After

I want to take a few minutes to introduce the main character of this story. His name is Ricky Sinclair. I knew Ricky about 20 years ago when we attended school together in Woodville, Mississippi. Although I had heard some things about him over the years, I hadn’t seen Ricky since those early school days. A mutual friend of ours told me that Ricky had been saved. In February 1996, 1 decided to stop by his house in Wakefield, Louisiana, for a visit. He answered the door saying, “Hey! How are you doing? How about Jesus?”

Needless to say, Ricky Sinclair is a Christian well, needless to anyone who has seen Ricky in the last 10 years. Prior to his experience with Jesus 10 years ago, Ricky Sinclair was everything but a Christian. This book takes you on a journey through his life: drugs, jail, escape from jail, return to jail, his life changing salvation experience, prison, and some post conversion life experiences.

Ricky has been a great friend to me. He is truly one of those friends that I can count on one hand. I am certain that God has put us back together for a reason, and I know that this book is a large part of that reason. I was unemployed in February when I stopped by to see Ricky. He was a great encouragement to me. I went to church with him the next day, and he urged me to become a part of their congregation. Ricky also teaches Bible study in his home, and I soon became a regular part of their group. Within a couple of months, he had secured me a job with his employer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In June he helped me pack up and move to Baton Rouge.

Between work and church, I’ve really spent a lot of time with Ricky. I’ve really gotten to know him well. I’ve learned that he’s solid for Jesus. Always! Everywhere! He’s not flaky, shaky, or faky. He’s real, and he never fails to mention Jesus to anyone. If you’ve talked to Ricky over the last 10 years, I’m sure that he’s asked you about Jesus. He’ll say something like: “ Do you know jesus?” If your answer is no, he’ll proceed to tell you how Jesus has changed his life. If your answer is yes, he’ll say: “Do you know how to lead someone in a sinner’s prayer?” He’s truly a general in the Army of God.

A few months ago, Ricky and I went deep sea fishing out of Fourchon on the Louisiana coast. I tell you this, Ricky is a bona fide tough guy. He’ll fish for 48 hours straight. No sleep! He has his own boat and fishes 30 miles out. It’s a regular routine for him, but I haven’t been back.

Along with being bold and tough, he also has a heart full of love. We picked up a hitch hiker one day while working together. Ricky gave the guy a $20 bill and then shared his personal testimony. I also shared my testimony. Ricky led him in a sinner’s prayer, gave him a Bible, and then drove him to his destination, Natchez, Mississippi- a mere 120 miles out of our way. No problem. This is just normal, everyday stuff for Ricky. On another day, we met a lady that had fallen on hard times. She didn’t have any food for her kids. We drove her to the grocery store, let her shop for 30 minutes, and then Ricky paid for her groceries.

Ricky is really blessed. He has a great wife and two wonderful kids. He has a good job, works hard, and uses his money to bless others. During the summer, I saw him give a car to someone. He’s unbelievably generous but likewise blessed. He recently took legal custody of a teenager who was in need of a dad. In order to get custody, Jeannie (Ricky’s wife) had to go see the same judge that had sentenced Ricky to prison years ago. I’m sure that it was quite a meeting.

Being familiar with Ricky’s testimony, I began to encourage him to write a book. He wasn’t too keen on the idea at first; he didn’t think that anybody would be interested. I argued that his story was very interesting and told him I would write it. He finally agreed. We bought a tape recorder and started writing. Our objective from the onset has been to glorify God. We also wanted the book to be clear, concise, and accurate. I believe that we have achieved that goal.

Though others have been through similar experiences, it is the ending that makes this a great story. We surely hope that you enjoy reading it, and that you find it to be in keeping with the mission that Jesus gave to the church:

“….to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.” 

(Acts 26:18 NKJ)

Gerald Johnston