Sid:  My guest by way of telephone is Katie Souza and Katie as I was talking to you earlier, your life sounds like a Bonnie & Clyde type of experience.  You were raised in a family that new the Lord, but you really didn’t go to church a whole lot, you didn’t understand, you didn’t put it together for yourself; and you got into drugs and alcohol tell me a bit about that. 

Katie:  Well, it was crazy Sid, Bonnie & Clyde that’s a good description, that’s the way it felt; I mean I had grown up and had dreams and aspirations.  I worked in radio, I worked in television, I worked for of the networks and I did things that I had dreamed about doing of being in the entertainment industry.  But the whole time and I believe it was because I didn’t have a relationship with God; the whole time I was also doing drugs you know and over the years and as I got deeper into the entertainment industry the drug use got more and more prevalent until finally all my opportunities for the movies and the television programs and all the things I was doing dried up because of my drug abuse because I would mess everything up from being high.  And then I finally just kind of like fell off the end of the cliff.  Ha-ha.

Sid:  I mean you were doing things like not just being a supplier of drugs to the people in the entertainment industry, but you actually had your own drug labs.  You were creating the drugs and then you became, you started collecting the drug debts; what was that like?

Katie:  Well, I’m telling you all of it put together was craziness cause I mean, I went from being just a drug user to a drug dealer like you said and supplying all my fellow people in Hollywood with drugs and all the people in the entertainment industry and then I went from that to getting tired of having to buy drugs off people.  So I thought well, I’ll start making my own, so I started becoming a meth cook and I would drive around in these stolen vehicles because I never had my own car, I was always driving somebody else’s.  And I would drive around with these portable labs in my car and goint from place to place manufacturing meth.  And then pretty soon I was selling what I was making and people started owing me money so out of necessity I started doing collections for myself.  I would go you know at gun point to somebody’s house and force them to pay their drug debt.

Sid:  Now, how did you even know how to use a gun?

Katie:  Well, my mother was an expert marksman and she won a metal in the Senior Olympics’ and you know I’ve been around guns my whole life.  I went hunting with her and fishing and all that stuff so being around guns was very natural, for me.  And here I was on drugs and which makes you into basically a terrorist, because the drugs effect your emotions in a way you act.  And so I began to use the gun knowledge in the wrong way, I began to use it to rob people and to force people to pay the debts that they owed.

Sid:  And you were in and out of jails and but actually along the way you had a very strong encounter with the Lord in Boise, Idaho, tell me about that.

Katie:  Yeah, well right In the middle of it, I had gone up to Boise, Idaho to get away from the police who were looking for me, and my Aunt had a church up there and so I’m standing in her church one night during a service and I felt the weirdest thing; I felt this warm oil pouring all down my head, all down my body.  And I’m thinking this is the strangest thing I have ever experienced and I told my Aunt what was going on and she said, “I’ve seen angels here tonight, and it’s obvious that you’re being anointed.” And I didn’t even know what that meant Sid.

Sid:  But it did stick, how come?

Katie:  You know, I don’t know I was born again when I was twelve and it took until I was in my mid thirties for me have a relationship with God.  I don’t know Israel was the chosen people of God, but they backslid too, but they were still chosen by God until they finally stepped into their purposes so.

Sid:  Okay, everything came to so to speak the end of your rope in 1999; you were arrested what happened?

Katie:  Well, I spent a year totally terrorizing and I had been arrested twelve times and then right after that I had a lab that I went up to a house in the mountains with some people, I didn’t even want to go with them.  My street sense was saying don’t go, but I went anyway and the Federal Marshalls, not the regular police, but the Federal Marshalls showed up and they grabbed us.

Sid:  And you were sentenced to twelve and a half years in Federal Prison, you had state charges, that could have added another nine years, what’s going on inside of you when you see your whole life come into a screeching halt?

