'I enjoyed the adrenalin of being chased by the police'
Jordan explains how Jesus lifted him out of a life of drugs, crime and prison to find hope, prayer and love ...
Church Army – “… go and make disciples” Matthew 28:19
Bringing people to a living faith in Jesus Christ is at the heart of our ONE series, as we celebrate how God is impacting people throughout this nation and share their stories. Here, Jordan (pictured top) talks about his turbulent past, and how Jesus lifted him out of a life of drugs, crime and prison to a life of hope, prayer and love
“My name is Jordan and I’m 22 years old. I have a little boy and a partner and I live in North Greenwich. I work in demolition and construction and I enjoy it.
“My life growing up was quite a struggle. I have five brothers and four sisters. When we were young, it was just my mother bringing up 10 kids on her own – none of our dads were ever there. The estate we lived on was full of crime, drugs and gang culture, there was no way of getting away from it. I was mixed up with older guys and I started getting into drugs and stealing things, such as cars and motorbikes. I enjoyed the adrenalin of being chased by the police.
“I ended up in prison when I was 14. I prayed for my early release from prison and it happened. I came out in 2008, when I was 16. I never want to go back, I would never go back.
“I’ve been in and out of work since then, but I wouldn’t turn to crime again. I like going to work – you’ve gone out all week, sweated for it, and earned your money. I am only 22, but I feel about 40 because of all that I’ve gone through. You learn from these sorts of things, I suppose. I’m not proud of what my life has been, but it’s made me a better person today and it has made me stronger. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
“I’ve known [Church Army Evangelist] Nick Russell (right) since I was seven and I had my eighth birthday party at his house. We’ve had a good relationship since then, really, he gives me good advice. If he can help you out in any way, shape or form, he will – Nick would never turn his back on you. He’s been like a dad to me. I don’t think I would be where I am today if it wasn’t for Nick.
“When I look back, I realise how reckless I was. I never used to think before I acted; now I think about consequences. I’m not doing great in life but I’m hanging on, I’m paving my way. It’s a great feeling inside to know that I am making progress. Some of my mates are still out there, doing the same stuff. I am trying to encourage the people at the estate to take some courses, get work ...
“With my family, we’re not that tight, but I have my own little family now. My three-year-old son Harley, he’s a funny little kid, very lively – I love him to bits. Being a father has taught me a lot.
“Knowing Jesus has really transformed me. I think differently about other people, I can’t be horrible to them and I feel happy inside. Just with random people on the street, I say: ‘G’day mate!’
“I pray all the time now. When I came out of jail, I started participating in more programmes with Nick. I help out with the SuperKidz and little gatherings on Sunday, where we have tea and Bible readings. When Harley is older, it would be nice for him to participate in the same services I take part in.
“When I pray, it’s hard to explain, but you feel something inside, and also in your mind. If you’re a believer yourself, you’ll understand what I mean. A lot of people say ‘seeing is believing’ but it’s not really about that – it’s about having faith and believing in him and he’ll believe in you.”
How you can help
There are Church Army evangelists like Nick Russell working with young people like Jordan on housing estates and in deprived communities all around the country. Your gift will help us to reach out to even more children, teenagers and young people as we guide them in their footsteps of faith.