By Julie Hasling
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” I John 5:11 (NIV)
While it may seem like an unlikely place for a miracle, for a humbled heart, it was the perfect setting for Jesus to do His most impressive work! For Jay Chaisson there would be no religion or hype, just a sincere soul reaching out to Jesus at the same time Jesus was reaching out to him!
Six months into his 23-year sentence at Dixon Correctional Institute in Jackson, LA, Jay began to pursue God like never before. In the process of searching for a priest, he ran into a man who told him that he didn’t need a priest to get to God—he could just go to Jesus himself.
The Lord promises us in Jeremiah 29:13, “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. (NLT) Plain and simple, this is what happened for Jay! Armed with this new knowledge, Jay reached out to the Lord wholeheartedly in his heart and mind…and found Him! In his encounter with Christ, Jay became Born Again, and embarked on a new life of freedom and purpose through a living relationship with Jesus Christ.
Jay says, “That was the best choice I have ever made in my life! I thank God for prison because it helped to change me and make me a better man. Although at the beginning, I could not understand it would be a minor setback for a major comeback!”
In his most trying times during those years, Jay found hope and comfort in Mathew 6:33, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (NLT) “That scripture help turn my whole life around!” Jay exclaims.
Putting this verse into practice, Jay gathered and mentored the inmates around him in a bible study group and soon became the lead minister. As the years went by, Jay continued to put the Lord’s interests first and things turned around for him! His sentence was reduced from 23 years to just 10. While serving the Lord in prison, Jay prayed for a godly wife and upon release, he met and married Jessica. They now have a son whom Jay says is a miracle child.
Today God’s favor continues to rest upon Jay as he is the owner of two businesses, “Suave House Beauty Salon” and “Virtuous Business Consulting LLC.” And in an effort to give back, He founded “Year Round Open Door Ministries,” a local 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that aids newly released inmates both materially and spiritually, taking them from incarceration to civilization to sanctification. This organization provides clothing, food, gift cards, book bags and bibles to ex-inmates and provides toys and school supplies for their children.
Year Round Open Door Ministries accepts men’s clothing, food, gift cards of any kind and duffle bags. They are currently searching for and in need of a house or building they can turn into a transitional home for the newly released who need shelter during the process of reentry into the community. If you or someone you know has a home they can donate, please contact Year Round Open Door Ministries through their website at yearroundopendoorministriesinc.org,
Facebook at facebook.com/yearroundopendoorministries/, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Jay Chaisson at 337-501-1677.