In a Dark Place: Road to the Mission

Noah was in a dark place. He says, “I was locked up in the Fairbanks Correctional Center facing my 5th felony. I had just been extradited from King County Seattle, Washington, where I was picked up for my warrant in Alaska. I was at a point in my life where nothing I had tried worked. I was ready for something new and for whatever it would take to restore my life back into the hands of God. I wanted to completely surrender my life and will over to Christ’s hands.”  

Noah was, really miraculously, released to FRM and the Genesis Program in December of 2014. His hope in joining the program was “to dedicate a year to God and allow Him to transform my thinking and heart. To learn how to live as a new creation and die to the old me and to restore my relationship with my family and community.”

In September of 2015, Noah graduated from the Genesis program and he says, “The biggest thing that has changed for me is my relationship with God and the consistency that I now walk in. I think differently and view the world in a whole different light no longer relying on the wisdom of man and the world to guide me but the wisdom from the Holy Spirit.”

But—there is a rest of the story. Around a month ago, Austin Brown, Recovery Program Director, said to me, “There’s a young man I want you to meet. He’s in the kitchen serving community service through North Star.” The young man, whose name is Keith, came to my office and told me a bit of his story. A while back, when he was in a very dark place in his own life, a man spoke of Christ to him while they were both in jail. This man spoke persuasively and from personal experience of God and Keith received Christ there in the jail. That man was able to be the light of Christ and salvation for another even though his personal life was in a dark place. That man was Noah. Keith shared not only his story but his art with me. He rapped out a poem which I transcribed while he was there in my office. Keith, on the road out of incarceration, is now an ambassador for Christ himself, leading others to the light. This is that poem. 



It was night
When I was locked away in a cell
I seen no way out
I was locked up in hell
In this concrete cage
I felt misery and pain
Felt like I was alone
Felt like I was going insane
Felt like I was trapped in my ways
I was never to change
I wanted a better future
But I was stuck in these chains
I seen plenty of dreams
But I knew not how to catch them
Every day I did the same
Same evil and corruption . . .

It was that same night
I heard a voice in my head
He told me to pray so I did
And the Bible I read
I felt His presence in my life
It brought comfort to my heart
Every verse that I read
Shined light on the spots that were dark
I asked for forgiveness
Oh Lord, put me on the right path
People thought I’d never change
Believe only with the Lord, I have
Even though I’m still in this cage
I continue in my faith
I know I’m going to heaven when I die
Because I know He saves

I pray to you Lord
Ask you to take care of my soul
Everything’s going bad
I’m locked away in the prison’s hole
Seems like my life’s turned up
Turned upside down
I don’t know if I’ll live
So I ask for forgiveness now

AUTHOR: Michelle Harpole, Administrative Director at the Fairbanks Rescue Mission