“Thy Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105
I entered The Lighthouse on December 17, 2015, 10 days after spending five months between two county jails. Because of the events that led to my being incarcerated I pretty much had nowhere else to go. My girlfriend and kids weren't exactly in a hurry to invite me back into their home because of the monster I had become before I went to jail.
I lived a really good life growing up in between Missouri & Hawaii. After I graduated college I had a rather successful career out in Denver, CO. In 2012 when my 49-year-old mother was diagnosed with brain cancer I moved to Southern California to be with her; that’s when I lost my mind. In order to avoid dealing with the grief I was experiencing I kept myself distracted by using & selling drugs, chasing women, gambling in casinos and drifting from state to state. After she died I tried to sabotage any and every relationship I ever had.
I was never a believer in God or Jesus, in fact I was quite the anti-believer because I had so many ideas of my own. It wasn't until I was in jail with absolutely nothing left to lose that I got on my knees and started praying. Immediately after that, things started getting better and made more sense. I was released on bond December 7, 2015 with nothing but an addiction that I only kicked because I was incarcerated, facing five felonies and two misdemeanors in three different counties and a very small amount of faith.
I decided to reach out to Chris Sanders, a man I grew up with that I hadn't seen in a while. I knew that he had managed to kick his addiction and was doing good things and I figured that if God was capable of helping him get away from his past then he is capable of anything. God seemed to have told Chris that He had a bigger plan for my life and, guided by the Holy Spirit, Chris invited me to move in.
When I entered the ministry I expected to find a bunch of Bible thumping brainwashed dudes clinging to some false sense of hope. Instead what I found were 18 other guys just like me that had been given another chance. The Lighthouse was a perfect place for a young believer like me to go and learn the fundamentals of Christianity and how it applies to modern life. After a few months, Bible intake, prayer, meditation & conversations about God became habitual.
Leadership understands that not everybody's situation is the same. Therefore, everybody's recovery is, in a way, custom tailored. With the exception of the weekly meetings and Bible studies there is no progressive schedule to which attendees must adhere. There are no written tests or examinations to see how much you know about the Bible. There is no judgment of anybody’s past, and it’s not a place where we have to be tough to survive. The only expectation is that you leave a better person than you were when you entered.
Nine months after I entered the Lighthouse, all of my felonies were dropped and I was back working the same career that I was before but in my hometown, Missouri and I’m content with it. I’m living better than I ever did even before my mom got sick. I’m the man of my house, living with my girlfriend and helping to raise her kids as my own with God as my guide. If I hadn't had the opportunity to transition through the Lighthouse, it is very likely that I would still be fighting my addictions and fighting battles with the legal system. God has been very good to me and because of my time with the Lighthouse, Freedom Through Christ Ministries, I am able to recognize this.
~ Trevor M . Gardner
I am Kyle Crossland, who was a former resident of The FTC Ministry, starting in the summer of 2011 through the years ending in the spring of 2014. First, let’s give praise to the loving God that decided to birth this ministry out of the ordinary and broken people, who are just like myself. God receives all the glory by using the ministry to draw all His lost children back into a relationship with Himself. Second, there was nothing I did that could have manipulated for an acceptance into The Lighthouse Missions, proving that the Lord Jesus Christ is a personal and intimate God, that will answer and rescue everyone that cries out for His help. I am a witness of this act of love.
In the late years of my childhood, through my entire teen years, and ending in my early twenties was when I was actively in my addiction. A little after I turned twenty-one “I gave up and was very tired” burned out, and cared less if I continued to live anymore. The only explanation for “how I’m alive” is God has purposely “kept me alive”, He rescued me by putting me in a jail, was His way of keeping me safe. This is the only time I can recall being sober for a short period of my life then reality sunk in, and it broke me “my how time flies”. The Lord had my attention in a cell and was preparing a new home for me because I prayed for it. I never heard about the Lighthouse and that’s where He sent me. If someone was to look at the surface of my life while I was a client and even today. They would say, there’s nothing extravagant happening here, and I would agree with them. But, not often do people see the work that’s happening beneath the surface.
It may not look like much, but there is foundation under me, that I stand on every day. I have a hope that gives me purpose and answers for the meaning of this life. The most impactful lessons while at the Lighthouse, were all the time’s I was pointed to Christ, for the solution. This gave me an understanding of who our God is, and built my confidence to say, “I am a friend of Jesus”. Today, when facing the impossible, suffering through trials, and when all I see look’s hopeless. I know now, to run to Him…
~ Kyle Crossland
The Lighthouse seeks to minister to the whole person by providing physical, emotional and spiritual resources. We strive to teach men that making God real in every situation is not a series of religious activities but a natural outflow of a living relationship with their creator.