Paul Started Asking Why In Prison

Self, Recovery , Stories

Contributed by: Crossroads Prison Ministries

I don’t know if you will get this letter, but I wanted to send it anyway. I just wanted to convey my sense of gratitude. I know that a lot of people don’t give these courses the credit that I now realize they deserve. I was one of them.

People in the past tried to convince me to do the manga course. At first glance, they appeared basic to me. So I didn’t give them a second thought. This time while incarcerated, I figured that I needed to try something different because my way hasn’t been working.

I did the first manga course quickly, mailed it out, and didn’t see or hear anything back for two months. Then I got this weird urge. It almost felt like I needed or had to do it again, so I did. When I did it the second time, I realized that I mailed it wrong during my first attempt. Two weeks later, I received lessons two, three, and four.

When I sat down with these lessons, it wasn’t the same. This time, I started to feel something more while doing them, something more than the need to kill time. I started to try harder and harder with every lesson that I would receive. They began to mean more to me than just something to do.

I now really enjoy doing all of these courses. I almost thirst for the knowledge that they have within them. I feel that all these years that I was on a self destructive path: 25 years of addiction, crime, and jail. I tried to numb my heart and looked for answers to my problems in all the wrong places, and all the wrong ways. I was trying to find something greater than myself.

I am 34 years old. I was lost for 25 years of my life. I come from a home that consisted of a living single mother. She was my best friend. I have no one to blame but myself for the path that I insisted on taking. It is only now that I begin to ask myself why.

Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?

These questions are so much deeper than they appear. I feel like these manga courses opened the door for me. I thank you and your colleagues. I now talk to God every day. I pray every day. I pay attention for meaning in everything put in front of me. I now have eight different studies at different levels that I do, trying to better myself with every opportunity.

That power greater than myself that I was looking for this whole time was trying to tell me that He was there this whole time, but I was too caught up in myself to see it.

I found a couple lessons lying around the range that another person left upon release. I don’t know what part they were or which tier, but I took the opportunity to do them and mailed them in. I don’t know if I can work on all three tiers at once, but I’d like to do so.

I continue to pray for you and your colleagues, and that you get the funding that you need to keep reaching out to people who need the guidance and knowledge your resources provide. Thank you — you offer an amazing service. God bless.


Paul is a Crossroads student in Ontario. He has been a student since November 2018.

Originally published at

Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash.