Category Archives: Testimonials

Letters received from those whose lives have been impacted by Xtreme SOULutions – usually inmates who have reentered society, sometimes their family members and sometimes students who have been moved to other facilities.

Faith & Character – Charles Griffin

The Faith and Character program at MCI has changed my life for the better. My walk with Christ is only a year old, yet the curriculum, environment and people involved have solidified my faith. The secular and faith-based courses have provided insights into my crime’s impact, forced me to examine my behavior and changed my way of thinking. The program is also preparing me for the world outside these gates with many reentry classes. The Faith and Character program has turned my incarceration from something negative into something very positive. I have a purpose now and an inspired to do positive things for God, my family and the world.

–Charles Griffin

The Word -Beverly Kuhar

“The grass withers and flowers fall, But the word of our God stands forever” Isaiah  40:8

The way to Happiness is through the Word, and the Word is the light onto my path.

I have been very fortunate to attend xtreme SOULutions for the past 2 years. The instructors have taught me so much.

But, the simple joy of happiness can only be learned through the Word of God, and knowing that you are never alone.

–Beverly Kuhar

Behavioral Cancers – Joshua Heise

Decisions are made constantly by each of us. Decisions are choices we make, which result in a positive outcome or a negative outcome. If we can recognize the symptoms of our behaviors early enough, we may be able to correct our behaviors. We must locate and destroy the cause of these symptoms in order to overcome our strongholds.

There are steps leading up to our behavior and beyond. Once we can understand this process then we can begin to treat the problem and correct the issues. These steps are as follows…

  • A Good or Bad event Happens in ones life
  • Positive or Negative thoughts begin immediately within ones mind concerning this event, These thoughts can reproduce at an alarming rate, especially if one dwells on his thoughts, causing these thoughts to become truths to the person having them, even if they are not truth.
  • These thoughts will then transform themselves into feelings or emotions, (i.e. Anger, Rage, Joyful, Excited, Depressed, etc.etc.) Based on the event which took place.It is vital to note That even the tiniest thought can become an immensely Strong, Feeling, or Feelings. These feelings will spur symptoms or precursers to our behaviors. (i.e.in Anger, Your body may begin elevating blood pressure, or start sweating, or balling hands into fists)
  • These feelings can and will overpower our will if given the chance. What occurs next is a behavior, either Bad, or Good. Our actions are based on a decision of what to do with these feelings. We can choose a positive path or a negative. Communicate the Problem or Lash out.
  • These behaviors will always, always result in a consequence. This consequence will either be Positive, (i.e. reward) or Negative, (i.e. punishment). Now lets do a comparison study of behavior and cancers. After all, our negative behaviors done, are born from a cancerous process lets look…

Our bodies and our minds are incredibly similar. Both of them are LivingGrowing Complex Systems which Develop as a result of changes within the Process, Our bodies contain billions of individual cells, while our minds contain billions of thoughts. It is these cells and thoughts which carry out the functions of their own system. They both grow and develop by an increase in the number of cells and thoughts being “Processed”. Both these cells and thoughts become new process by transforming into different things. For example, in the body, the cells transform into different types of tissues, while in the mind, those thoughts transform into Different types of Feelings

New cells and Thoughts are created through a process we call Division. In the body, for example, a cell (single in unit) Divides and becomes two, two become four, so on and so forth. Our thoughts Do this Also. We may have a very Rapid thought After an event, but as we sit and dwell on that thought our mind creates new thoughts to fill in the voids in our original thoughts.

Unlike Normal Healthy cells and thoughts, cancerous cells and thoughts lack the controls that Stop, or “Switch Off”, Growth. They Divide and Multiply at an alarming Rate. These cancerous cells and thoughts Push Healthy neighboring thoughts and cell out of the way by overpopulating them. Because the Healthy cells and thoughts are being Pushed out. It Disrups their normal function and Growth because they must now compete with the overwhelming cancerous cells and thoughts, just to get what little nutrients they can.

These uncontrolled cells and thoughts can grow into masses, In the body, these masses are called tumors. They invade and Destroy normal tissues nearby. In the mind, these masses are uncontrollable feelings. You get groups of negative thoughts which invade and Destroy Healthy thoughts. Also, these uncontrolled cells and thoughts can travel and spread to other areas. For instance, in the body these cells may travel to the breast or colon infecting them with this cancerous tumor, whereas, in the mind these thoughts travel into our Attitudes, Feelings, and Emotions infecting them with cancer.

