A gentleman in the Knox County jail shared that he had been born again this past week. He was sitting in class and the Word of God hit him in the heart. It was the eighth week of the program and the light turned on. To God be the glory!
Tonya, incarcerated in Sevier County, recently went to court and chose to execute her sentence of seven years rather than do a 30-day rehab. Why you ask? It is because she knows it is not enough to get her sober. She wants to return home and be a great wife and mother to her two children one day.
Please pray for Tonya and her family!
FOCUS students can not express enough thanks to the Lion's Club mobile eye clinics. Here Darrin and Tabatha are getting fit for specs. The way that so many nonprofits and social clubs serve the Knoxville community is amazing!
You can't have FOCUS without vision ;)
As we know, some participants inside are just going through the motions. But it is such a joy to see the the light of life come on in others -- especially when they begin hungering and thirsting after God.
It is such a privilege to gain the trust of those who have never been able to open up and share their hidden struggles. Also to be a vessel to bring an understanding of God's grace; as Tracy said this past week as we studied the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Trinity, "You just brought me to a whole new level of appreciation of grace."
* Names changed to protect privacy
Janet approached me after class in late January with a concern that she did not experience the Lord in the same way many of the other inmates were experiencing him. Through a short conversation, I learned that she had been raised in church, was taken there regularly, had had the Lord call her numerous times in church as indicated by heart pounding and a fear of going forward which always resulted in going out the back door. She also shared during this conversation that she would never, ever, ever, ever talk about the Lord. It was not on her list of things to do.
After conversing for these few minutes I looked at her and said, “Janet, you are not experiencing the Lord because you have not been saved. You cannot ignore the Lord’s call and experience him at the same time.” She truly did not realize the seriousness of having shut the Lord out when he was dealing with her in the past. When she first approached me that afternoon, she wanted me to anoint her with oil because she felt like something was very wrong with her. I ended up anointing her, but I also told her I was going to pray a prayer over her that the Lord would forgive her for ignoring his call and that he would also give her another chance and call her to him.
I prayed and then I had her follow me in a prayer, asking the Lord to forgive her for shutting him out and to give her another chance. At the end of praying, there were tears in her eyes. I asked her why she was crying and she told me that she did not know. She was very emotional. At that point, I asked her if Jesus was calling her again, and she answered yes. More tears. So I asked her, “Janet, are you ready to say yes to Jesus and receive him in your life?” She said yes! So I led her in a prayer to receive Christ and she was saved! There were many still in the room and great rejoicing took place to the point that two other women in the slider who are not in the class came in, asked for prayer and received great victory.
Last week in class Janet testified that she had been in the pod the day before and ended up talking about God to another woman who was not in the FOCUS class. Her words, “So I talked about God after all!”
* Names have been changed to protect privacy.