“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 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.