Crossroads has several churches in the Permian Basin. They have locations in Odessa, West Odessa, Monahans and Andrews. They’re now expanding even more this time, to Hobbs. However, the new services will be different. They’ll be for prisoners at the Lea County Correctional Facility. They’re trying to bring light. into a place filled with darkness.
A life behind bars can be a lonely place for inmates. A place where they lose hope and faith in the future. Ramon Gomez is a former prisoner.
“It was 2013 when I found myself in a Texas prison. It was a very hard difficult time for me in my life. I found myself, laying on my bunk, spending a lot of time thinking and just trying to do a lot of soul searching,” said Gomez.
He goes on to say, “I abandoned my family, I left them in the streets to fend for themselves. How they were going to pay the bills, I had no clue. I got three hot meals and a cot. I had no worries but my family was suffering for my wrong decisions.”
Kenny Comstock is the Crossroads Executive Pastor. “We want to reach people that nobody’s reaching, so we’re going to do things that nobody’s doing,” said Comstock.
Pastors at Crossroads believe a church behind bars can transform the hearts of prisoners.
“The gospel is the most powerful thing in the world. It has the ability to change lives, lives that have made bad mistakes or bad choices if you want to put it that way,” said Isaac Denson who’s also a pastor at Crossroads.
Ramon Gomez admits he made some bad choices but he’s also proof people can change.
“We’re talking about a church that wants to reach deep into the streets,” said Gomez.
“Some of the darkness that are behind those walls, some of the activity that happens behind those walls, it really does happen,” said Denson. “It makes your hear break for the guys that are in there.”
It’s a chance to make a difference and possibly put these prisoners on a different path.
The church will be streaming its services live. Workers will install speakers, a projector and computer software at the correction facility to make this possible. The congregation, at the church’s four campuses, raised more than $50-thousand dollars for the project. They hope .. to start these services later this month.
According to Prison Fellowship, a non-profit, 2.2 million men and women are incarcerated, 95-percent of prisoners are released and this year, around 600-thousand will return to communities across the United States.