ministry, these testimonies have been submitted to us by people on the outside. And we feel that they are too good to keep to ourselves.


If you would like to submit your own personal testimony, please email it to us at: bbfi@prisonministry.org Do not use the Contact Us form since it limits the number of characters to just 500.


We’ll be unable to provide a response to everyone who makes a submission, due to understaffing and a heavy workload. All testimonies chosen will be subject to editing at the publisher’s discretion. Please do not send any testimonies through the mail or fax! They will not be accepted. No financial remuneration will be made for any submissions that we use. They will be considered a freewill donation to BBFI.




PHYLLIS CORBIN

Nova Scotia, Canada

“You just need a little help,” the doctor looked at Phyllis with a smile as he tore the prescription off the pad, “follow the directions & you’ll feel better in no time.”


And just as the doctor had indicated, Phyllis began to feel better almost immediately. Gone were the memories of a birth mother who gave her up for adoption at the age of two, gone was the feelings of being bought by her adoptive parents who paid for anything she wanted but never showed the love she desperately needed.


For the first time in her teenage life Phyllis felt good, and whenever she needed a little “help” she went back to the doctor who gave her something else. However, Phyllis found that she had to take the pills more often to keep those good feelings. In fact if she missed taking the pills she would get cramps, she felt nauseated and very spaced out and that didn’t feel very good.


Valium and barbiturates had been given to Phyllis to help, but when it became evident that she simply traded in old baggage for new, she was sent to the Walter Hoving Home in Garrison, New York (part of Teen Challenge ministry).


She left the facility during two separate attempts to get clean. She didn’t want the discipline required. She wanted someone to help her as long as they didn’t take away her drugs. While she did not let go of the drugs, good seed was planted during her stay that would later bear fruit.


The consistent drug use only served to bandage gaping emotional wounds. Phyllis had suffered sexual and physical abuse and the more she was hurt, the more she sought comfort in her pills.


She wanted to be relieved of the pain and wrongly assumed that the drugs would calm the sadness. It only relieved it for a time, while Jesus Christ, the ultimate Healer of wounds waited with nail scarred hands spread wide to gather Phyllis in an embrace she refused to accept.


During a stay at a local jail, she was visited by a pastor. He may have had some good intentions, but the words he said to her had a very negative effect, “I don’t think even God can help you.” Her outer shell remained hard, but inside she crumbled, for if God could not help her, what hope did she have? Since she felt that all hope was gone, Phyllis pursued her rebellion at an accelerated pace.


Nearly 3 decades would pass as Phyllis continued a lifestyle filled with drugs. She would marry & have children, but the drug use didn’t stop until a night in 1979 when Phyllis went on a crime spree after taking too many narcotics. 9 criminal charges were levied against her. Although 5 charges were dropped, she would spend time in prison for the other 4 charges including armed robbery.


It was in the humility of a prison cell that Phyllis saw first hand the pain that her behavior had caused her family. When her family came to visit, her youngest son expressed great fear for his mother’s safety. She would watch as her family left while she was forced to stay. She had reached bottom and didn’t like the view.


While in prison, a different pastor involved in prison ministry dropped by and told her about the love of Jesus and the hope only He could provide. Her heart wanted to believe it while her head had trouble dismissing the idea that “even God can not help me.”


However, over several weeks of counseling and Bible study, Phyllis did invite Jesus into her heart in the confines of her prison cell. Tears streamed down her cheeks, as she became totally overwhelmed by what Jesus had done for her. Finally those inner wounds were placed under the care of the Great Physician who would deal tenderly with this broken woman.


In time, Phyllis was released from prison. However, being on the inside gave Phyllis a heart that burned to help those who, like her, found themselves in conflict with the law and in need of a Savior.


After a year of counseling, she discovered that God wanted her back on the inside to counsel inmates and their families. This was possible only after receiving a pardon from the Canadian government.


Phyllis attended Bible College where she completed studies in biblical counseling. These days she is involved in a full-time, gospel-based, Internet ministry. This followed a career as a parole supervisor, which she retired from in 1989, following a car accident.


She has had many opportunities to reach out not only to those who have been charged with crimes, but judges, lawyers, and police as well. In a twist of irony, Phyllis was even able to share what God had done for her with a prosecuting attorney. This was the same attorney that tried her case, sending her to prison.


The life she has led may not have been what she wanted, but in the end God did indeed work all things together for good and the story concludes much better than it began. Phyllis would be the first to tell you, “(God) will give you the same hope that He gave to me. He will give you something worth living for.” After all, He is the author of Good News.



STEWART E. MCLEAN

Kingston, Ontario

My testimony is one that reinforces God’s love for sinners! I was an alcoholic at age 16! From then until 38, my life was a shamble. At times I lived on the streets, slept in doorways, ate out of garbage cans, etc. I can certainly identify with the homeless.