It is usually at this point that a diagnosis should be made to tell if a  cancer is present. We must Detect the cancer before it becomes too big and too Deadly. There are warning signs to watch for…in the body, there maybe a lump forming in a certain area, moles may change shape and size, excessive bleeding or discharges. Like in the body, in the mind, we also have warning signs that we must be looking for. For example, if you are angry, your tempature may Rise and you begin sweating. You may Grit your teeth or clench your fists, or if you are depressed, you want to hurt yourself or someone else,you may want to be alone, or do drugs. We must physically and mentally Search for these Cancerous Masses and Destroy them before they infect other areas. We must work to prevent this Cancer from Destroying us.

Once these signs appear and we notice them is when treatment should begin. Physically we would need to go to a Doctor for Chemotherapy or Radiation therapy… Transplants and transfusions mentally, when we notice these signs, we must stop, and go back and examine the thoughts going through our head and Destroy the negative thoughts. We must go back to our thoughts to correct our behaviors, it is a must. If we can Destroy the Masses of Cancerous thoughts and Develop new healthy thoughts then our behaviors will be healthy. Just as those bad cells in the body must be Destroyed and a Transplant or Transfusion to fill the voids with healthy cells. We must have a thought Transplant Done in our minds.

It is important to note, however that not all cells or thoughts that have Rapid or uncontrolled growth are cancerous cells. In the Body, cells may amass as benign tumors, which do not invade or Destroy surrounding areas. In the Mind, thoughts too may amass (lets say surrounding the death of a loved one). These thoughts, while not primarily Good, will not invade or Destroy other thoughts. It is not necessarily a Bad thing to grieve a loss, or be Sad for someone who is ill.

Some bodily Cancers can affect just one organ, while others are more generalized. The mind is the same, some thought cancers may invade only one area (feeling, attitude), while others may Disrupt the entire process creating uncontrollable feelings. Therefore if we can Detect the cancer at an early enough stage (i.e. before your thoughts become Feelings) and Diagnose what type of cancer it is. The easier it will be to treat it.

Lets look at this in Real Life Process… with a personal example from me! I was Married to my wife Lisa, on Oct.18,2003, at 4:00pm and to within 20 minutes, 8 years later, she passed away, Oct.18,2011 at 3:40pm. In Nov. of 2010 she was diagnosed with Leukemia. Leukemia is a cancer of the Bodys Blood Forming tissues, includinf the Bone Marrow and Lymph System. This cancer forms huge numbers of Abnormal white blood cells. These Abnormal cells Reach high concentrations in the bone marrow, lymph system and blood stream, and their Accumulation can interfere with functions of other vital organs. In the end,  they overwhelm the population and production of Healthy Blood cells, including White and Red Blood cells and platelets. This causes an insignificant and insufficient number of Healthy Cells. Therefore, the Bodys Ability to Fight infection is Decreased and very minimal/

The Abnormal white blood cells interfere with the production of Red Blood Cells and Platelets in the Bone Marrow. The Deficiency in Red blood cells means that the bodys organs Do not receive enough Oxygen, the Lack of platelets makeds the Blood clotting process less effective. Allowing the Body to be more Vulnerable to Bleeding and Bruising. Due to these effects Leukemia is Fatal in many cases without successful treatment, Leukemia was my wife’s cancer.

Mine on the other hand is of the mind and thoughts. You see, Lisa’s Journey through this and her leaving here, was the single most, Greatest event of my Life. My mind then created many cancerous thoughts, such as, “If you Are God, Bring Her Back.” And “See I knew all along God was a conspiracy,” and “whats the point in this Pretty Life. To WATCH SHIT DIE. Is that All we are here For?” I cursed God, I Denied Gods Existance. I cursed Love. My thoughts were Deadly. (Remember it is at this Point where we must Return to Change our Behaviors.)

These thoughts massed together and became Huge immense feelings of Loneliness, Despair, Depession, Anger, Worthlessness, and yes even Hate. Those thoughts Literally overwhelmed All of my Feelings, infecting them with cancer. I quit caring altogether.

