Bryan’s Alpha Story

“I should not be here. I should not be alive. I should not be free.”

The stories we hear about the myriad ways lives are transformed from brokenness to wholeness because someone offered a space for honest conversations are incredible, and we love sharing them with you.

Bryan’s story is just one example of this, and we wanted to share his story with you.

Bryan’s mother was married six times, and he attended 13 schools because their family moved so often. His stepfathers were often abusive to Bryan and his three sisters. He joined the Army on his seventeenth birthday to escape his home life. 

By age 19, he joined the Special Forces and became a Green Beret. He traveled the world and trained in cryptography, weapons, and counterintelligence. He had the highest security clearance possible from the NSA. Bryan thought he had it all, but he began living a double life filled with guilt.

“I developed a taste for vice,” Bryan said. “I loved alcohol and women. There were two sides of me—the fighter and patriot who would give his life for his country and the sick and twisted man who would give his life for pleasure.”

“I gave up all ethics and morals,” he said. “I lived a twisted and troubled life. … I was recruited by the CIA. The world was given to me on a silver platter, yet I chose to destroy all of it for pleasure. As a Green Beret, I could get anything I wanted, and I did.”

Bryan was incarcerated 10 times and spent most of his adult life on parole. While in prison, he attended an Alpha that was led by volunteers and provided for free.

“If it were not for Alpha, I would not be here today.”

– Bryan

“If it were not for Alpha, I would not be here today,” Bryan said. “I am so deeply grateful for the people of Alpha who helped me find my place in this world. I have lived with so much shame and guilt to the point of giving up all hope.”

When Bryan attended Alpha, he found a group of people who welcomed him and gave him space to reflect and process. Through his experience at Alpha, he was able to find new hope and purpose in the life and sacrifice that Jesus demonstrated.

“I brought the ashes of my life into the doors of Alpha and walked out with the ashes of my life covered by innocent blood,” Bryan said.”I know what the resurrection is because I have been resurrected from the dead. I was dead in my sins until Christ came to life. If I am anything, I am nothing. I am a miracle of God’s grace.”

This is the type of life transformation that is possible through the amazing love of Jesus. God uses Alpha to connect with people from all over the world in a variety of circumstances. Whether it is someone who is in the depths of despair, like Bryan, or someone you may know who is just floating through the monotony of life asking, “Is there more to life than this?” Alpha continues to provide a space for people to encounter the love of Jesus in a uniquely gentle and profound way.

If you are interested in learning more about how running Alpha can help you create spaces for honest conversations about faith, click here.

Name Alpha USA in your Will

If you are writing your will for the first time, revising your existing plans, or own investment or retirement accounts or life insurance policies, please consider including Alpha USA among your charitable beneficiaries. In your will, you can name Alpha USA the beneficiary of a set amount, a percentage of your estate, or a percentage of your residual estate after you have taken care of your loved ones. If you have already written your will, it is usually very easy to create a codicil, or amendment, to your will. A codicil with specific changes, witnessed and notarized, is typically accepted into probate with the original will. If you need specific language to include in your will, contact the Vice President of Development at 1-800-362-5742 or kylewallace@alphausa.org.

Annuities and Other Life Income Gifts

Alpha USA can help you establish a charitable gift annuity that will pay you or a loved one an annual income for life. The remainder of the investment, when you no longer need it, goes to Alpha USA.

If you are a younger donor, a deferred gift annuity can help you plan for your retirement. By investing now and deferring the start of income payments until you reach retirement age, your initial investment has more time to grow.

In either case, the donor receives a tax deduction for part of the initial investment, plus a guaranteed revenue stream that is partially tax-free. Alpha USA receives the remainder. Each charitable gift annuity is unique to the circumstances of the donor. To learn more, discuss your options, or receive a customized annuity illustration, please contact the Vice President of Development at 1-800-362-5742 or kylewallace@alphausa.org.

IRA and Stock Gifts

Owners of Individual Retirement Accounts must begin taking Required Minimum Distributions at age 70 1⁄2. After that, a permanent tax provision allows you to make gifts to Alpha USA and other qualified charities directly from your IRA. These gifts are subtracted from your Required Minimum Distributions and do not count as revenue on your taxes. Because this type of gift actually reduces your income, it offers tax benefits even if you do not itemize your deductions.

Giving stock directly to Alpha USA may allow you to increase your gift and your tax deduction. When you give stock shares, you generally take a tax deduction for the full fair market value, which may be more than your original investment. Giving stock may offer significant advantage over giving cash, or selling your appreciated securities and contributing the after-tax proceeds.

Please contact Finance at 1-800-362-5742 and let us know the type of stock and the number of shares you plan to donate. This will allow us to properly track your donation and ensure that it is transferred correctly and that you are properly credited and acknowledged.

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