Celebrating Jarvis' homecoming in San Antonio
I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was a new believer and I wanted so much to follow the Lord wholeheartedly. I just didn't know what that looked like. I needed someone to give practical application to the scriptures. Just a few months before from the floor of my cell in the Harris County jail, in a puddle of my own tears, full of guilt and shame for all the wrongs that I had done, I came to the end of myself and I cried out to God "if you're out there and you're real, come into my heart and change my life". He did just that. He met me right where I was. There was an overwhelming sense of peace and joy that was unexplainable. I was very familiar with jailhouse religion but this was something different. A fews years prior I myself had walked an isle for salvation(Fire Insurance) but never allowed the Lord His rightful place on the throne of my life thus resulting in no change. The transformation I experienced that night reminds me of the passage from Isaiah 61:1-4,7...."The Spirit of the Lord God was upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion-to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that HE may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.... Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy."
The Day I Went to Prison by Becky Kiser
I remember the fear and insecurity I felt as I prepared to walk through the prison doors this past Sunday. I wasn't sure how I would feel being there, I wasn't sure I would be accepted, I wasn't sure if I was safe, I wasn't sure of much. Except I was sure that the Lord had called me to go that Sunday night and love on ladies that were hurting and encourage and challenge them in the Word of God. So I was there.
It was a beautiful night, you could see the stars in the sky as we walked through the prison courtyard and made our way to the Chapel. It wasn't what we are used to. The room was stuffy, it seemed like a small warehouse room but when we walked in there was a sense of anticipation of what would happen in the next few hours.
By Damion Walker | Published Date: September 30, 2009
IFI graduate David Trickett received a vision for ministering to prisoners while still serving his own prison term.
“God put it on my heart to do a different ministry. I wanted to engage people,” says Trickett, director of Christ Hope and Reconciliation Ministry (CHARM). CHARM visits prisons around the state of Texas to engage the men in sporting events and share a message of love and forgiveness.
Trickett, who served nine years in prison, now has a wife, two kids, and a career as a real estate agent. Yet he is the first to acknowledge his indebtedness for the change in his life. “It is not about me, it’s all about Him,” says Trickett. "I could lose it all tomorrow if I don’t remain humble before the Lord.”
Trickett remains humble about the changes in his life following his release from prison. "It's not about me, it's all about Him," he says.
On this day, Trickett and other CHARM volunteers are visiting the Carol Vance Unit of the state prison in Richmond, Texas. Their opponents are members of Prison Fellowship's InnerChange Freedom Initiative. The game is volleyball and the result is a good time of fellowship. All that participated put forth an effort to win, yet the competition maintained a spirit of friendship humility—characteristics not always associated with competitive sports.
Trickett is committed to not becoming part of the growing statistic of prisoners becoming repeat offenders. Instead, he hopes to be part of a different kind of statistic—of prisoners who are committed to returning to their places of incarceration to serve those still behind bars.
Speaking to the men of the Carol Vance Unit, Trickett warned those preparing for release to maintain the relationships they had built with the volunteers who have ministered to them, and to avoid some of the temptations that led them to prison in the first place. “Stay connected and don’t get caught up in the cares of the world,” he advised. “I was always in the fast lane. I had to learn how to take it slow."
As Trickett finished his talk, he told a story that explains why he is not giving up any of the progress he has made in life. He spoke from the heart about his family and shared what his 3-year-old son had to say when he was leaving. “Daddy, you going to the prison to talk to the men about Jesus?” his son asked. Such a perspective will keep any man humble.