Second Chances


Early in his ministry, Alliance founder A. B. Simpson daily observed the plight of the immigrants, the homeless, the infirm, those trapped in prostitution, and other disenfranchised peoples who occupied the streets of New York City. Humbled and moved by Christ’s redemptive work in his own life, Simpson was firmly convicted that these people, too, needed a new beginning. He opened churches, healing homes, halfway houses, educational institutions—anything that would glorify God by offering His children a second chance.

Peter BurgoHaving dismissed the doctrines of the church as “too simple and unsophisticated for any intelligent adult,” David Goodin sank into a deep depression that nudged him toward suicide. Head in hands, weeping at his kitchen table in the wee hours of the morning, David heard God’s resounding invitation: Pray! So pray he did. And God lovingly redirected his steps into decades of fruitful ministry. David, now a chaplain and Corporate Secretary of the U.S. Alliance, is an agent of second chances.

When federal aid for prisons was cut in the late 1990s, many inmates lost access to educational opportunities that offered hope of a fresh start. Acknowledging the richness of God’s blessing on its own institution, Nyack College began offering adult degree programs to prisoners in several New York correctional facilities, reiterating its century-old pledge to extend second chances to the imprisoned.

The Alliance remains a family of second chances. Alliance medical workers renew hope through surgical procedures that demonstrate Christ’s love. Alliance Sunday school teachers seize opportunities to navigate children through the storms of life. Alliance national churches in Africa stand on the Word of God as they cross language and cultural barriers to extend the reach of the gospel. And everyday Alliance people walk with their neighbors through cold, dark tunnels toward the warm and welcoming Light of the world.

The human race blew its first chance to live in blissful harmony with its Creator. But through the sacrifice of His Son, God revealed a love that refuses defeat. And with grateful hearts, we accept His appointment as agents of second chances.

My second chance came in the early 1980s. After years as a road musician (not to be confused with being a Rhodes Scholar), I found myself helplessly addicted to cocaine and a host of other mind-numbing substances. Late one night, following a particularly excessive binge, I came to the end of myself and cried out in desperation to a God I didn’t even know. The next day I crossed paths with a Jesus-loving pastor—a second-chancer himself—who pointed the way to my Deliverer and the true freedom He offers. And on October 22, 1982, I was a free man. So here I stand before you, the first formerly cocaine-addicted editor in the 133-year history of the Alliance magazine (well . . . to my knowledge).

What’s your second-chance story? Share it below!

“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe.” —Psalm 102:2

Burgo Signature

Peter Burgo, Editor-in-Chief

1 response to Second Chances

  1. Bendiciones, soy dela Alianza Cristiana y misionera de Colombia, les envio muchos saludos y les solicito muy amablemente recursos para compartir en mi comunidad.

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