There are two gentlemen at Clayton TC, Gerald Moore and Anthony Epperson that are talented artists. Gerald has crafted many ships for Wardens, Chaplains and other staff in many prisons. Yesterday I was the fortunate Chaplain to receive a wonderful and massive ship, compliments of Gerald. As he gets closer to release I plan to help him start a website so he can, at the least, supplement his income from building ships. They feel like real wood, but they are fabricated out of cardboard. This one is 74 inches long and 37 inches tall. An absolute masterpiece, and in the second pic is Anthony's cross, also fabricated from cardboard.
I took 9 men to 12Stone church yesterday, and PK delivered a wonderful message on healthy relationships. It was perfect for everyone, especially for these men who are about to reenter society. They must forgive themselves and then others to make their return to society successful. It is no coincidence how we ALL hear a message just "for us". We always go to eat after church; I have eaten prison food, if that's what you want to call it, but these men savored the wonderful burgers, fries and shakes at Steak N Shake. Here is a pic of the crew. I am so Blessed to be able to work with these men
Yesterday I took seven men from Clayton TC to Dugout men's group. It was a great time of worship and a candid discussion from a man named Daniel. He is Asian, Christian and did a long stint with his wife in ministry in Afghanistan! I admit, not going there! It was quite eye opening! We did not do community service this week. We returned to the TC where I had 5 men come for a class to get their volunteer badge. Finally some help is on the way! We will also start doing a Dugout men's group one Saturday per month at the TC. There are several men that cannot go on an outing, so we will bring the meeting to them. First meeting, Saturday March 11th. God always provides a way to get what His people need!
Yesterday was another Blessed day with 7 men from Dugout where we discussed what is it that makes a man. Proverbs 3 talks about the rewards of Godly wisdom, Proverbs 5 wisdom about watching how we speak to others and the words we use, and Proverbs 6 talks about parental counsel and that the mother and father have very important and different roles in raising their children. Many of these men from Clayton Transitional Center will have to go back home and earn back their position to help raise their children. Today hit home with many of them. The bigger point is that we ALL need God's wisdom, regardless of what stage of life we are in. We then worked community service at Eyes of Love Lighthouse Mission, enjoyed Free Chick-Fil-A's thanks to Chick Fil_A on Lawrenceville Suwanee road, Thanks to Mark and Greg and Tom Moore for lining that up for us. We capped the day off with some ice cream at Dairy Queen. God is Always Good and Always provides. Here is a pic of the group.
This coming Saturday I will take a van load of men from Clayton Transitional Center, their last step in prison before release, to Dugout men's group and then to do some community service. Many of these men have been locked-up for 10, 15, or 20 plus years. They need to learn how to reach out to other men to help them successfully reenter society. Dugout is one of many steps toward that, as is community service; putting others first. As men we have to ask ourselves, do we depend on ourselves or God, and we also have to ask, who, besides God do we count on? No one man alone accomplishes anything, but where two or more are gathered in His name, God opens the doors to accomplish many great things. I gave a ride home to a gentlemen today, leaving Phillips State TC after being locked up a little over three years. I was thrilled to see he had a list of things he needed to do, and a list of things he needed to get; at least he was prepared! I pray that all of these men, whether I spend time with them or not, will reenter society and be successful, but be successful by God's standard!
This past Saturday was the second week in a row for Dugout Men's group and then back to Joe and Elva's Lighthouse Mission for some more work. We knocked out what we needed to in two hours. We were also joined by Lucian Rye, now in the freeworld! Dugout was treated to Joe Padilla's story, who runs the mission. Elva joined him on stage and we got to hear a great story of God's redemption. Then we got to chow down at Golden Corral. God is Good!