By J. Fred Kauffman
Muse grew up in a rough part of North Philly and got into using and selling drugs. On a drug corner one day he heard a voice, “I have a purpose for you.” The voice persisted, and eventually he concluded that it was God’s call and committed himself to Christ.
Sensing a call to work in the prisons, in 2007 he reconnected with Juan Marrero, an acquaintance from his days on the street. Now a pastor, Marrero had become Executive Director of Crossroads Community Center. He asked Muse to lead their prison ministry, and MCC agreed to support him as a Local Service Worker. Crossroads is a 40-year-old ministry of nearby Second Mennonite and is one of MCC Philadelphia’s primary partners.
Confronted with tough situations and long days, Muse is thriving. He interacts with prisoners as a peer who knows their context. Tough and no-nonsense, he believes in them, pressures them, challenges them, and reassures them: “You have God-given potential which Christ can awaken to create something new.”
Muse sees the injustice and racism in the U.S. criminal justice system on a daily basis, but is passionate about working with prisoners caught in it to help them discover God’s transforming power in their lives.
J. Fred Kauffman is Philadelphia Program Coordinator for MCC East Coast.