Story of "Happy Jack" Burbridge
"I've been in a number of prisons.
Attica, less than a year after the bloody riots.
San Quentin, a couple of times, the second
time with my whole family. A number of other prisons,
When I go in, I always follow Johnny Cash's
advice, "just tell them you care, and don't preach to
I usually go at least one step further and let them know that it's because I'm a Christian that I care.
In the back of my mind,I'm always remembering
that Jesus promised He would ask us, when we stood
The part of that, that gets me is that Jesus
identifies with the prisoner! And after many visits, I'm
There are Jesus people in every prison.
In many cases, they were Christians before
they got there, but didn't allow Jesus to guide their lives.
Others have become believers while in prison.
In almost every correctional facility or prison in the
That's where Happy Jack comes in.
If you ever needed a dramatic example of
how much Jesus loves the unlovable, and how He can
I met Jack Burbridge some years back, and
was impressed with the dramatic change in his life and the
Maybe Jesus uses people like Jack as wonderful
examples that He can change anybody, that no one is
He deserves the name "Happy Jack"- because
he's got everything in the world to be happy about And
By his own admission, Jack Burbridge was
once "as mean as a snake." Tall, muscular and blessed with
Jack was in some kind of trouble all during
his days in the service and even before. Offered the job of
This earned him the admiring nickname "Happy
Jack." For awhile, all went well. Jack had money and
Some real believers in the Lord were praying
for Jack at this time. Finally, the Holy Spirit used the
This is "Happy Jack's" startling story,
sent forth for a double purpose, to encourage those behind bars
The sound of metal on metal broke the stillness
of a dark street in Mishawaka, Indiana. A hub
"Hey! Who's out there?" A man's voice came suddenly out of the darkness.
"Let's go!" my buddy whispered, his voice frantic. "Somebody heard us! Hurry!"
Our footsteps echoed on the sidewalk as
lights flickered on in a nearby house. We vanished
"Do you think he saw us?" one of my friends
asked when we finally stopped to catch our
We waited for someone to follow. But no one did.
I was just 13 years old when I began stealing
hub caps with my friends. By the time I was 15
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