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How One Father's Turnaround Inspired His Daughter to Change

06-18-2017
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George Lang's life was turned around when he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior but not before a life of crime. 

Prison Fellowship is telling his story as a one of redemption for him and his daughter this Father's Day.

Lang's conversion convinced his daughter Jessica to believe God exists.

As a young person, George Lang aspired to be like his idol: Al Pacino's Scarface. 

He grew up in the projects of St. Paul, Minnesota, and began committing crime at the age of 10. 

"If I was gonna eat, get clothes, it was gonna be by my own doing," he said. 

When he got older, he bought a bar, converted it into a night club and used it as a base to run drug trafficking operations. 

"He thought he was 'big pimping'" his daughter Jessica said. 

He then went to prison twice. 

His lifestyle of crime put a strain on his family. 

Jessica says there were "a lot of memories of chaotic stuff." She added that her parents fought constantly. 

Lang's marriage ended when he was sent to prison a third time. 

But there he found Christ. He embraced his new identity as a child of God, and joined a Prison Fellowship Academy in Lino Lakes, Minnesota. 

Lang says he was touched by the volunteers who exhibited the love of God in their interactions. 

"The biggest impact I had in (the Academy) wasn't a curriculum," he said 

"It was the modeling of a father through the network of Christian men who came in to support the program."

"It was a healthy modeling of parenting," he added.

After his release from Prison, Lang reached out to his family. 

At first, they refused to see him, unconvinced he had truly changed. 

"I didn't believe any of it was true," said his daughter Jessica. She was 12 or 13 when he was released. 

"I didn't buy it."

However, Lang eventually made contact with his three sons and daughter. 

Jessica says she still didn't believe her father had changed. 

"I really thought he was gonna get on the drugs," she said. 

But after observing him, she changed her mind. "It's been 11 years since he's been sober. I've gone to church with him. I've seen the things he's done for the community," she said.

"People … have pulled me aside and told me things he has done for them. I look up to him now because I didn't know someone could change that much," she added.

Jessica is now 21. She is now willing to believe in God because of her father's change. 

"As a teenager, I didn't even believe in God, but he's shown me things in my life that shows God is there," she said.

George Lang said his younger sons are following God as well. 

Lang is helping other men in the prison system. He currently works as the executive director of Freedomworks, a non-profit that helps male inmates become contributing citizens to their communities. 

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