Those feelings Brought within me negative Actions, Day and Night. I walked around mumbling cursing the police. Casting off anyone who wasn’t there for her, including my mom, my sisters, Literally anyone who didn’t walk by her side until she LEFT! Now, thank GOD that it stopped there. Nothing Major, crime wise happened because about 3 months Later I received a letter from my Daughter Ashley and she asked me about having church together at visit. It was at this point when I reevaluated what happened and Removed those infected thoughts and Filling them with Gods word. I then began generating warmer and warmer feelings. And Ashley and I have been praying together since. But God Put Ashley there because He knew that that’s what it would take to Reevaluate the Situation.

So in a Sense, My wonderful Daughter became the Donor I needed for my Thought Transfusion. She Saved me from that Spiritual Death.

So you See, unlike my WIFE, I have been given a second chance. Thank You JESUS! Even though those cancerous thoughts took over my mind, like Lisas Leukemia

Took over her body, mine was caught and treated early enough to cure it.

Romans 12:2 Says”…Be transformed by the renewing of your mind”

Renewing our mind is changing our thought pattern which will transform us From the old man to the new man.

–Joshua Heise

Thank You – Anthony Oats

Create in me a clean heart o God and renew a right spirit within me, PS 51:10.

I really want to thank you all for what you have brought into my life, God is so good and He uses brother’s and sister’s Like you all to help people like me. I am so glad that I was apart of this, and I pray that I am blessed to play a roll in xtreme SOULutions when I’m out of here. God is so good.

There’s something about the name Jesus.

With love from your brother in Christ.

Anthony L. Oats

Testimony – Karry Grant

First off let me start by saying that I come from a good family…

My mother & father were both very hard workers who loved their children very much, supplied us with everything that we needed, and just about everything else that we wanted, but they knew where to draw the line to keep us from becoming spoiled…

I was raised in Ocala, FLA.  This has been my home from the day of my conception, I grew up attending local schools and I was liked by many…

My life was Peaches & Cream until age 17 when I started to use drugs at first it was Marijuana and then I started using hard drugs, such as Cocaine & Crack which is another form Cocaine…

From that point on my life was in complete turmoil everything that I touched from that point on I destroyed…

My family had me placed in drug treatment programs both inpatient and outpatient, but they never seemed to work…

Then at the age of 37, 20 years later and after four times in prison, I was offered the chance to enter a program called Operation Launch…

Now that’s the name the prison uses but the actual name for this outreach program is xtreme SOULutions

Since joining this program I have learned a lot about myself, and now I can tell that for once in my life, I have purpose and now my life also has meaning…

And now I look forward to waking up every morning to face a new day and the first thing that I now say is Thank you God for giving me one more day…

I am also looking forward to getting out of prison because this time I know that I won’t be coming back because I now possess two things that I’ve always needed, but never had and these things are Jesus Christ and a support group…

I thank God daily for xtreme SOULutions and the volunteers who donate their time to help people like me…

My name is Karry L. Grant and this is the testimony of my life…

May God Bless you and yours…

–Karry L. Grant {limited editing}

Testimony – Sebastian Boswell

Life has took me on a real journey.  I was raised up in a church going family. This life I live, I choose; for the wrong reason.  It was really, really crazy as I sit back & think about who I use to be: God the father and his son Christ Jesus has brought me through a-lot; and why am I still here has to be a reason.  Through all of the shoot outs, the fighting, the robberies, the lieing, the Drug dealing, the cocaine snorting, the “I don’t care attitude” there’s got to be a reason; that God the father was standing in the mist for me.  I remember times I knew it had to be God’s hand on me; I have seen my friends survive shots to the head and live (what a blessing) I’ve seen some get stabbed and pull through, but my question is still the same “why was I spared?”  I’ve always had a soft spot for Christ Jesus to come in and dine with me.  But no matter that I will continue to hold on and call on the name of Jesus and thank him continually.!!!

–Sebastian Boswell

My Journey – Susan Hall

My journey from addiction to recovery has been a long painful one.  Luckily I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and would like to share my story with you.

My name is Susan Hall and I’m 25 years old.  I’m currently serving a 5 year prison sentence for methamphetamine.  I started using when I was 15 years old.  I did it because I thought it was fun.  Little did I know I was on the pathway to destruction.  The fun turned into misery as the relationships in my life began to fall apart.  The only way to numb the pain was to do more drugs which in turn made things worse.  By this time I was so trapped in my addiction I couldn’t break free.  The times I was able to get clean never lasted long.  My family tried everything to help.  What did I do in return?  Retaliate.  I believed I could do it on my own.  Boy was I wrong.  Arrested and awaiting trial facing 25 years wasn’t even enough to make me stay clean.

