Although he generally hates talking about himself or his past, Terry Wilcox humbly and transparently shares the amazing journey of his life with Jesus. Terry explains the decisions that set the course for his life–accepting Jesus, surrendering his life to the Holy Spirit and telling God he would embrace any opportunity God provided to talk about Him–and he reveals the incredible adventures that were in God’s plan for a “farm boy from Western Pennsylvania who barely got through college”. Terry also shares the conclusions of a life lived fully with Jesus–God is faithful and His grace is sufficient.
With great humility and vulnerability, Richard Williams shares his amazing journey “from selfishness to servanthood . . . from death to life”. After talking about growing up in a loving home of 13 children with a mother who cared for everyone and a father who learned to read at 54, Williams explains how the desire to “succeed” and “fit in” as a college graduate in a professional career led him to years of drug addiction that eventually destroyed his “successful life” and even his relationships with his family.
He then tells us about the amazing journey back to “life” that began when he arrived at Pivot Ministries in Bridgeport, CT. Richard transparently shares his 12-year transformation from a new Pivot student whose life was “all about me” to the Executive Director of the ministry–a position that is “all about the well-being of others”.
With the humility of a man who has been broken, the authenticity and faith of a man who has been re-made, and the charm and wit of a man who was the first Connecticut governor to be elected to three terms since 1784, John Rowland shares the journey that led him to work for Prison Fellowship Ministries.
Rowland explains how life’s crises, including his two experiences with incarceration and the loss of a child to an opioid overdose, led him to consider the words of Chuck Colson, “God has to break us to re-make us.” Rowland found himself reflecting on what he had done with the hardships and what God’s purpose and plan was for him–asking, “Now what do I do?”. Rowland also shares the moment when, facing the prospect of returning to prison, he felt hopeless and how one simple sentence from his daughters made all the difference.
Finally, Rowland tells about his realization in prison that he had many blessings waiting for him when he returned home–a family, finances, friends, a home–and that many of his fellow inmates had none of these. Rowland shares about his commitment to do something about their situation and how he trusted God to steer him in the right direction after he was released. God steered him to Prison Fellowship.
Paul Plouffe shares, with extraordinary transparency and authenticity, the story of his life in three stages he calls “Building the Box”, “Maintaining the Box” and “Dismantling the Box in Christ”. In “Building the Box”, Paul explains how he created an identity in a family environment that included a father and an uncle who were boxers. He shows how our identity is a reflection of what we see in those closest to us–parents, relatives, friends, community. We select or de-select features that we want to emulate or avoid as we create a “me”. Plouffe then explains how he struggled to “maintain the Box” through life in the face of tension, opposition and new challenges. Finally, he shares how he has been exchanging his identity, piece by piece, at the Cross for a new identity–an eternal identity in which each of us is “just anudder brudder”.
Below is the Plouffe Family Mission mentioned in Paul’s talk as well as a link to a document he shared about Christian meditation.