What can happen when a gang leader comes to Christ?
John Turnipseed was once a notorious thug, drug dealer, and gang leader; now he’s a sought after speaker and director of the Fathering Center at Urban Ventures in Minneapolis. He shares how God sent angels throughout his life to point him back to the truth.
“A lot of people think that it only takes one person to turn a person around – no, it takes many touches. All of that touching came back and that gave me the strength and energy to pull myself out of it.”
John reflects on a few of the people who met him in the darkest valley of his life.
“A college professor named Dan Taylor talked me into going back to school. I only went back to school because this guy would visit me in prison and I felt like I should at least do something; I just did it to please him. It sounds crazy, but he was coming to see me in prison and he wanted me to go to school so I went to school. If it wouldn’t be for going to school, I would not be where I am today.
“God sent angels along the way to walk me through this journey. There were other angels came my way; He kept Art in my life for 40 years.”
Has God sent you to walk alongside someone who is living a destructive lifestyle? John offers helpful insight and advice:
“People don’t intentionally try to hurt you if they go back to their own life. Most of the times, out of respect, you won’t even see us again when we fall because we’re ashamed. You’re not in any danger anything, because we care that you are a person that cared about us and we just feel bad that we disappointed you.
“It’s always a good risk and a good gamble to invest in someone that’s gone astray. It’s safe, it is rewarding; but you have to remember that you might be not be the final touch and you might not see the results of your work for 10 or 15 years, but you will see it.”
We will know the truth, and the truth will set us free. –John 8:32. On behalf of the many men and women in prison, John expresses their heart for the truth.
“I know and they know the truth: That they were not born to be where they are. They’re not bad people; they’ve chosen to do bad things. A lot of times they just need some help and a little belief to come out of the hold that they’re in, that they dug for themselves.
“The only reason they go back to their former lifestyle is because they don’t know Jesus; they don’t know the saving grace of Jesus Christ that can talk to them at 3:00 in the morning.”