I got out and did good for a little while then went back to the same old routine.  My life was completely out of control at this point and I couldn’t take it any more.  I had to get away from everything so once again I cleaned up my act.  At this point, it was too late I was already on my way to prison.  Except now there was a new factor in the equation.  I was pregnant.  As I sat in the county jail awaiting sentencing I tried turning to God.  Praying that he wouldn’t allow me to get sent to prison.  Standing in that court room hearing the judge say 5 years broke me into a million pieces.  How could God let this happen to me was all I could think.  I was going to have my child in prison and miss everything in her childhood.  I turned my back on God.  Even though He didn’t turn His back on me.  He blessed me with a wonderful family that took my daughter and made a promise to help me build a relationship with her as her mother.

As I replayed the decisions that led me to prison I made a vow to my unborn child and myself.  I was going to take the 5 years and work at better my life.  Within 3 months of being in prison, I received my GED.  Then graduated an Architectural Drafting course that I am currently a student aide in.  I took as many self betterment courses as possible such as anger management, substance abuse, life skills, parenting and 12 step.  There was still something missing in my life and I couldn’t figure out what it was.  I started paying attention to the people who came to speak to us.  People that had been in the same shoes as me and totally transformed their lives.  There was a common denominator and that was God.  So I started trying to build a relationship with Him.  I can promise one thing that it didn’t happen over night.  At times I felt discouraged because I didn’t feel the connection but I kept pushing forward.  I faithfully studied my Bible every day until one day I finally realized that He had been there the whole time.

It took me hitting rock bottom to realize that I was powerless to change by myself.  Don’t lose faith though, because the good Lord is helping me pick up the mission I was broken into.  He has given me an inner peace and joy I’ve never experienced before.  God never wastes the hurts in our lives.  Because of what I’ve gone through and the way God has worked in my life. I’m now able to give back to others.  For those of you who feel lost, there is hope if you put your trust in God.  Believe me, my testimony is a miracle.

–Susan Hall

Reasons – Glenda Elliott

Ever since I was a little girl, I always felt out of place.  No one knew how I really felt but me.  I grew up with mommy and daddy.  Even though we came from a poor country that didn’t stop my mom and dad from their goals and dreams.  We had to go to church.  We had to go to Sunday school.  We couldn’t date boys.  It was school, church and home.  Sure we went on picnics with our family (2 brothers, 1 sister), went visiting other relatives homes and mom and dad had parties.  Our life seem so nice.  After living in the ghetto, mom and dad moved us to the suburban neighborhood.  The trees was green, the grass were green and it was houses, not project.  It was space not everything bunched up on top of each other.  As time went by, I started to steal to buy nice clothes, popular clothes, to fit in to the popular crowd.  More time went by and I got pregnant at the age of 14.  I had to have an abortion.  I was six months pregnant.  More and more time went by at the age of 17 I got married because once again I was pregnant with my oldest son.  Life became such a big mess.  I thought the grass was greener on the other side, but it wasn’t.  Being in an abusive, controlling relationship made my self esteem go way down low.  My husband was not a good provider at all.  He met a girl and then he had two families.  I didn’t know until there was a child involved and she was one year old.  When I was happy the other lady was sad, and when I was sad, she was happy.  After fifteen years I finally came to my senses and left him and New York.  I move to Florida at the age of 32.  Everything was new.  I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t even fill out papers like job application, etc.  I finally became independent.  I got my own apartment, got 2 jobs.  I had three children.  Life was nice so I thought.  I met a man and now I have a boyfriend.  After 2 years with him I didn’t realize he did drugs, I didn’t realize he had other women.  Things became messy.  After four years of alcohol and drugs, I went to county jail for stealing out of Walmart.  I did 5 1/2 months in the county.  When I got out I was new and improved.  I was living right.  My mom set my path with a car and a house.  All I had to do was get a job and so I did.  I then met someone while in the county jail.  His name is Randy.  Through trials, fights, good times, bad times, here we are 13 years later with a 9 year old daughter.  One day of letting the devil play with me and entertain a thought landed me in prison for four years.  Being away from all four of my children brought shame and guilt to my inside and outsides.  I believe in the lies of the enemy.  My success or failure is undeniably linked to the words I say to myself and the beliefs I hold about myself.  If you listen to yourself and really hear what you are saying about yourself, your life and your circumstances, you will be well on your way to knowing what you believe.  I became truly involved in my Bible.  I started doing a lot of Bible studies and started attending biblical class.  15 months later, I’m still walking and talking to God.  He is the truth and the only way for me.  From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is full of cues and instructions on how we are to think.  As I go about my everyday life, I simply obey God’s word in every situation.  God never asks to us to handle more than we can bear.  This journey that I am going through, God has put a dream in my heart, I know he has, it gives me the desires to pursue my goal.  Broken focus can lead to failure.  I had my eyes on the prize and the prize is Jesus.  My family is waiting for me.  I have goals and dreams.  All I got to do is keep obeying the word of God…

