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Real-life stories: Perpetrating violence or crime

“Regularly Carrying £25k To £50k In Drugs And Cash, People Want To Rob You”

Many of the people from Steve Rawlins old life are either dead or in prison. This fact makes Steve even more passionate about telling how his life was transformed by God.

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Steve now works for PECAN, a London charity. Their aim is to help stop ex-offenders going back to crime and to help them find stable work. Steve is also an active member of transformed.org.uk, a church-based ministry in Brixton, run by Pastor Frank Brookes.

‘We need the power of God to transform lives and there are many broken lives out there’, says Steve.  

Steve became a Christian while in prison serving a 13 year sentence for drugs trafficking. Her served 7 years and was released in 2003. You can listen to Steve tell his story on the transformed website or on www.youtube.com/transformedlives

Here is part of that story.

‘My Mother brought us up. I was the oldest of three and I took on a lot of responsibility in the family. By the age of 13 I was out there earning my own pocket money with three paper rounds. We had no roof over our heads, so Mum and us lived in a squat. At school I got involved with lots of fights. I suppose it was the frustration of my life and not having a Father figure.

Inevitably I started to mix with older guys who were involved in drugs and crime. From the age of 13-14 I was smoking cannabis on a regular basis. That escalated into harder drugs, like ecstasy and cocaine. I got involved with gangs and took part in robberies and drug trafficking.

We did a post office, a security van and then prison. Whilst there I made sure to get all the contacts for when I got out, so if I could not get a job, I could still make money. Prison was no deterrent. I came out and got involved with promoting the acid rave scene and dealing ecstasy. Then, I met a herion and crack dealer I knew from prison – his street name was ‘Wizard’. We got really involved in witchcraft, the occult and New Age stuff.

If you’re regularly carrying £25k to £50k in drugs and cash, people want to rob you. There was an incident when someone pulled a gun on me – I was using witchcraft at the time – and it was as if everything stood still. By the time things started again, the tables were turned and the gun was in my hand. I was very anti-Christian and wondered why I didn’t see this kind of power in the church. “If Jesus was God, you’d see the power” – so I thought I worshipped the real god.

While in prison expecting 10-14 years, I heard them call “Bible Studies”. I went and gave them a really hard time. As I left, 2 guys approached me and they understood all I’d said about witchcraft. I was confused about how they could be Christians, and for the first time, I listened to Christians. I’d meet them in the exercise yard and discussed the Bible.

One evening, I read the Bible in my cell and tears came to my eyes with the realisation of who I’d been worshipping (Satan), but also knowing the grace that God offers those who repent and accept that Jesus died for their sins. I gave my life to Christ, and life, it has never been the same.'

Steve served 13 years in prison. During that time he has attended an Alpha course and eventually became a course leader, God helped him use his time to strengthen his faith. Towards the end of his sentence, Steve met Pastor Frank Brookes who was able to mentor him while inside and help him on his release.

‘Now I work for PECAN and manage prison resettlement programmes. I’ve been into prisons, giving others hope in Christ and meeting with government ministers. God is good!’

Steve Rawlins, 2009

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Email Pastor Frank Brookes at: frank@transformed.org.uk
Transformed meetings take place monthly at: Raleigh Park Baptist Church, Arodene Road, Brixton, SW2 2BH
For more info on PECAN, visit: www.pecan.org.uk

Story and pictures reproduced by courtesy of Challenge Newsline

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