A new year is upon us and most of us have set "New Year Resolutions" FOCUS Ministries also is playing a role alongside the men behind the walls. Arch Jones, Morgan County Prison Director shared an AMAZING testimony that is without a doubt an ASTOUNDING hand of God! He explains to us in detail about the Resolute Fathers course that is a branch from Malachi Dads. "The Resolute Father" It is based on the movie "Courageous" and it uses clips from the movie and scripture to explain to the men what their calling is to be Godly fathers. To their wives, to their children, to their communities and to themselves. It finishes with signing a Resolution for Men before everyone that they are committing to this resolute course. The books used are "Honor Begins at Home" which is a Bible study based on the movie and a book called "The Resolution for Men" which is the most dramatic and challenging part of the course. Around 30 men began and about 17 will complete it. It is a course that requires accountability. We are using this course as one of our Malachi Dads courses and enables them (if they stay involved next semester) to take part in Returning Hearts Celebration where God turns the hearts of the Fathers to the Children and the hearts of the Children to the Fathers. That will be the Saturday a week before
Fathers Day and the day after they graduate from the individual classes on Friday night.
"The soon to be Graduates want to sign their Resolutions with their families present. To have a special service in the VG on visitation day so wives, ex-wives, co-parent, significant others, parents and children can observe and take part because it is a promise not only to God but to them of what kind of man they are resolving to be."
One of our long-time participants of the FOCUS program who is secure in his salvation had a new awareness of the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit after one of the classes. Testimonies and teachings were shared and it caused his inner man to be provoked and awaken to a hunger and desire to go deeper and FEEL the presence of God in a new way. One night after lockdown in his cell he called out to God and said to Him that he wanted to KNOW what being FILLED with His presence really felt like. Not emotions, fleshly feelings, having knowledge or thinking in the natural but instead a supernatural experience. The FULLNESS of God and His presence. The presence of the Holy Spirit proved Himself faithful. His experience caused him to become unaware of the natural around him. The peace that surpasses all understanding, immense joy, and love, ESPECIALLY love was revealed to him and he came to realize it more fully than he thought ever possible. He remembers waking up the next morning KNOWING he had a visitation and that Jesus had visited a cellmate and he also shared that he knew he wasn't alone or forgotten. He was rested like never before, had new energy and assurance that he had not missed anything. He has been encouraged to share this AMAZING testimony with everyone he can to encourage them and increase faith. In the hopes that God will show His presence and reveal Himself to others in despair if they will only call out to Him according to Jeremiah 33:3
The men of Knox County provided us with ways the FOCUS program has been a blessing in their life.
"'I am very appreciative of the opportunity to be a part of the FOCUS program I am thankful for gaining a life-changing experience in this program. I have grown a lot closer to God in my walk with Jesus Christ. I am excited to get out and apply my knowledge to my family and friends on the outside. It has for sure been an eye-opener. I have a totally new outlook on life and as long as I am incarcerated I am going to spread the Word to my fellow inmates."