The Staff in this Ministry has a three-fold mission:
The major advantage is that with the staff of men, women are able to go in to the men prisons. With the staff of women, men are able to go into women prisons and vice versa. It becomes the best of both worlds.
Ron was introduced into the prison ministry by both Leslie and Joe in April 2014. They explained to him about the need for the inmates to understand the word of God, and that this starting ministry could help. On September 2014 (Rosh Hashanah) he heard his rabbi teach a different message on the scripture of Isaiah 43:19. This time he understood the words "rivers in the desert". He started sending the "Scribe's Journal" to the inmate list furnished by Leslie. After over 2 months of prayer, he sent off the papers to enter the prison. It was when he met the men in the prison the first time that he realized that this was an answer to their prayers. The rest became history – God had moved.
Ron is also the founder of Torahlife Ministry.
Karen Twigg and her daughter, Leslie Geisendaffer, began a weekly ministry in the Orange County Jail, Orlando, Florida. She followed God’s call to be a missionary to the deaf in Jamaica and saw lives of the deaf changed. She has worked with the deaf for over 40 years.
Karen’s life has not been easy. She shares her struggles of loneliness and planning her own suicide while being a friend, and a listening ear to others. Yet feeling she had no one to turn to. She fell into a relationship with a married pastor, became pregnant, had a child out of wedlock, and became a single parent. She has dealt with failure and being a disappointment to God, the ministry, her church, and her family. She and her daughter went through many life struggles. She saw God answer prayer in the lives of her family members while she was growing up. (Brother had polio/sister had encephalitis)
God spared Karen’s life four times. All four times doctors told her she could have or should have died: Mononucleosis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a rare tumor in her heart, and a blood problem (issue) that doctors could not explain. But God miraculously “touched” her and restored her health.
Karen continues ministering the class “Celebrate Recovery” to up to 25 ladies each week. They have an awesome time of sharing praise and worship followed by an inspirational teaching from God’s word. Many of the ladies have been born again, rededicated their lives, received deliverance, and have been healed through this ministry. Karen believes her life is to be a witness that helps others, especially women. To let them know they are not the only one to go through problems and that with God all things are possible. You can make it!
Joe was born in 1955 and was raised in a small Pennsylvania coal mining town. He accepted Yeshua (Jesus) in 1980, and served Him in many different ministries and still serves Him. He had a brother many years ago who spent most of his adult life in prison.
After bringing his mother to several different prisons all over Pennsylvania he noticed that many of the inmates (men and women) never had anyone to visit them. When his brother was released he didn’t stay focused on his freedom but got in trouble again. He died of a heart attack at 48.
Joe believes it is very important to visit and continue staying connected even after some are released. They need fellowship with people who know Hashem and support by being in a ministry that they are familiar. What better an advocate to the prisons and can relate very well with those still in bonds because they have been there.
Leslie was born in Brooklyn New York in 1963. His grandparents were victims of the Holocaust. During his life, his parents exposed Leslie to various faith (Pentecostal, Catholic, Episcopal, Mormon). He accepted Yeshua (Jesus) on August 8, 1988 and his journey began.
1 ½ years later he was invited by a prison ministry to visit a local prison. While there, he found himself on the 6th floor where the most hardened inmates were placed. He was allowed entry to the cell block with 5 individual cell rooms protected by 2 inch glass doors. This "babe in Yeshua", with little knowledge and experience, used the right words and scriptures and led an inmate to Yeshua (Jesus). This was the beginning of his passion for prison ministry.
He is currently "spearheading" this prison ministry into going into a "transition prison" (a holding area between 30-90 days until assigned to their permanent location). This opens the door for the Scribe's Journal newsletter to enter all the prisons in the state of Florida.
John Grady's first visit to a prison was to visit a friend's son in 2010. It was there G-D show him that HIS sons have a soul that needs to be connected to their creator. The prison where he was visiting was mostly "lifers"- in prison for life. You could call them the "forgotten people." He saw a change knowing the man's past, radiated out of the man. John could visually see how G-D can change people.
John was move by G-D, and volunteered to move into a rehab in 2003 in Orlando. It is there where he learned to minister to these men. He lived in the complex of buildings with these men in the same dorms as they did, and no special privileges for nine months with 35 of these men.
Having never done drugs or alcohol, it opened John's eyes up as G-D would see them. His heart was touched by Adonai for HIS sons. This truly changed John's way of thinking. He saw these men as people who have bad mistakes but are forgiven by Adonai when these men repented of their sins.
John has gone to prison ministry in Atlanta, Georgia in 2009 and to Daytona in 2016. He is presently leading a prison ministry in Century, Florida on Wednesdays. He has been working this ministry since 2013
This last Passover he was responsible for getting food for the men to celebrate the Passover meal with 30 inmates. The inmates in this prison have been given a Torah scroll through his ministry for their Sabbath services.
We welcome John Grady to our staff
Cyrus Mohammad was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1965, into a Shiite Muslim family. In 1969 his family moved to America. Prior to leaving Iran a Muslim ceremony was performed at which time he was told to avoid Christians and Jews in America because they were evil people. That bothered him as a young child and would later move him towards his conversion in believing in Yeshua.
After his parents’ divorce, Cyrus, in his early teens, became rebellious and became a devil worshiper. It was after he left the dark side that he started having severe spiritual attacks and nightmares. He then realized what a mistake he made dabbling with Satan himself. After speaking to a friend, Cyrus became a believer in Jesus Christ in 1982 at which time of hearing about the death of Christian artist Keith Green at a church service.
While stationed in what was then West Germany in 1988, Cyrus visited Dachau Concentration Camp. The experience traumatized him so much he did not eat for days and ended up in the medical clinic. But something interesting happened; His love for Israel and Jewish people transpired. He even went as far as getting Hebrew tattoos all over his arms to make a bold statement of his faith and his love for Israel.
In 1993, Cyrus received a bachelor’s of science at Florida State University in criminology; (FSU is the top rated criminology school in the country). There he was educated on the inmate’s psyche in their incarcerated world. Cyrus also served as a federal police officer from 2001 to 2007 at the Presidio of Monterey Police Department, CA, and is a 100% disabled combat veteran with the Veteran’s Administration. He retired from the federal government in 2014.
When asked why he wanted to minister to the inmates in prison, he replied, “I have a heart for the forgotten” (Matthew 25:36)
We at Torah Life Ministry welcome Cyrus Mohammad to our staff