I really wanted to meet Chuck Colson. (For those who don’t know who Chuck is: Chuck got locked-up because he was a part of the Watergate scandal with President Nixon. While he was in jail he gave his life to Christ and then started what is know the largest prison fellowship ministry in the world with about 50,000 volunteers.)
The weird connection I had to meeting him was because of someone who i thought was in his ministry, Catherine Rohr. She was a six figure Wall-Streeter who gave it all up because God pulled her to use the gifts of venture capitalism to help locked-up crack dealers start businesses.
May sound funny but it is true. The Executive Summary for the program starts out stating “One hundred thousand dollars in sales per week … 90% net margin … 90% repeat business … On an investment banking teaser, this company profile would have generated widespread interest among the investment community—had the core product not been crack cocaine.
This resonates with me because this was my life. Young in life I bought into the world’s view that went like this MONEY+THINGS=HAPPINESS.
It started the first time I was in seventh grade starting off selling weed then escalating in high school were I was mainly hustling crack. This drug had great brand loyalty and huge profit margins. They weren’t what Catherine states at 90% but were about 65%. Still much higher then any business I have ever run or client’s I have managed. But regardless of the profit margins, cars, toys and popularity this pursuit left me hopelessly depressed of ever finding realness and contentment. Then God wiped off the glossy candy coating showing me He was real and cared for me even know I as not “the kid who helped old ladies cross the street.” I then gave it all up and sold out my life and now share what He has giving me with others.
(Well back to the point.) One weekend I thought “what if I could write a book or something to encourage these ex-hustlers to use their gifts in business. Like I’m doing now. If I told some of my muli-million dollar clients I use to hustle crack, I’m not sure they would believe me. But that is the point. If these prisoners who are unbelievably talented business minded people could paint a picture of what they could look like and encouragement on getting there (With Christ only!) CNBC would have nothing else to talk about but ex-crack hustlers changing the world. It would give people like me hope.
Well on Monday day Eric Spence a brand Strategist in Canada sent me a link to the Catherine’s site. I was blown away someone was doing something about this.
This ministry made me very intrigued and i somehow linked it with Chuck.
So I walked past the Zondervan booth and the line was wrapped around the small parking lot of a booth. Even if it wasn’t a long line I’m not sure I would of got a book signed. I just wanted to talk, see his heart and maybe build a relationship.
I went back to the Abiah booth and shared with Lisa (Abiah’s Chief Operating Officer) that I wanted to meet Chuck but I wasn’t sure if it was me just pushing for my own agenda or if it was for God’s plan. So we prayed and I surrendered it to God and asked Him to allow me to meet Chuck if He willed.
It was now about 5:30pm and Chuck was speaking at 7pm. God gave me an idea to give Chuck a present. So I grabbed a case of Callaway golf balls we had at the booth and headed off to grab a bite to eat before the session. On the way Lisa and I got side tracked a few time and lost the guy we were going to eat with. Now about 6:30pm in a last ditch effort to get a bite before he spoke, we headed to the closest hotel we saw.
It was raining and hot. Stuck at a light in front of the hotel I look up and here comes Chuck with what looks like an entourage of secret service all in black pressed suits. One guy was holding an umbrella over Chuck as the rain fell on his owned head. In excitement and absolute reverence of God answering my prayer I quickly unzipped my bag and grabbed the golf balls. When he came up I shook his hand shared a few words and teared up because I know God delivered him by the collar.
What this did was rekindled a fervent love I have for God, my Dad and best friend.
PS. If you have a testimony, share it.