From Behind the Walls
This has been a real eye opener these past four months. I have felt the Holy Spirit working on me every single week. These in-depth classes have greatly expanded my understanding and knowledge of Jesus Christ. As time in class goes by, I feel more and more confident with this new and additional information. I truly believe that the combination of my past experience, other college classes that I took in the past, which included the RSAT graduation and the new training I now am receiving, will make a difference in this prison!
I feel that the Holly Spirit is leading me to be a much more effective worker in the changing of the lives of people around this facility. As I have progressed through this semester and while studying in the pod where I live, I have had several fellow inmates ask for information about Jesus. With these questions comes an opportunity to get to know them better and help them with the problems they might have. As the time goes by, I see more and more people, watching, listening and truly curious about what we do
My goals have changed greatly, I now know that my real mission in my life is to go forward and spread the good word of Jesus Christ. I look forward to the other classes that will be coming soon and pray daily for my success and that of my follow class members. I know with this training we can make a difference in many people’s lives with the word of God.
The door has been opened, now is the time to whole heartily follow through and let the true Holy Spirit take charge and guide me in all my daily decisions. I truly believe in my heart that I was called to teach and teach is what I now will pursue. I will seek to keep my grades up and learn as much as I can, so I am better able to pass on the good news of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
This semester has been a new commitment to follow Jesus all the way, the rest of my life seems to have lost its value to me. All my values I now hold in only one thing, that is following His wishes and commands where ever He takes me. I pray several times a day for this class and everyone who is connected to this Bible College. I know my prayers are being answered and I know that God is working in my life and that of others around me!
Now I know that it is my duty to build God’s house. This will take time and study and I will take that time and do the best I can to change my life and the lives of others around me to also follow Jesus. I now truly and fully understand that humility and service are the most important ways I must live. These are my duties that I now will follow to help me build the house of God. “No man can serve two masters: for he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew6:24).
Gerald – Mount Olive Prison
Before I entered this program, I had concluded that I was to live for my kids and not myself. On a Wednesday morning I spent quality time with Jesus Christ studying His word, praying and simply conversing with Him. That’s where the revelation of living for my children came from. The only problem was I didn’t know how to live for them. A week later I noticed the Malachi Dad ad on our bulletin board and I immediately jumped at the chance to sign up. I instantly recognized God’s Hand at work. Upon signing up I was overwhelmed by anxiety, scared and unsure that I was going to be selected out of the many (I thought) that signed up because of my estranged relationship I have with my daughter. So, I explained on a separate sheet of paper the difficulties of my relationship with my daughter and her mother.
I then received a message from our chaplain that I was chosen to be part of the “program.” 50lbs. were lifted off my shoulders. I have two children, a 14-year-old daughter and a son who passed on when he was 2 months old from SIDS, while I was incarcerated. The mother of my two has three daughters who aren’t biologically mine but has a huge impact on my life and I love them as if they were my own.
Due to my selfish acts and desires to live the “Fast Life,” those desires were short lived by criminal charges of Malicious Wounding and First-Degree Robbery which landed me a 60-year sentence. At that point, I knew it was time to change my life for the better. I’m 33 years of age, have been incarcerated for fourteen years and for the first time in my life I know what my purpose and my responsibilities are because of Jesus Christ and the tools He has used to open my eyes; Malachi Dads being the catalyst. My children are not living in my home due to an ignorant way of living. I left my kids’ mother to raise 5 children by herself and now I’m suffering the consequences of my choices by not having any contact with my daughter. Now my 14-year-old daughter and her 16-year-old sister are being raised under Islamic beliefs, while the oldest and the 2nd youngest sister are being raised under a Christian household with their grandmother. By my actions our house is divided.
My daughter’s grandmother and I have been in contact with each other for 6 years now and since I have been a Malachi Dad our relationship has been better than ever. At the end of our conversations on the phone I would tell her that I loved her and the girls, but she would just say, “OK.” Since becoming a Malachi Dad, she now says I love you back, thanks to Jesus Christ, because He has given us the ministry of reconciliation. For the first time in 10 years, my daughter’s oldest sister sent me a card and a letter telling me that she forgives me. That means a lot to me, oh how God answers prayers! I believe that the oldest sister is the avenue that God will use for my daughter and I to be reconciled.
I stand firm on God’s promises. The Malachi Dads started off as a program but has transformed into a Ministry which I’m a part of for life. I believe that my daughter and her sisters, even their mother will be delivered from their oppression, because they were saved before. Acts 16:31 says, “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” I thank Jesus because no matter what I’m going through, He is Faithful and Just to see me through it. He delivers the seed of the righteous (Proverbs 11:21), so I rejoice in hope, I’m patient in tribulation and I’m constant in prayer (Romans 12:12) because I am a new creature old things are passed away and all things are become new, “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation” (II Cor. 5: 17-18). As a Malachi Dad I will pursue this endeavor for a lifetime and this God-given vision will impact multiple generations to come and lands will be healed (II Chronicles 7:14). I believe, and I believe in Him.
Justin – Malachi Dads
Life is a wonderful gift of God to us all! There is a divine purpose for every individual that God permits to live. It took me many years to figure that one out. God, in His infinite wisdom, has permitted us to live, and there is a purpose for every individual life.
I have over-dosed, wrecked cars and motorcycles, been shot at numerous times and I stuck a knife in my heart when I was arrested. The attempted suicide was a first, and when I awoke from the coma my doctor was in the room. I thanked him for saving my life. I didn’t really want to die; I just didn’t want to live in that drug addicted state I was in. He said something to me that never left my mind. “Son, do not thank me, thank the Lord above; I did not save your life. When you came in here there was absolutely no reason on this earth you should still be alive. Not only was there a hole in your chest, but you had completely bled out. I did nothing but sew you up and give you blood. God must have an exemplified life planned for you in the future. He needs you for something very important in this world now.” Trust and believe I never forgot one of those words.
As we journey and travel on life’s highway, we come to crossroads and do not know which direction to go. I prayed daily for a decision and God led me to sign up for Malachi Dads. There was a gnawing in the back of my mind to go inquire about the rumor of a Bible College coming to Mount Olive Maximum Security Prison.
So many times, the crossroads are not marked very well, and we must look around to get our bearings. While I was looking around Mr. Totten was preaching the Word of God in my ear. It didn’t take long for that seed to start to grow. I think Mr. Sutphin poured a little miracle grow on me and the next thing I know I was asking God to forgive my sins. This was a lot of careful consideration to make sure that I made the proper turn in the direction that leads to eternal salvation, and my final destination.
>However, most men in this prison make the wrong turn at that crossroads. Instead of heading toward the right direction, they are getting the school of hard knocks beat into their head every day; and end up leaving prison worse than when they came in. This is where we come in and intervene. Who can better talk to a convict than another convict? We need to evangelize to these men and get them to stop, turn their lives around, and head back to that crossroads to make the proper turn. The proper turn is toward the Lord!
I have been in the Bible College for one year now. In a dark and gray world, I get up every morning in hopes of spreading God’s Word to someone else in need. I’ve learned so very much within two semesters and I’m excited for each class coming in the next three years. Each year more men are going to be coming to the Bible College and this is where we need your help. Mr. Sutphin cannot do it all alone. Help change the lives of men that may be coming to your community soon. Godly men or a hard-headed convict living in your neighborhood is up to you. We have the means to transform lives here today. Pray about it! Make the right decision to help. Thank you for your time and consideration in God’s work.
– Royce – Mount Olive Prison