I met brother Alex, in April of 2009. I received a message from one of our regular chapel attendees that this brother wanted to have a private meeting with me. I had seen him a few times in our chapel services beginning in January but I really didn’t know who he was or for that matter why he wanted to speak with me. Of course I agreed and he and I along with this other brother went into a small room towards the rear of the chapel. Over the next few minutes Alex poured out his heart to me. He was a drug addict for over 38 years and incarcerated for more than 15 years. Because he was a licensed barber he had always used that as a front for his drug dealing. It would grant him the freedom and privilege to walk freely on the yard and into the other housing units besides his own. It was a perfect setup for him to peddle his drugs without drawing suspicion from the Correctional Officers. So of course once he arrived at Donovan in August 2008, he immediately set up shop as a barber and made it known on the yard that he would provide the best haircuts in the California Department of Corrections, and then some. Within a few months he had set up shop and began delivering drugs to anyone who had a need. Alex mentioned that on several occasions during the months of February and March he would have to come into the chapel to deliver cell phones or drugs. Instead of coming in making the drop and then leaving, there were two or three times when he couldn’t leave the chapel as he didn’t want to draw any suspicion from the CO’s who were near the chapel entrance. As I am listening to Alex share his story with me I am reminded of the story where the shepherd left the ninety-nine and went and found his lost sheep. It the midst of his dealings God’s love intervened. It was during one of those times when he couldn’t leave the chapel that the love of God pierced his heart with His mighty Word. Not to mention that he had a praying wife who had been praying for his salvation for over twenty years. Alex said, the reason I want to talk with you is to tell you what happened in this chapel. I came to do a drug deal but God put me on blast and showed me my sin. I want to surrender my life to Christ. I’m done selling drugs and I want to be used by the Lord from now on. Here we were three grown men weeping like little boys in a small mop closet in a maximum security prison. Alex’s life was radically changed. He served faithfully in the chapel becoming one of our worship leaders. He renounced all drug activity and pursued the Lord with a passion that made everyone on the yard wonder including the C.O’s. Alex paroled in June 2011. He was deported to Mexico and immediately he and his wife began ministry. He opened up a barber shop where he began leading bible studies and discipleship classes and she began a children’s ministry. Within a short time it became a small church serving that community. In March of 2012, God called them to Tecate where they now serve with a local church. God has opened up doors for them to serve in Tecate Jail as well as pastoring a church without walls in an open field right next to the jail. Peg and I have been down to Tecate to see all that God is doing in and through this dear couple and what a mighty work it is. Please keep them in your prayers and if any of you feel led to support them financially they would be eternally grateful. All I can say is…TO GOD BE THE GLORY, GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE.
When I am lifted up…I will draw all me to myselfPastor Roger Ziegler~ JesusSeptember 1, 2014PS Brother Alex went home to be with the Lord June 2017. I miss that brother.