The Alpha Blog

Bosco’s Story

As a small immigrant kid, Bosco was an easy target.

“Because of the language barrier, I was homesick all of the time,” he explains. “While I was moving from the elementary to high school system — a bigger world — I had a hard time and was miserable in school.”

A Chinese gang took him under their wing and started to protect him.

“I used to be an honour roll student,” Bosco remembers. “After I got involved with the gang — smoking, weed, parties — my grades started to drop. After I graduated high school I had a strong desire to become a musician, a performer. I got sober because I was very determined. Though I had quit drinking and partying, I still hung out with the gang every once and a while.”

Bosco had just been signed a music contract with BMI Taiwan when his ‘friends’ noticed his parents’ vacant house in Coquitlam, BC. It had recently been sold to accommodate a move to Richmond, where Bosco spent most of his time in music and vocal training.

“They offered my easy money, no questions asked,” Bosco explains. It turned out the gang had hidden a man in the basement until ransom was paid. Within a week the police made the bust and Bosco was arrested for his involvement in the crime.

A Vision from God while in prison

He spent the next two years on trial and, in 2006, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Prison is a mini society. Everyone starts off in maximum security and is assessed for 3 months. Here they spend 23 hours each day alone behind bars. The cell is the size of a bathroom. There is a school, a library, a chapel, a canteen. Once you settle in, you begin applying for a job to make petty cash for personal care items.

Bosco had entered an entirely new world.  “I not only had to adjust to the prison environment, I had lost all hope. My girlfriend left me. My parents were disappointed. I was so disappointed with myself. At first I thought all of the inmates were scum bags, but all of a sudden I was one of them.”

After his assessment, he was sent to a medium security prison where he spent the next three years. It was here he began to call out to God. It was here that God was waiting.

“God began to send people to me: the chaplain, fellow inmates would surround me, teach me at chapel. One night when I was in so much pain and sobbing in my cell I said: ‘Okay, your scriptures say you will be with us always to the very end of the age… if you are real, where are you? Talk to me. I have no one else to talk to.’”

A couple of weeks later, during evening prayer, God appeared to Bosco in a great white light. In front of him he saw a cloud coming down from heaven, extending into his heart. “My whole body was electrified. A very calm but loud voice said: ‘Don’t be afraid. I am your Lord. And I will rescue you.’”

Hope Restored

It was then, a year into his sentence, that Bosco began to hope. With a new sense of purpose, believing the realness of Christ, he began to serve in chapel and became an inmate chapel volunteer.

Shame. Guilt. Pain. “These are just some of the things we had to support each other in,” shares Bosco. “We had an Alpha and peer counseling group. My partner and I were the only two approved to minister in the segregation part of the prison. God showed me how to serve others.”

“It’s just like our society, there are some people who are criminal-minded and don’t want to change but there are others who have changed and found God. The difference between those who know Christ and don’t — we always have something to fall back on, others won’t last forever. The temptations and pressures can become too much.”

It was in prison that Bosco met Canadian award-winning singer-songwriter Brian Doerkson. Doerkson regularly volunteers at local prisons, bringing his music and message of Christ’s grace to the institutionalized men of our province.

He writes: “As we pass through all the security checks and the gates clang shut behind me, the sights and sounds underline that I am coming to meet men whose past is darkness and guilt. But when we greet each other, I see light and hope in their eyes. They continue to pay the consequence of their past actions, but they also experience the transforming power of grace. On a recent visit in, I was struck by what one of the men said; “I’m so grateful for what God is doing. When I look in the mirror, I like what I see”. What a miracle! Someone who is being set free from shame and guilt by the power of grace! And as I fellowship with these men, I realize that I too am lost – and we all need God’s grace.”

Bosco and Brian connected over their shared love of music and Doerkson asked Bosco to share his story on the Level Ground album. Miraculously, Bosco was given an afternoon pass to film his testimony. His story of redemption within prison continues spread through Doerkson’s website, CDs and concerts – which Bosco now has the freedom to attend (click here for video clip testimony).

In 2010, after serving four years of his sentence, he was offered early parole. Before he entered prison there was no social media. Reentering society, even with the preparation he received in minimum security prison immediately prior to his release: cooking his own meals, having access to television, was still a huge shock. After a few months getting his bearings, Bosco went back to his roots. A year later he is performing hip-hop, sharing his testimony and working as an urban missionary through Love Global.

In 2012 Bosco “B.O.Z.” Poon released a new single titled “My Heart’s Last Beat,” produced by Emerton Records. In it he sings: “I will run to the end of the earth to find you. Breathe my very last breath to speak to you. Till my heart’s last beat… it beats for you… God”

www.bozstyle.com