For the love of God...
From the lowly place of the prison cell, Steve found himself searching and crying out if there really was a God or not?
"From the moment of arrest I thought it was nightmare. But every time I woke up in that cell, I realised that it was reality! But now, looking back on things, I realise that there was a God and he never took His hand off me. That has taught me a valuable lesson in life!
I cried out to this so called God so much ,waiting for the prison wall to shrink or something but it never did; But then I did saw things slowly start to change for the better, and answers to prayer. I think most people have the mentality of a 'microwave prayer life', but I slowly started to notice that when I was patient, he provided. He was dealing with my heart you see, deep within. From one day having a scrap (that wasn't my fault) playing prison football, and being put into solitary confinement, I was offered a dirty job ripping up the old prison floors, but then finding favour with a guard. He said if I did this dirty job, then I was allowed to be out of my cell for most of the day and play lots more sport! The Lord shines on the righteous, and I was slowly starting to see this.
There wasn't a flash of light or an audible voice, but I just started recognising his ways, as I started to notice the re-birthing of the God given gifts, that I was now starting to see ,were already given as a a child. Sometimes we have to be taken to those places to really recognise what God can do in our lives! ...And the gifts that he has already instilled in us from birth.
My brother soon came to visit me in the Dutch prison and to my surprise brought me an acoustic guitar. He simply made me believe in myself by saying that I was writing some really deep and meaningful letters home, and said, he knew that I could sing from a young age. (mainly from singing Madness and Police songs at the Boys Brigade summer camps, and attending and singing at the local church, but with more of an eye that the lovely Girls Brigade would be there!)
The next thing I knew I was moved to a more open prison for the last year, callied Norgerhaven, in Veenhuizen, in North Holland, and that is where I met my good friend and fellow musician, Angelo Croes.https://www.facebook.com/angelo.croes.5?ref=ts&fref=ts Things were getting better...
So we had more freedom there, and Angelo was a sometimes annoying pain in the side, that would encourage me to write songs and find melodies that he would madly try and find an engaging strumming pattern for. Then we met our good friend, (Chico) Jullien. He was an ex session bass player from Brazil, that like me, had been caught drug trafficking. Only, Chico's drugs were hidden in the base of his shoes! ...now they must have been heavy boots!! For me though Chico was the one that added the flair and he would find that magical riff, like we used with the chime sound in our old song that we have finally, recently recorded called, Nino. It really was a place of rehabilitation and a refuge where the Lord kept his hand on me, and guided me.
Even after prison there was the temptation to get back involved in crime but the pull of the sunny south came when my Christian brother, Russ McLean introduced some lame prison demo cassette tapes, to a fantastic, professional and local drummer called, Michael Bettell.
So the Lords hand was in it, yet again. On one hand there was the bait of Satan and on the other, the hand of the Lord.
I still hadn't fully committed to a Christian lifestyle though until I met my lovely beautiful wife to be Donna, at a local church home group that I was attending. By this point I was really starting to sense more and more, a peace that was so beautiful. After coming out of a brief and painful relationship, the Lord provided again, with something far more beautiful than I could have ever imagined, a wife!
So the commitment, was made back at her flat, there and then, and although life hasn't always been a bed of roses, I am now so grateful to God for not forsaking me and keeping his hand on me even when I was pulling the wrong way! I have to thank him for our 3 lovely kids, and I am really blessed by what he has done in all of our lives and is continuing to do, day by day."