Andy Mihaylo spends his days serving as president of a real estate brokerage and investment firm in Orange County, California. But he doesn’t just invest in land and buildings. For the past 22 years, Andy has been investing into the lives of prisoners at Camp Pendleton Brig military prison by sharing the Gospel message – an investment that changes lives forever.
After reading a couple of Chuck Colson’s books and hearing him speak in the early 1980s, a spark for prison ministry was ignited in Andy’s heart. He began to donate to Prison Fellowship (PF) – which he’s done faithfully for 28 years. And he quickly felt drawn to begin volunteering inside prisons.
“I always tell prisoners that I’ve never been incarcerated, but I know what if feels like to be abandoned,” says Andy, who lived in foster care from a young age after his parents’ divorce. “I can relate to the prisoners’ sense of feeling like people have given up on them.”
Andy helps lead an in-prison PF Bible study that attracts 10 to15 Marines each week –men hungry to know more about God’s love and grace.
“People say, ‘How do you know God is real?’” says Andy. “I say, ‘Because I see Him changing men’s hearts and lives.”
“Jesus told us that we should go to the ‘least of these’” adds Andy. “Certainly there’s a stigma attached to being incarcerated. But as I get to know prisoners, I begin to view them as brothers. I let them know that someone in the free world is willing to accept them –just as they are.” After all, this is what Jesus did.
Andy lives in San Clemente, California, with his wife. They have five children and 11 grandchildren.