M.T. was released from Coal Twp. Correctional facility and came directly to Liberty Ministries about two months ago. M.T. was raised in the Phoenixville area. At about 12-13 years of age, because he was poor and “wanted things” M.T. started selling marijuana and cocaine. He also started drinking and smoking marijuana and hanging out with the “wrong crowd”. This lifestyle and behavior resulted in several brushes with the law and eventually being expelled from school in the 9th grade.
M.T. continued selling and using drugs, until all the money he made selling was used to support his marijuana and cocaine habit. Eventually he was arrested for drug related charges and did some prison time, where, in an attempt to be accepted and “belong to something” he became Muslim. Prior to this M.T. had no faith experience at all. After his first release from prison, M.T. became disillusioned with the Muslim faith and met someone from an area church that invited him to church. Responding to his unconditional welcome from that church – he had attended in full Muslim garb – he decided to start attending church and after some time accepted Christ into his life. Unfortunately his criminal behavior continued and partying and drug use consumed his life. He was eventually sentenced to 5-10 years in prison.
While in prison, M.T. continued to attend worship services, attend bible study groups and completed his G.E.D. His commitment to his Christian faith led him to apply and eventually be accepted to Liberty Ministries. M.T. admits that one of his biggest challenges has been changing his “criminal thinking” and he is thankful that Liberty Ministries has programs and counseling that is helping him change that. He is currently involved in all groups at the house – MRT, Celebrate Recovery, the “33 Series” and other bible studies. He just recently attended the Spruce Lake Retreat – an experience he says was life changing. He now has a mentor and community church that he attends regularly. He attends individual counseling once a week and is now making preparations to go to college for psychology/human services in January.
M.T. has made tremendous progress in only two months. He is now working full time at the Liberty Ministries Thrift stores and has received strong, positive evaluations from his supervisors. He has successfully pursued mediation with the mother of his children and enjoyed his first visit with them this month. M.T. attributes his time here at Liberty Ministries in helping change old habits, opening up to other men, forming healthy Christian relationships and becoming a part of a church community. In addition he is thankful for the opportunity to start being a responsible father and rebuilding his relationship with his children. His goal is to get a degree in psychology and eventually help other men who have struggled with addiction and criminal behavior. M.T. is now confident that he is on the right path and that he will not return to his prior life. “God has a better life for me” he said. Once he finishes Phase One, M.T. is hoping to be accepted into Phase Two.