Concord man uses craft to help turn life around

Concord man uses craft to help turn life around


by KATIE KILLEN / NBC Charlotte Staff & Charlotte Observer

Posted on January 10, 2013 at 6:49 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 28 at 5:37 PM

CONCORD, N.C. -- Jasen Lube’s mom, Learel, knows heartbreak.  She lost her oldest son in 1993 and she feared the same for her younger son.

"Five years ago I was just praying he was going to be alive,” said Learel fighting back tears.

He had two DUIs before he rear-ended a car at 90 mph – on a 45 mph road in the university area – and caused a four-car pile up. No one died, but that 2007 DUI eventually landed him in prison.

Then, before being sentenced to three years in prison for assault with a deadly weapon, he got another DUI.

As part of his sentence, he went through a 90-day Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Treatment program at Piedmont Correctional Institution in Salisbury in 2008.

He then transferred to Tabor City Prison near Myrtle Beach, where he got a tattoo from another inmate and was sent to solitary confinement for the possibility of spreading communicable diseases.

"This one guy came on and he said you know, if you want to have a new life in Christ, no matter where you are at home, in prison.  He said all these different places and I'm like, ‘he's talking to me,’” he said of the broadcast.

The moment was a turning point for Jasen.

"Something came over me.  I was saved.  I was a reborn again Christian at that point.  And I knew it.  I felt it."

He took up wood working in prison, but was still undecided about life on the other side.
"I said God what do you want me to do. Is this something you want me to do?  And he said, yeah, my son was a carpenter.  I want you to be a carpenter.  From that point I knew I had to do it."

Learel says her son has a God-given talent.

"He loves it.  It's just like therapy.  Some people make earrings.  Some people garden.  And this is what makes him happy,” she said.

Jasen now makes crosses for local churches and businesses.  He crafts custom pieces.

"It's an honor to even be able to make them."

Jasen has advice for those who are struggling like he has in the past.

"There's still hope for rehabilitation.  There's still hope for change for anybody.  You just got to go out there and get it.  Make the best of your situation no matter where you're at."

He’s still waiting for his drivers license to be restored, but said he’s been able to move forward with help from his parents and now fiancée, Kim Kennedy.

“Ever since he’s come out, I’ve been wanting him to tell his story,” said Kennedy. “I feel he can help somebody because he’s gone from bad to positive. And that can have a big impact on somebody..."