In 2018, the North Carolina Criminal Justice system prison policy initiative reports that the state has over 160,000 people behind bars or under criminal justice supervision. I personally believe the rising crime and violence can be changed in our community. I am in the process of collaborating with Clarence Birkhead, Sheriff of Durham County and Gerald Baker, Sheriff of Wake County to bring hope to those behind bars. King’s Park has already supplied two cases of Bibles to the Wake County detention center.
This opportunity came about as a result of Michael McDowell reaching out to me to fill a need. I met Michael as a parole officer for Durham County years ago. He and his wife were a part of the Art of Marriage Life Group that we hosted in our home. Michael has always been passionate about making a difference in the lives of people around him. He works for the Wake County detention center and recognized they had a need, so he reached out to me to see if King’s Park would help.
My heart thought about what the Word of God says about serving others. Jesus said,” I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.” Matt 25:43 I am so humbled that I can be proactive and respond to the jailed and prison population. When I approached Pastor Reggie he was excited and willing to help me. We prayed and laid hands on every Bible. Again my heart thought about Paul, “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.” Acts 19:11-12
For the victims and families of crime and violence, it leaves much room for the enemy to cause people to hold on to bitterness and unforgiveness. The strongholds and wounds that the works of flesh produce are real. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 There are two kingdoms in conflict – good and evil. I am humbled to think that having compassion and empathy for the victims and families of crime and violence can change the narrative. In conclusion, I am looking forward to collaborating with both Sheriffs and making a difference for Jesus in this Research Triangle community. King’s Park International Church is a city on a hill. I have been blessed and so inspired by the body of faith-filled Christian believers that I am doing life with. I desire your prayers for this very important work.
To God be the glory!