God Spared his Life to Save his Life

Imagine walking literally through wall of fire and surviving. That’s how God spared Craig’s life in order to save him. In fact, he says God spared his life every time he put a needle into his arm and in more than one occasion.

This is a story of pure salvation — the salvation that only God can bring. 

Craig was stationed for four years at Fort Polk, LA. and left the Army just before 9/11. He wanted to re-enlist, but he was in a high-speed car accident where he broke his neck. (God’s first sparing of his life.) His dream of going back to into the Army was crushed.

He didn’t get hooked on prescription drugs, but, depressed, he turned to alcohol, then weed and eventually to meth.

“It was Hell.” 

He committed his first felony in WY. Mercifully, he got 5-years probation through which he stayed sober. He moved to Arizona after his probation was over, subsequently relapsed and ended up back in prison.

Craig was an agnostic. He blamed God. “Why? Why me? Why now?”

Someone planted the seed that God brought him to prison to save his life.

From 2015 – 2018, he was a member of the prison Wildland Firefighter program.  He found himself fighting a fire and then, quite literally, a real burning bush was coming down the hill towards him – and a wall of fire behind him. He knew that if that bush hit him it would be over. He turned around and ran into the wall of fire.

This is Hell! 

God spared his life yet again.

“When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2b

The guilt of his life finally caught up to him.

“God, I’m not arguing with you. I deserve to go to Hell. Please, God, don’t send me to hell!”

Then he felt the Love of God flow through him.

After receiving Jesus into his heart, he modeled the Christian walk in prison. He felt free — “a visitor passing through” — even in prison.

His cellmate, Mark, told him about House of Refuge Sunnyslope (HRS) and they both wrote to us. They’re still housemates in one of our houses where men in good standing “move up” to have their own bedroom.

Baptized!

He fell in love with First Christian Church of Phoenix (FCC) the first day he attended service. The people lovingly greeted him and welcomed him into the church family.

“Baptism is a marriage of His Christianity.”

Craig was baptized in front of his FCC church family on Sunday, March 25. Below is his Baptism Testimony, a video that FCC records for all those being baptized.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
2 Corinthians 5:17

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Video production by Austin Willard, Visualize More.

Pictured above, Pastor Chuck Foreman, FCC, Craig, and Abel Sambrano, House of Refuge Sunnyslope Men’s Program Manager.

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