Washington Family Reunites Behind Bars

Dan Houser ran away from home at age 15 to escape his father's drunken abuse and his parents' broken marriage. He found an abandoned home, stole food, and started using drugs and drinking.

After Houser committed five burglaries, he was arrested. He went to juvenile detention for 46 days until going to live with his mother.

Later, he resumed his old lifestyle. When he was arrested for delivering a controlled substance, Houser was sentenced to one year and one day in the Washington Correction Center.

Before long, Houser transferred to McNeil Island Corrections Center, and inquired about religious services. An inmate said, "Go to the SDA services. You'll learn a lot from the Bible."

The first Friday night, Houser went to the service. He was startled to find the ministry volunteers included his mother, step-father, sister, and brother-in-law who had converted during his incarceration.

The emotional reunion was not long lasting, because the other inmates wished for his family to continue volunteering. Per regulations, Houser had to be transferred to another facility so their involvement could continue. However, Houser surrendered his life to Jesus at the Monroe Correction Complex and was released in 2007. Today, Dan Houser is happily married and serves as a deacon at the Yelm (Wash.) Adventist Church.

December 01, 2009 / Feature