John Haeffele Interview

John Haeffele has had the opportunity to speak on radio, at prison ministry workshops and churches throughout Illinois. He has also been the keynote speaker for Christian Library International events in Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina. He is the founder of the Prodigal One Ministry and writes a weekly blog, “Beyond the Pigs.”

What inspired you to write?
On May 26th, 2011 I was incarcerated in the county jail where my sentence would begin. It was shortly after I began to write my story. Writing a book was the farthest thing from my mind but prompted by the Spirit I began to write. I had no idea what the story was going to be about because I had no idea of what was ahead for me and my family, but I knew God would be leading. I also knew it was time for me to follow. It was a work in progress. Writing would become enjoyable and easier for me as I came closer to God. I think it was more God working on me then God working on the book.

Did the inspiration to write come to you suddenly, or had you been thinking about it some time?
Suddenly. I was a D- student in English.

How did you tell your story? In other words, did you use an outline, or just write your story from start to finish?
The story was written as my life unfolded.

Did you receive any encouragement from family and friends, or did you work on your book alone?
I received tremendous support from people I had never met prior to being incarcerated. God would send someone to me to help when I needed to tweak the book to get it to where it is today.

What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
The most difficult part of writing the book were the circumstances that led to it. Many people were hurt by my transgressions and because I was incarcerated 750 miles from home my family and I did not see each other for 25 months. My wife and sons stuck by me and for that I owe them everything.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing your book?
Thanks to generous donors my books have been sent into prisons and rescue missions across the country. Writing has given me the opportunity to speak at events in Atlanta Georgia,Raleigh and Charlotte North Carolina. I have also spoken at churches across my home state of Illinois and events in the Chicago area. It is a joy to share my story of God's grace through my book and speaking opportunities.

What’s something that gets in the way of your creativity?
The world. The devil has a way of bringing up my past whenever I begin to write or have an opportunity to speak at an event. I have learned how to deal with it through prayer and reading the Bible.

What strategies do you use to deal with criticism?
When the criticism is sincere I take it as a learning experience.

Do you have a favorite quote?
In Tony Evans book ‘No More Excuses’, he states, “The tragedy is not the circumstances, but that we often go through them without learning from them or realizing that God can make something good out of them.’

Favorite book?
Traveling Light by Max Lucado.

Who would you want to meet if you could? Dead or alive.
John the Baptist my namesake.

Is there a talent you wish you had?
I wish I could sing. I would love to sing "Amazing Grace" in church for my mom. It would be unfortunate for the congregation and my family because I have a terrible voice.

Describe yourself in 3 words!
Child Of God