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Receiving a Hunger for God

Rick grew up in a Florida migrant worker family with the odds stacked against him. He slid into a life of crime and got a 30 year sentence, but an encounter with Jesus at a prison chapel changed everything. Read Transcript


I THOUGHT I WOULD WIND UP

IN PRISON FOR THE REST OF MY

LIFE, OR WIND UP DEAD ON THE

STREETS.

Reporter: ONE OF NINE

CHILDREN, RICK WAS BORN TO

MIGRANT WORKS IN FLORIDA.

HIS FATHER DIED WHEN HE WAS

JUST FOUR, AND HE AND HIS

SIBLINGS HAD TO PICK CROPS

TO SURVIVE.

WE WOULD GET OUT OF

SCHOOL AT 3:00, AND WE WOULD

GO TO WORK OUT IN THE

FIELDS.

AND WE WOULD WORK UNTIL

SUNDOWN.

I REALLY DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO

STUDY.

Reporter: THE FAMILY

TRAVELLED UP AND DOWN THE

EAST COAST, FOLLOWING THE

HARVEST.

THE NOMADIC LIFESTYLE WAS

HARD, AND HE STILL FELT THE

PAIN OF LOSING HIS FATHER.

I FELT EMPTY INSIDE

BECAUSE I KNEW THERE WAS

SOMETHING MISSING IN MY

LIFE.

AND I REALLY DIDN'T KNOW

WHAT IT WAS.

AND THAT'S WHERE MY LIFE GOT

OFF TRACK, WAS LOOKING FOR

SOMETHING TO FULFILL THAT

EMPTINESS.

Reporter: THAT SEARCH

LED TO A NUMBER OF BAD

CHOICES.

WHEN HE WAS 11, RICK BECAME

A DRUG RUNNER FOR HIS

NEIGHBOR.

PEOPLE WOULD BE LOOKING

FOR SOMEONE, AND THESE GUYS

ARE WAY OLDER THAN ME.

AND THEY WOULD ASK ME, DO I

KNOW WHERE?

AND I WOULD SAY YES.

THEY WOULD GIVE ME THE

MONEY, AND I WOULD GO GET IT

FOR THEM.

Reporter: RICK OFTEN

STOLE TO SUPPORT HIS DRUG

HABITS.

AFTER ONE ARREST FOR THEFT,

RICK WAS SENT TO LIVE WITH A

FOSTER FAMILY IN WEST PALM

BEACH.

THEY WERE WEALTHY, AND RICK

THOUGHT ALL OF HIS PROBLEMS

WERE OVER.

THEY WOULD HELP ME WITH

MY SCHOOL WORK, GIVE ME

ALLOWANCES, AND THEY WOULD

BUY ME WHAT I WANTED.

> I THOUGHT, MAYBE THIS IS

WHAT I NEED.

MAYBE THE EMPTINESS IS GOING

TO BE FULFILLED.

Reporter: BUT MATERIAL

POSSESSIONS WEREN'T ENOUGH

TO CHANGE RICK'S HEART.

AFTER A YEAR, HE RAN AWAY

AND WENT BACK TO WINTER

HAVEN TO LIVE WITH HIS

MOTHER.

I WOULD SEE THE OLDER

FOLKS DRINKING, GETTING

HIGH, HAVE THEIR CARS.

I GOT DEEP INTO CRIME,

DEEPER THAN I WANTED TO BE.

I GOT OFFERS FROM TRAFFIC

TRAFFICKING DRUGS TO TAKING

STOLEN VEHICLES ACROSS THE

BORDER TO MEXICO.

Reporter: IN AND OUT OF

COURTS AND JAIL, RICK WAS

EVENTUALLY CHARGED AS A

HABITUAL CRIMINAL AND

SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS IN

PRISON.

ONCE IN PRISON, RICK BEGAN A

SPIRITUAL QUEST.

IN PRISON, YOU HAVE SO

MANY RELIGIONS.

I GOT BOMBARDED WITH THEM.

I SAID, GOD, I WANT TO KNOW

THE TRUTH.

THE HOLY SPIRIT, CLEAR AS

DAY, POINTED MY FACE TOWARDS

THE BIBLE.

HE SAID, YOU WANT TO KNOW

THE TRUTH?

THERE IS THE TRUTH.

Reporter: SO RICK BEGAN

READING HIS BIBLE.

AND THEN HE WENT TO A

WEEKEND OF PRAYER AND PRAISE

AT THE CHAPEL.

I SAID, GOD, IF YOU'RE

REAL, CHANGE ME.

I'M NOT ASKING YOU TO GET ME

OUT OF PRISON.

I'M ASKING YOU TO CHANGE MY

LIFE.

I COULDN'T HOLD BACK

ANYMORE.

I FELT LIKE SOMEONE HAD

STUCK THEIR HAND IN MY CHEST

AND STARTED MASSAGING MY

HEART.

Reporter: DURING THE

PRAISE AND WORSHIP TIME,

SOMETHING IN RICK FINALLY

BROKE.

I DROPPED DOWN WITH MY

FACE IN MY HANDS, AND I JUST

STARTED CRYING.

FROM THAT MOMENT ON, I'VE

HAD A HUNGER WITH GOD, TO

SHARE GOD WITH PEOPLE.

TO GET INTO HIS WORD AND

HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH

HIM.

Reporter: OVER THE

YEARS, RICK GREW IN HIS

FAITH.

THEN AFTER SERVING ONLY 12

YEARS OF HIS 30-YEAR

SENTENCE,UE H, HE WAS

RELEASED ON PAROLE.

HE MARRIED PAULA AND THEY

HAVE THREE CHILDREN.

AND HE IS BACK IN FLORIDA,

WORKING WITH HIS MOTHER.

HE ALSO SERVES AS A

SUBSTITUTE PASTOR IN HIS

LOCAL CHURCH.

HE HAS BLESSED ME BEYOND

WHAT I DESERVE.

THAT'S WHY I GIVE HIM ALL

GLORY AND BLESSING BECAUSE I

DON'T KNOW WHERE I'D BE

WITHOUT JESUS CHRIST.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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