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Stories from Others

Free On The Inside

Gabino recently sent us a letter from prison:

My name is Gabino. I am currently doing 76 months in prison for 2nd Degree Assault. I have about 3 1/2 years left until I parole. I’ve sent a few donations to you guys when I can.

…I grew up in California and was raised in the [foster care] system from age 11.  I’ve run away from home as well as from foster homes and group homes.  I’ve lived in the streets or couch surfing for a while. I grew up in and out of Juvenile Hall from the age of 13 to 18, then jails afterwards.

By the grace of God, I’ve never done meth, but I am an alcoholic and a merijuana addict.  I’m also an active gang member.

I know the good Lord has better plans for my life than this.  Within these walls I’ve been learning more and more about myself.  My hope is God will continue to work within my heart and life…


sitting in a cell
lonely and lost
learned from my mistakes
but look what it cost

trapped in a system
there’s no way to win
that’s what they say
held victim by your sin

once you’re in
it’s a hard way out
mind filled with lies
failures and doubt

too many obstacles
lie in your path
feeling the weight
of the good Lord’s wrath

will things get easier?
perhaps today
I ask the Lord
as I kneel to pray

I promise to change
the way I live
if You’ll only answer
heal and forgive

but after awhile
you forget what was said
as anger and hatred
begin to fill you heard

a prisoner in reality
as well as in the mind
one of the two
by far the worst kind

which one is it
don’t you see
the sacrifices one makes
to truly be set free

first things first
swallow your pride
true freedom begins
only on the inside