I could not hold a job, I lost my wife and daughter and my dignity. I couldn’t support my habit and turned to crime. I was in and out of jail, then ended up doing federal time. While in prison I finally yielded my life to Jesus about 14 years ago and I’ve never looked back and God has done miracle after miracle in my life!


I was completely healed of my alcoholism and later of my smoking (2 and a half packs a day). My limited day parole came earlier than it should have and I didn’t even request it as I knew it was too soon!


God also brought a volunteer from the Salvation Army into my life while still inside and we were married 12 years ago! He knew I couldn’t make it on my own and was sincere about changing. It hasn’t been easy but I wouldn’t go back to that old life for anything!


God has provided for us abundantly and when I look around my home and see the things he has blessed us with I can’t believe it. I never dreamed one day I would hold a good job, have a vehicle to drive, a camper in the summer, and a wonderful church family to fellowship with! I have also prayed for my family and slowly they are turning to Christ!


I give my testimony whenever I can in prison groups, Harbour lights, etc. Wherever God sends me. This is a short note of what God has done for me & I want to share it with anyone who will listen so they can be encouraged to change and give their lives to Jesus!


The Bible verse that I quote often is from the book of Matthew, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8 NIV).


I asked, sought, and have greatly received.



DAVID WAYNE SCHULER

United States Coast Guard

I grew up in a non-Christian home. I was a teenager lost searching for the meaning of life. I tried alcohol and it did not satisfy. Then I tried marijuana and it also did not satisfy. “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:25 KJV).


I was 15 years old and searching for the eternal peace back in 1974. I was not big in the alcohol and drugs, but my taste for the world was growing deeper and deeper. God reached down in the nick of time. “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings” (Psalms 40:2 KJV).


A lost teenager, I did not want anything to do with Christianity. I lived 4 blocks from a large church down the road from the South Dade Baptist Church. Every month I had people knocking at my door, friends at school, or customers on my paper route, all tried to get me to go to church and witness to me. I flat out refused to go to church.


During the month of September, one month before my 16th birthday, I was looking for a job in the help wanted column of the local newspapers. There was a phone number for part time ground maintenance and janitorial work which I was looking for.


I called the number and it was the church down the road. My first question was, do I have to attend the church? The answer was no. Ok, I will be interested in working there. I worked there 3 weeks and another employee asked me a question that I could not answer. “If I was to die today, would I know that I would go to heaven?” I had to think about this for awhile. Yes, I starting listing all my good works.


To his surprise, he thought I was kidding him. He continued to question me and realized that I was serious. I did fear God and the Bible and he asked me if he could show me in the Bible how I can know. Well within 10 minutes the great thing happened to me. “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8 KJV).


Yes, something happen to me and I cannot explain. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV).


Church worship took on a new meaning. The preaching, the singing of hymns, and reading the Bible, all brought joy and peace into my life. Twenty-six years later, I am still going strong for the Lord without a day of regret.


In the fall of 1976, I attended the Baptist Bible College for four years and received my BA in Theology. 1980-1982, I worked in a Christian School teaching 5th grade.


In 1983, I enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. On June 1, 2000, I was commission a Chief Warrant Officer. Still a lighthouse for the Lord Jesus Christ pointing men and women to Jesus Christ. This world is not my home I am just a passing through. Will be retiring in two years seeking to work full time in the ministry.



REV. DEREK CRAIG

CONtact for CHRIST, Prison Ministry

Burk’s Falls, Ontario, Canada

Have you ever received one of those presents that made you so happy that you HAD to share it with everyone that you met? Well, let me share with you the most wonderful present that I have ever received in my life.


The date was December 7, 1975 (10:00 a.m.). I was at the time serving “time” in a maximum security prison. In fact I was in solitary confinement. A guard came and banged on my cell door, “Hey !! Craig. Do you want to go to the Chapel Service?”


Up to this point of my life I had NEVER read any Bible or been to Church etc. I did not know about Jesus or an altar call or anything. At this time of my life I hated so called Christians, they were all a bunch of sissies. I had no use for any one who talked about Jesus or the Bible.


However, I figured out that an hour in the Chapel would give me a break from the “hole.” So I said, “Sure, let’s go.” I went in and sat right at the back of that Chapel. Looking towards the front you could see a large plain wooden cross mounted on a red brick wall.


The minister was busy talking about something, I turned him off real quick. There were about seventy inmates in that service, bank robbers, child molesters, con artists etc. I settled back and started to enjoy my break from solitary when suddenly it happened...


I looked up to the front and I could hardly believe what I saw... I SAW JESUS... That’s right, I saw Jesus and He would not go away. I closed my eyes and settled back once again to the quietness of the moment... then I looked up for a second time... HE WAS STILL THERE... and He still would not go away and He was looking right at me. I put it down to the fact that I had been in the “hole” for so long that I was going what they call “stir crazy,” I was sure that I had gone over the edge.


I looked up for a 3rd time. You guessed it, he was still there. Wow, I could not see His whole body but His eyes were looking right into mine. It was like a flowing of Love from Him to me. As I have said, I have never heard of an altar call, etc. Yet, I knew that He had something that I needed.


So I got up & walked down to the front. It was like someone had taken a large barrel of warm water and dumped it all over me. There I was, a big lump of nothing on the Chapel’s floor. I remember saying, “If you want what is left Lord, you are welcome to it, what ever I have, it is yours.”


Please keep in mind that there had been no altar call and in fact that poor minister was still trying to get through his prepared sermon. I looked to either side of me that day, and about thirty five inmates had come forward. I went back to my cell that day and gave away ALL of my cigarettes and tobacco, etc. I was placed in general population that afternoon.


There was a revival in that prison that day. I was to be in prison for another year. During this year I read my Bible from cover to cover nine times. When I was first returned to my cell that day I opened up a Bible and the VERY FIRST thing that I ever read in any Bible was “Psalm 142:7.” YES, by all means look it up for yourself.


How many of you know that when we become Christians that all of our problems do not go away. In fact in many cases a true disciple of Christ will undergo hardship like never before. In my case I was originally ordained with the Pentecostal Holiness Church Of Canada in 1982.


I was used by our Lord to head up a very large prison ministry. I saw many souls come to the Lord because of this ministry. However, I came under spiritual attack to the point that I almost gave up everything. Yet our loving Father was not finished with me yet.


May 21, 1999 the Lord saw fit to bless me with a beautiful spirit filled Christian wife. Jackie is now a very strong supporter of CONtact for CHRIST, Prison Ministry. I thank God for His continuing hand upon my life and this ministry.



CINDY INCORVAIA

Prison Ministry Volunteer

Rainbow Prison Camp

My husband and I minister at a women’s prison every Friday night leading worship. This week we were asked to give the teaching as the usual leader was absent, and the story of Gideon was strong on our minds. Yes. I had heard the story before. But as my husband told it afresh to the women of Rainbow Prison Camp I heard many things for the first time.


Funny how God’s Word is that way--new and pungent when you need a fresh voice from God. “The lappers.” That’s who they were, the men of Gideon’s army who lapped up their water from the stream. God said to Gideon, “Those are the one’s to choose.” 300. That’s all there were. And the army of the foe outranked them only by 170,000! That’s all. HELLO GOD?! Are you trying to tell us something here?


Gideon. He was ready and waiting for the call of God to be a warrior. NOT! He was hiding in the winepress hoping to be missed. But God’s angel found him & called him “Warrior of God.” God does that. He calls us out by name & awakens something inside of us. Something sleeping. Something timid and afraid. A destiny. Our destiny. And here we are, Gideons at Rainbow with but a few women, 10 or so.


“They’re my warriors!” I heard Him say. Yet everyday they are being treated like losers, 24/7, by each other, by guards that for various and sundry reasons have chosen a profession where they can be mean to people and get paid for it. (Well, maybe not all of them). LOSERS. The inmates there would surely raise their hand, “Yeah, that’s me,” if that name was called out. LOSER. NOT what the angel called Gideon!


Gideon, who was also in an obscure place, hidden from the rest of the world was called WARRIOR OF GOD. That’s the name God gave him and then he supplied him with one of the mightiest armies in Israel’s history ... using just 300 “lappers!”


“Oh Lord, these women here. They are Gideons. They’re so like him & so are we.” So after worship this week, I get a Gideon idea if there ever was one. A Gideon idea is of the sort that when you hear it, (trust God to win minus the 170,000 men you need) you go, YEAH, RIGHT!


So the idea pops into my head: “Tell the drummer to give you a marching rhythm and tell the women that God is going to give them their marching orders.” What do you do when you hear an idea like that? The drummer got on his seat and waited for a VERY long pause probably feeling just like I was. I began to pray for the women. He began to drum.


The feeling of God’s empowerment started to come. Soon all were standing, drums were pounding and our arms were raised in volunteer fashion to BE Gideon’s army, “Yes Lord, take me, I’ll go, here’s my YES. I am feeble, I am weak and lacking, but through Your power I’ll be victorious to fulfill the call of God on my life.” And this was how we ended worship somewhere over the rainbow this week :o) Please continue to pray for the Gideon army being raised up out there.

An alcoholic with a bottle of booze. Pills and drugs. A lit cigarette.