Woody’s life is marked by a 20-year revolving door in prison. Violence was the lens through which he saw life since the age of 4. Without a father figure, Woody sought acceptance and approval from his social circles. In high school, he played football which came with its own challenges. “I was running around with the rich kids, smoking and drinking to be accepted.” His attention shifted from sports to gangs. “I was a chameleon, always changing who I was in order to fit in.” Woody shared. His ability to fight gained him acceptance with gangs. A series of armed robbery and possession charges landed him in prison, sentenced 25 to life.
His charges were reduced from life to 9 years, but that wasn’t enough. In 2021, intoxicated and injured, he walked into a detox at College Hospital in Costa Mesa. Looking back now, he knows the Lord was walking with him and keeping him safe. From there, Woody’s track led him to Grandpa’s House where he met NorthEast of the Well. Bobby, one of our Bible teachers with a similar story, has been walking alongside him ever since. Soon after, Woody attended his first NorthEast gathering and continues to faithfully attend. Woody emphasized “When I walk through the doors of NorthEast, I experience love and acceptance, it’s real. God sent a ladder down to pull me out and said, Son, you can do it.” Woody credits his mom and grandmother for being his backbone through it all. He stands on Psalm 23.