My name is Ernie Quillin and this is my testimony. I was released from prison in January 2014. I did 33 years of life sentence. I was sent to prison for murder and robbery, I was a very violent and lost man. In 2005 I was in the hole in San Quentin, I was so tired of life that I was thinking of suicide but something (now I know it was God) told me to pray. So I starting praying and at first I thought this was just a waste of time. Then I started feeling a since of calmness and peace, I didn’t know what to call it but I knew it was something I needed. Soon after confessing everything and asking God to forgive me and come into my life. I started crying because I was so happy, I didn’t know if I wanted to laugh or cry so I did both. After a while I started to get tired but I was afraid to stop praying because I thought God would go away and I’d be right back to where I started. But, I finally fell asleep and when I woke up He was still there, Praise God!
I went to the board in 2013 to see if I could get parole, before I went in to see them they put me in a small cell and I had time to think and pray. I told God that I wanted to get out of prison very much. But, if He had something for me to do there I was willing to stay. I turned it all over to Him, and He let me out.
I didn’t have any place to parole to, or a job. But, I had been accepted into the New Life Program at the Modesto Gospel Mission, this is where I’m currently at now. When I got out of prison I didn’t know how to do anything. I was lost, I didn’t know how to function in the free world. In prison they tell you what to do and when to do it. So, I was not very good at making decisions. I had to get a Social Security card and an ID. I didn’t know the first thing about doing this. Chaplain Zack took me to the Social Security Office and helped me through that process. I didn’t know the first thing about starting a Savings account and Chaplain Woody took me to the Bank and helped me. I didn’t know how to use an ATM and Chaplain Woody helped me with that too.
I hadn’t seen my Dad in 33 years, so the Mission Chaplains Woody and Corey took me to Fresno to see him. They also took me to see my kids and I got to see my grandchildren for the first time.
I would like to first Thank God for getting me here and thank the Mission and all the Staff for helping me adjust to the real world and giving me the tools to live a good life. Maybe one day I can be a Blessing to someone else. I’d also like to thank all the people who support the Modesto Gospel Mission because without them, I wouldn’t be here. There will be other guys getting out of prison, I hope they have the same opportunity to come here as I have. Your money and time are not wasted, I am a new man in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.