Katie:  Well, I remember the day I got arrested I had been up in that house that had been just filthy with chemicals cause other drug cooks had used it and so pretty soon after being there for a couple of hours I looked down and my boots had melted in all the chemical trash.  And by the time the Federal Marshalls came I had chemical poisoning so they took me to the hospital and while I’m there and I’m thinking oh my gosh, this is it they finally got me!  And the Federal Marshall came in and unhandcuffed me and said, “Get up, you’ve got to get ready we are going to take you to the facility, the holding facility.”  He walks out and starts talking to a nurse; I got up got dressed and ran out of the hospital.  And I’m standing out in front of the hospital Sid, about to escape and the Holy Spirit arrested me.  I could not move, in fact all of sudden it was like the Holy Spirit took over my brain and my body; all of a sudden I turned around and I’m walking back into the hospital towards the Federal Marshall and I’m hearing these voices in my head screaming, “Run, you can still make it, run, you can still get out of here.”  And the next thing I know I’m standing like right behind him; he doesn’t even notice that I’m there and that voice is still screaming, “You can still get out.” And all of a sudden I see my hand reach up and touch his shoulder and he turned around and the look, he knew something has almost gone drastically wrong.  And then right then I was like, “What did I just do?”  And they cuffed me and it was too late.

Sid:  Now, when you got into prison, I guess you were sober for a while and you started coming to your senses, but how did you give your life over to the Lord?

Katie:  Well, you know the first year of prison I was in and out of lock down for fighting and attacking officers for like I would probably say a half a dozen times in and out of lock down, for the first year.  And I finally had an event happened where I found out that my codefendant was going to testify against me; so I attached her and her girlfriend in the workout yard in prison, got thrown into lock down again, and while I’m there the Lord visited me.  He basically gave me revelation; He opened up my eyes to understand what was going on. He told me, “You need to surrender to this captivity, stop fighting it; it’s my perfect will for your life right now.

Sid:  How bad was it being in a federal prison, was it as bad as people say it is?

Katie:  Ha, ha, ha.  It’s as bad as you make it, ha ha ha; if you’re focused on God then everything is great.  If you’re fighting what God has for you then its miserable; as long as I was fighting the cops and fighting everybody else I was in and out of lock down, it was a terrible place to be.  But once I started focusing on the Lord, then everything turned around and it became the very ground on which I started to learn about God and have a relationship with Him. 

Sid:  You know just as you were put every fiber of your being into a life of crime, it seems like you turned around and you were putting every fiber of your being into living for God.

Katie:  Ha, ha that’s exactly right Sid, I remember that the counselor for the prison there would come in and say, “I just can’t believe the transformation in you, it’s just totally amazing.”  And they were all awe struck; they began to call our unit the God Pod.

Sid:  But wait a second, this is something like jail house religion, it’s called where it’s just really to get out early, didn’t they think that’s what you were doing?

Katie:  You know, a lot of people think that, but you know that Solomon when he dedicated the temple that he prayed for the captive people, he prayed that when the people went into captivity in Babylon that they would find God with all their heart and they would worship Him with all their mind, with all their heart and all their soul.  So it’s Biblical that people find the Lord in prison, Solomon prayed for it.  And so some people may think that, but there are many many true conversions in prison.

Sid:  So you had the God Pod and then God began speaking to you and He told you the exact release date you would have which would be a lot better than what you were sentenced to.

Katie:   Yeah, He told me, he gave me a number, He said, “November 21st and then He gave me the number 57.”  And I was asking him, we were in the appeal, even though I was guilty the Lord said, To appeal,” because He’s so merciful and so we appealed and the Lord told me , “I was going to be released on that date,” and it happened!

Sid:  That must have been the happiest day of your life!

Katie:  Well, I’m telling you what, it was so great because it changed the way people in the prison felt about God.  They saw a miracle and so many people that didn’t believe before believed, because when I got the date I went and told everybody in the whole place and then when it actually happened people were so awestruck by God and His goodness and His power.

Sid:  Well, were going to pick up right here, wait till you find out that she married a man that also spent a lot of time in prison, seventeen years as a matter of fact.  But Katie you have a teaching that God has given you and I love your quote of what you say is that, “Stop praying for things outside the cloud, you’ll be praying for years, but inside the cloud is acceleration and creative power.”

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