Between the "semesters" of coursework held at the Knox County Detention Facility, the Men's FOCUS Pod is often used to house the overflow population in the jail. It may seem coincidental to the men assigned to bunk there, but we, at FOCUS, have come to see these times as divine moments.
Sunday the chapel message centered on John 1:1-14 in honor of the Advent season. The portion of the passage listed below was used in a powerful way by God to change lives-- especially the lives of Erik, Shawn, and Felix.
John 1:12–13 (ESV)
What an amazing text used to outline God's desire to adopt sinners into His forever family. As the chapel volunteer was about to leave, Erik, Shawn, and Felix approached him and said, "We would to pray and become a part of God's family. We want to be His children."
The next few moments were filled with prayer, repentance, and new beginnings! Praise the Lord!
From Felix's Prayer...
Here is a story that a FOCUS facilitator shared after ministering with the women of Bledsoe County. Enjoy!
This month the Lord allowed me to see evidence of His work in one of my young ladies named Cindy. She referred to the memory verse that said, "If you love Me, you will keep my commands." She said over and over, "Evidently I don't really love God, because I'm not keeping His commands." For the entire 4 hours of our class, she continually talked about how the Lord keeps showing her lack of love and disobedience. It was a sweet experience to watch the Holy Spirit working on her and in her life. She wrote in her notebook, "God, please save me!" I feel that if she wasn't already saved, that she made a private commitment to Him that day.
** The names have been changed for privacy protection, but the work of Christ is real!
A gentlemen, who we will call Dan, from Morgan County Correctional Complex (MCCX) recently shared recently of his earnest prayer for his father to recognize Christ's work in his life. Unfortunately, Dan's father has been very doubtful of his son's conversion and life change.
All the while, God was at work. Not long after a former cellmate of Dan was released, the cellmate ended up riding in the exact same truck as Dan's father while at work. Neither of the men knew each other. Dan's former cellmate shared that he had been an inmate at Morgan County. Dan's father then stated his son was still there. As you might imagine, it wasn't long before the two men connected the dots back to Dan.
Dan's former cellmate took the moment to share about all he saw Christ doing in Dan's life. "You wouldn't believe the changes in his life," he said. Soon after that conversation in the truck, Dan's father called his son and relayed the whole experience.
How awesome is that! God is good!
Malachi 4:6 (ESV)
At the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex (BCCX), women are learning how to give an offering that doesn't require money.
During the Tuesday evening worship experience, ladies are able to give an offering to the LORD. Instead of money, they create a small card to bring hope to another women. The cards are called "Hope in Her Hand" and are given to women in the community who are struggling with addiction, abusive relationships, depression, or other life-controlling issues. In this way, the ladies are not just consumers, but also contributors as they share the love of Christ with other women.
Please be in prayer for the women incarcerated at Bledsoe County Correctional.
2 Corinthians 5:17–21 (ESV)
The FOCUS Family Comedy Night will be a night of laughter for all ages featuring the nationally known comedian Jonnie W. All proceeds will go to benefit the 2018 Returning Hearts Celebration-- a carnival-like experience & worship time where men get the opportunity to spend the day with their children on the prison yard at Morgan County Correctional.