The following are testimonies from a FOCUS facilitator working behind the walls with women. *
There have been a lot (of stories worth sharing) with this class but one that sticks out is Rachel's story. Rachel told an officer that she had been through rehabs and different programs. They were never enough to push her to quit until now. Now Rachel has fear of the Lord. She wants to be taken back to Knox County so she could finish her FOCUS program. She has been surprised how different she is becoming and finally has hope she will be changing for good. FOCUS is truly changing lives.
Also, earlier in the year I taught on miracles and how they still happen every day. A lady shared with me that during the two weeks I was out, a mass in her breast had been found that indicated cancer. When they found the mass she recalled the sermon on miracles, recited scriptures, and asked God to heal her miraculously. She was sent to Nashville for further procedures. Upon arriving in Nashville they started with an ultrasound and the tech informed her that she could not find any mass. Further tests were run and there was no mass or cancer present. She says she knows it was a miracle and she believed it for herself because of the sermon.
* All names have been changed to protect inmate and volunteer privacy.
To all FOCUS Volunteers, Donors, and Staff:
It’s been over 20 years since God called me into this exciting full-time Ministry behind the walls, and as I look back on the history of FOCUS I’m amazed at what He has done:
1) FOCUS Christian Academy has been established in 7 Correctional Facilities with men and women hearing the gospel and being discipled on a weekly basis
2) Malachi Dads (and now Hannah’s Gift) was begun which is allowing dads and moms to reconcile with their children – many for the first time in years
3) FOCUS Christian Academy on the outside was established to give men (and now women) the hope of a new life in Christ beyond prison walls
I’ve been blessed in all those years to work with hundreds of Godly Christian brothers behind the walls and they have impacted my life in powerful ways as I watched them walk out their faith. Many of them have gotten out and become some of my dearest friends – It’s been a blast watching them grow in the Lord, begin families of their own, and become integral parts of their churches and communities.
I’ve also been blessed immeasurably by serving side by side with Volunteers like you and will always remember how God has worked through you to change lives and impact the Kingdom. I may be a little prejudiced, but I believe FOCUS has the best Volunteers in the world!
On that note, as of April 15th, I will be retiring from my paid position with FOCUS. The Bible says that to everything there is a season, and as this season comes to a close, I can hardly wait to see what God has in store next – I’m pretty sure that it will still entail serving behind prison walls as a volunteer.
As most of you know, the past couple of years have been very difficult for Debbie and me - hopefully my retirement will allow me to spend more time with her. Thank you so much for how so many of you have prayed for us and poured into our lives.
In the words of Paul in Philippians 1:4-6 … "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
In His Service,
A FOCUS Favor!
If you are an Ex-Offender, will you please, please, please FILL OUT THIS SURVEY? Thank you!
We want to get MANY to take the survey and share the results at our upcoming banquet on April 11th with Mayor Jacobs, Rep. Jason Zachary, and many other Knox County Commissioners and city officials in attendance. Learn more at: www.focustn.org/2ndchances.
Save this image as your Facebook Header to Promote the Second Chances Banquet on April 11th, 6-8 PM at The Church of Knoxville.
Good Ash Wednesday!
“For you are DUST and to DUST you shall return!"
Remember, we live between the DUST! It is there in that dust that God breathed life into us — and it is where we have been stamped with the very image of God; Father, Son, and Spirit! He brings beauty out of ashes and life out of death. If you don't believe me, just wait to you see what he does in 46 days (Hint: It's Easter!).
Feeling dusty today? Be encouraged today!
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FOCUS Ministries is a 501(c)3 Tax-Exempt Nonprofit
FOCUS Ministries receives funds through the department of mental health and substance abuse services.
Mailing: PO Box 27274, Knoxville, TN 37927
Office: 815 N. Broadway St., Knoxville, TN 37917