My name is Lenny Beck, missionary to the correctional department. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was 22 years old. In 1987 I became a lay minister at First Baptist Church of Palm Desert, CA in pretty much all areas of ministry. The Lord put a love for youth in my heart and it seemed to be where the Lord was going to keep me when one day Pastor Chris Warshaw invited me to go to Calipatria State prison with him to see what I thought about the ministry.
That day changed the rest of my life. I met all these big, buff, bald headed, tattooed inmates with worn out Bibles and the love of Jesus in their eyes. They were hanging on every word I would preach. As the weeks and months went on, the Lord would not leave me alone about it. I couldn’t stop thinking about these men. Whatever I was doing would make me wonder what was going on at the prison. When I would eat I would wonder what they were eating. When I was reading my Bible, I wondered if they were reading their Bibles. When I was in bed I would think about their two inch thick mattresses.
In 2009 I prayerfully stepped out in faith and began to work towards full time prison ministry. The Lord put His word on my heart from the book of Ezekiel Chapter 3 vs 15 & 17. "I sat where they sat and was astonished" and the Lord made me a watchman over the correctional department. As I prayerfully moved forward to enlarge the ministry influence, the Lord was faithful and grew the ministry every year. I took a volunteer Chaplain job on “A” yard Calipatria state prison and also became the volunteer Chaplain at the Indio Jail.
In 2011 while spending time with friends and visiting their church in El Paso, Texas I met Saranda (my future wife) a godly single woman, who was serving in several areas of her local church as well as serving in a woman's ministry for many years. I remember after getting to know her, I wanted to ask her to marry me. I lived in California and she lived in Texas, but for the Lord that is like moving a grain of sand from one place to another. I knew that if the Lord wanted me to move to El Paso He wouldn't leave me dry in my ministry. So I prayed that He would confirm His calling for me to move from California to Texas, and He opened the doors at the El Paso Jail and Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility.
In 2012 I moved to El Paso to continue the ministry with Saranda, we were married several months later. Together we prayerfully move forward to enlarge the ministry influence, and the Lord has been faithful and continues to grow the ministry every year.
February 2014 the non profit organization 'Behind Prison Walls Ministry' was formed. We continue to gain more areas of influence, and a stronger ministry base that will enable us and others to embrace the incredibly vast need of the correctional department.
I continue to sit where they sit and we are astonished as the Lord continues to make us watchman over the correctional department.