‘I stopped drug dealing and became a Christian’
Claud Jackson, author of ‘Guns to God’, experienced a life of crime and turned it all around after taking an Alpha course and finding faith. Claud’s outlook of money, power and violence has now become a much safer and more humble way of life. We did an interview with Claud and asked him all about his Alpha course and his new outlook on life and his answers are absolutely mesmerising.
So your life with faith started with an Alpha course, could you give us some information on this?
Claud: It's a 10-week course, which is a basic introduction for individuals who might want to come along and get to know about Christianity, there's no pressure, there's no fees, and you don't have to pay anything. In my particular group, there were 12 people and we have a meal, tea and coffee and we’d watch a short video. Then we'll have a discussion time where you can ask questions. At the end of the 10 weeks, I had stopped drug dealing and became a Christian.
I couldn't wait to go back.
When I went along to my first meeting, the lady who was hosting opened the door and she shook my hand and called my name like she knew me. Then the second week rolled around, and I couldn't wait to go back. She greeted me with a hug this time, and I remember thinking I'd never had a normal relationship like this. All my relationships were dysfunctional. I met the co-host, a younger man, and he hugged me too. It was really contradictory to everything I'd ever been taught because where I came from if you complimented someone you were considered weak, let alone if you were a male hugging another male. We get called names. I didn’t even hug my father or my siblings so I thought this man must be really grounded within himself to be able to hug me so boldly.
On week three, I was asked if I'd like to invite Jesus into my life. It was optional. I thought, these happy people who seem so grounded and humble, I'm going to take their god and prove that he doesn't exist. So I'm going to dare him into my life. I closed my eyes, and prayed, I said, I dare you, Jesus. If you're real, I dare you to come into my life, and make a change.
I just fell head over heels in love with Jesus.
I did feel one overwhelming feeling of conviction that there was going to be a change, it was going to happen. The more I read about Jesus, the more I just fell head over heels in love with him and everything he's about. From that point my attraction to walk in the image of Christ was greater than anything else.
So how is your approach to life changed since you started on a new path?
Claud: I don't think less of myself, I just think of myself less. I like to put others needs before that of my own, which I don't get right every day, but I'm still trying. I'm so tired of seeking external valuation, so now I just really live for what fills me with joy. For me, that is time spent seeking Jesus in all areas of my life. Now I'm studying full time theology, and God willing by next June I'll be ordained to the priesthood.