Former inmate talks about meeting Greg Griego

Posted at: 01/21/2013 6:10 PM
Updated at: 01/21/2013 6:16 PM
By: Jill Galus, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Photo: Gabriel Jaramillo
Photo: Gabriel Jaramillo

Greg Griego worked a number of years in jail ministry and touched the lives of many inmates.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 spoke with a former inmate who explained he has made a lot of mistakes in his life with drugs and money but it was during his time at the Metropolitan Detention Center, at his lowest point more than a decade ago, he crossed paths with Griego, who changed his life forever.

"The chaplain changed my life more than I can ever describe," Gabriel Jaramillo said.

Griego is the reason he got his life back on track, Jaramillo said.

"My personal goal now is to go out and lay foundations for others and let them know there is a way out, there is somebody out there," Jaramillo said.

That is exactly what Griego did for him.

It was during his last few months on probation for embezzlement charges that he met Griego, who at the time was the head chaplain of the jail ministry program at MDC.

"He found me when I was lost," Jaramillo said.  "He set the foundation for my life."

He also taught him how to believe.

"That's one of the things that I've... that I've always taken with me, was to believe in myself," Jaramillo said.

Once out of jail, that faith inspired Jaramillo to go to school.

He proudly displays a Highlands University license plate now everywhere he goes.

"I've seen what he did and through his works, I wanted to go out and do the same," Jaramillo said.

Helping and inspiring others through his experience is now his passion.

Along the way, he kept in touch with Griego and his family once a month over breakfast, but now is shocked at how the lives of such a seemingly selfless family were violently torn apart.

"This blows my mind," Jaramillo said. "I can only pray for Nehemiah, I can pray that he accepts God as his lord and savior.

And if he could say one thing to Griego, it would be, "Chaplain, I'm going to go out and continue to do the works that you taught me."