From criminals to ministers. Richard Sifuentes talks about how God changed his heart behind bars in prison

3 prison terms, police chases, loss of loved ones, powerlessness, rage and anger. Richard Sifuentes’ story is reminiscent of a Hollywood thriller, but God really answered his prayers and renewed his heart.

Richard Sifuentes was on the run. Often God finds us in such a state, we try to escape, but we have left such a trail behind that we simply cannot escape from our sins.
The police pursued him on an attempted murder charge. In order not to go to jail for the third time, he tried to hide. Hiding and trying to find a way out, he called his mother.
“The only one who can help you is God,” she told him.

He did not pray a day in his life. But that day, Richard knelt down and said, “God, if You exist, help me change. Help me get out of this. ”
Thirty minutes later, the police broke down his door, handcuffed him and took him to the police station. Calling his mom from prison, Richard asked her, “What God do you serve? I’m behind bars. Your God did not save me. ”

His mother assured that the greatest thing God wants to save him from is a lifestyle that destroys everyone around him. It was hard, but Richard took his mother’s words to heart.
There were 11 years in prison ahead, but the words of his mother seemed to pierce his heart, he simply could not get rid of them: “God wants to save you from this way of life…” Then he first took the Bible in his hands, began to read and faced love and kindness God who seemed to fill every word in Scripture.

In an effort to satisfy his ever-increasing hunger for God, as well as distract himself from the criminal environment, Richard signed up for the Crossroads Prison Ministries mentoring program.
And suddenly, as he began to read letters from his mentors and act as they say, he noticed that his mind and heart began to change.
“I started reading 20 to 30 Bible chapters a day, and it changed my life,” says Richard.

One day, near the end of his term, Richard found out that his wife had passed away, and he could not even attend the funeral.
It came as a heavy blow. He was ready to give up life, faith, God, everything and disappear. Richard threw his Bible into the trash can. He wanted to forget everything he read there. He wanted to forget God. But he couldn’t. He took the Scripture out of the bucket, opened it, and came across a verse:
“And I thought:“ I will not remind about Him and I will no longer speak in His name ”; but it was in my heart like a burning fire, enclosed in my bones, and I was tired, holding it, and could not. ”
“I realized that the Word of God is a burning fire in my heart that cannot be extinguished,” says Richard.

From that moment on, he passionately studies and preaches the Word of God. He is currently an ordained evangelist and leads Deep in the WORD Ministries in Texas:
“It changed my life. I’ve been a criminal all my life, and then suddenly God turned me from a gangster to a minister. Now I am returning what I received. ”

Based on materials from Mission Network News

Source: Из преступников в служители. Ричард Сифуентес рассказал о том, как Бог поменял его сердце за решётками тюрьмы – ВО СВЕТЕ (inlight.news)