–Glenda Elliott

I Am A Work In Progress – Jordyn Cahill

It is hard to see light at the end of any tunnel when you have blindfolded yourself and buried your head in the sand.  My story is a common one, but unique to me because it is mine and mine alone.  The shoes I have walked in my 30 years are worn at the soles and frayed at the seams.  I am not who I used to be and the world is a much better place due to that fact.

My name is Jordyn Cahill and I am currently serving a 10 year prison sentence for armed robbery.  I was highly addicted to Oxycontin and participated in robberies of local pharmacies to support my devilish habit.  Nothing could stop me, not motherhood, family love, friend suggestions, lover’s pleadings or demanded ultimatums.  The only thing that could have saved me and that, which did, was God.  My prison sentence saved my life and my south, both of which I thought were damaged beyond repair.  It has allowed me to see past my self-imposed hell to a future laden with beautiful possibilities and unbelievable redemption.

My growth has been a collective measure as I have drawn from the pain I have endured and the pain I have caused others.  Listening as my son blew out his birthday candles and then he cried with disappointment because his ability to fly and rescue me did not happen, has been the kindling for the fire that fueled my change.  Seeing the sadness in my parents’ eyes as they tried to make sense of all I had done makes me strive to be a better daughter.  To have to watch as my siblings have grown up and moved away and I have remained behind unforgiving bars of steel has helped me to see where I long to be and what I need to get there.  To bear witness to the sadness and confusion I left in the man that loved me, the sadness that almost drove him mad, has given me reason to work harder to ensure that I never do that to another person again.  To look in my own eyes and see the years of neglect and self-inflicted abuse and to know deep down that I was worth more and pushed me to reach for just that.  With forgiveness from God, my loved ones, and myself I have been able ato walk this path of recovery and redemption.

After years of abusing others and myself I now cherish both.  Only through God have I been able to see my future.  God removed my head from the sand and the blindfold from my eyes.  At first my eyes burnt, but after a while I began to regain my focus.  I learned again how to live and how to love.  Because I have been forgiven much, I can now forgive much.  I know fully what unconditional love is because people have taught me how to listen by listening to me.  My road is not fully traveled and now I have a new pair of walking shoes, new and comfortable.  Through God I began to repair myself one fragile piece at a time.  My restoration is not yet complete, but then God is not yet done with me.

I am grateful to still be a work in progress!

–Jordyn Cahill

My Name Is Mindy – Mindy Parker

My name is Mindy.  I was a drug addict for 20 years.  My lifestyle led me to prison.  Prison is basically human warehousing.  Where little is offered for rehabilitation and leaves you feeling worthless, hopeless and in despair.  The only hope people have in prison are programs that come in to volunteer like xtreme SOULutions who teach about God’s forgiveness, God’s love, that God has a plan for each one of our lives and that there is hope.  Being a part of xtreme SOULutions has been a true blessing from God.  They came to me at the lowest point in my life and taught me Biblical that broke strong holds on my life.  Their mentorship has given me great encouragement and help upon and after release.  They helped obtain a full wardrobe and shoes, household items, hygiene, dishes, furniture, access to a computer for employment search and introduced me to the employer I am blessed to currently work for.  They check on me often taking me out to lunch.  They are always only a phone call away if I need something, for prayer, or just to talk.  They not only teach Biblical principles but also live them.  They don’t care whats in my past knowing and pointing out that I have Jesus’ forgiveness.  They only care about what I want to do with my life in Christ and how they can help me succeed.  God has truly blessed me through this program.  They helped me to see that I’m not a bad person just made some bad decisions.  I am forever grateful to xtreme SOULutions.

–Mindy J. Parker