Reformed biker inspires
In and out of 42 state institutions
including boys’ homes, mental institutions
and prisons, Kevin Mudford knew life
could be different after his brother in
blood and crime became a changed man
Not even being bashed with a brick can deter this 57-year-old from speaking up to prevent others from going down the same path he trod.
The attack occurred just after a drug rehab speaking engagement in 2008, leaving him with severe head injuries and temporary brain damage.
Despite enduring brain surgery and three months rehabilitation, the reformed biker says, "I learned to turn my test into a testimony and went back into the very type of meetings that it happened in."
For nearly 30 years, Kevin and his wife Dee have travelled through many towns of Australasia with this message: "You do not need alcohol to be someone; the only one who can fill your need is Jesus Christ."
Kevin adds, "The government is trying to do all these things to curb drinking and I have the answer – just don't touch it. I think some people have the potential to end up like I did and prevention is better than cure."
Like many career criminals, Kevin began hanging out on the streets as a boy due to the violent atmosphere at home.
He and his brother slipped into the life of burglars because, "I never knew what it meant to have my father, my dad, put his arms around me and say, 'Son, I love you!' And when little boys don't hear those words they go out into the streets to look for it."
At the age of 15 he was in juvenile detention and, after a brief escape and crime spree, he nearly strangled a guard to death.
Upon his release over five years later, Kevin became a chronic alcoholic.
"I drank in hotels with bikers and gang members," Kevin recalls. "If I couldn't get drunk somewhere, I wouldn't go. We were companions in misery, the old 'poor me, poor me, pour me a drink,' was my attitude."
Then, in 1981, after three and a half years in and out of mental asylums, Kevin heard about a dramatic change in his brother.
"He gave his life to Jesus Christ and the change in him was like night and day," Kevin says. "Because it was my brother I guess I trusted him. The way he changed made me realise that there is a way out for me."
When Kevin's friends heard about his decision to trust in Jesus Christ for forgiveness they dismissed it as just a passing fancy.
"They laughed and said, 'You are going to continue breaking into shops, stealing cars and getting off your face in fights in pubs and end up back in prison.'
"A lot of people tried the Christian deal just to get out of prison or just to make things a bit sweeter for 'em, and they don't last, you see."
Wanting to meet their challenge, Kevin told them he would be back next Sunday.
“You do not need alcohol to be someone; the only one who can fill your need is Jesus Christ”"Every week, I showed them I'm free and told them my testimony," Kevin enthuses. "Over 30 years later, I'm still proving them wrong."
The clearest change in Kevin's life was that he no longer needed or wanted to drink alcohol.
Kevin and Dee Mudford travel Australia in this caravan with an important message to share
"If I hadn't become a Christian I would have stayed drinking in the park or sitting in hotels drinking with gangsters in their gumboots and fully tattooed guys.
"Initially, I really didn't think I could remain faithful to God, but God was faithful and He spoke to me and gave me a job to tell people about Him and about my story."
As well as churches, Kevin has frequently spoken to public crowds in places like Sydney's King's Cross, sometimes using chains as an illustration.
Catching attention with his biker gear and tattoos, Kevin tells onlookers "these chains are what sin is like, but the good news is that when Jesus Christ comes into your heart, He can break those chains."
Kevin is a living example of Jesus' words: "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin... [but] if the Son (Jesus) sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8, verses 34-36).