Al Just faced one of the most unjust things possible: he was sent to prison charged and convicted of a murder he did not commit. And the person murdered was his own wife. Al shares his experience in spending nearly 10 years in prison and the opportunities he had to share the Gospel because of it.

Who is Al Just? Al Just is a former Christian school teacher, having taught in Wisconsin and Minnesota before moving his wife and four children to Phoenix, AZ to help start a new Christian high school there. When his wife, Sharon, was brutally murdered in their own home, Al was convicted of the crime, separated from his kids, and sent to a medium security prison. There, he took on a new ministry as God demonstrated in mighty ways that His personal care extended even inside those prison walls.

Since being released, Al has spent years helping ex-prisoners find Christ and re-enter society. Today, Al and his wife Kathy, a therapist, direct Life Change Inc. in Minnesota, a Christian ministry that houses men and families that can’t find housing because of their life stories. Together, Al and Kathy have seven children and 19 grandchildren, and their next bold idea is to start putting on intensive weekend retreats for couples as the need for strong marriages in the Christian church is greater than ever before.

Quotes:

“Just twelve minutes after I was convicted, we can start to see the hand of God and how He goes about taking care of people.” — Al

“The man stood up and asked me if I wanted him to find who killed my wife.” — Al

“When you’re in Medium Custody, you don’t go out and talk to people in churches. And I went out and talked to people in churches.” — Al

“Prison is prison. When you lose everything and got to prison, no matter how easy you have it, it’s prison.” — Al

Action Steps:

  • Al’s steadfastness in his faith in an unbelievably hard circumstance has to be encouraging to those of us facing trials, no matter how big or small.
  • Can you be someone’s John Nelson today? That person who is so loyal, believes someone so thoroughly that you would help them walk through a difficult life event or advocate for them in a years-long, life-changing way?
  • There is no prison for God’s will. Nothing in your life can keep His will from being executed in the world.

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