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Tom is a SOON reader in prison in Nigeria

At the age of 13 I went to live with my uncle, who sent me to school. I did well at school, but there I met some boys who taught me to steal. They were older than I was, so I did everything they told me, even though I knew I was doing wrong.

My uncle found out

Whenever I got home from school, I went to my uncle's room and stole money from his purse. Then I went with the older boys to a club where we spent the money. Soon my uncle found out what I was doing. He told me, "Stop, this is not the right way to live!" But I did not do what he said. Instead, I ran away from his house. My life became worse. I began to steal from people's houses and to take bad drugs. I even learned how to use a gun. My crimes became violent. By the time I was 15, the thing I was best at was violent crime!

I went to prison

When I was aged 20, I was caught by the police and taken to court. "You must go to prison for three years," said the judge.

Then some Christian people came to the prison to tell us about Jesus Christ. Every word they said made me think about my life and all the wrong things I had done. Some of the friends I met in prison were also followers of Jesus. They told me that I could know God and how Jesus came into the world to die so that I could be forgiven. I learned that Jesus died to take the punishment that I deserved, for all the things I had done wrong.

As I heard all these things, I began to feel different. I asked God to forgive me. It was the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. Now I am teaching all that I have learned to others in the prison.