I meet with a lot of inmates at the Macomb County Jail (approximately 80 per month), 25 of these are one on one visits. I ask this question of almost every man the Lord puts me in front of, “What is your relationship like with your father?” Very rarely do I hear, “I have a great relationship with my dad.” Normally I hear, “Not very good. I burned my bridge with my dad years ago.” Or, “My mom and dad are divorced and he has another family now.” And, the one that really hits me is, “I’ve never met my dad.”
I’m not trying to say that the dads are solely responsible for their kids’ incarceration, neither am I saying that boys and girls who are raised by a Godly dad can’t go sideways, but what I can say, unequivocally, is that 85+% of all males and females behind bars have no father figure. You do the math.
However, there is a wonderful word that always comes in to the equation when God is involved. That word is “but”. But the inmates of the Macomb County Jail who attend a Bible Study service, a one on one visit, or are greeted by the book cart ministers, get to hear some wonderful and amazing news. They hear that there is a Father that, not only loves them, but He loves them unconditionally and right where they are. That His love is unfailing and covers a multitude of sins. He’s a father who will never leave them or forsake them and He wants to adopt them as His very own son and daughter. Adoption gives them all legal and legitimate rights to His family, the family of God. Point of fact, they become joint heirs with Jesus Christ sharing in all the treasures of the kingdom. You would have to be a fool not to accept such a wonderful, free gift!
But, it gets better, because He has already given us the best gifts – forgiveness and eternal life with Him! At the Macomb County Jail, through our volunteers, inmates find out that they can be set free, not having that spirit of bondage again to fear, but now receiving the spirit of adoption by whom we cry, “Abba Father!”
At the aftercare houses of Gateway, men and women continue to be discipled in the love of Christ and are learning to trust in Him more and more each day. They have found a heavenly Father to lean on, learn from and become like. They have come to realize that acceptance of His love changes everything.
Remember, the Annual Fundraising Banquet is accepting registrations. This is a free event, but registration is necessary in order to attend. The banquet is October 26, 2017 at the Palazzo Grande (54660 Van Dyke Avenue, Shelby Township, MI 48315). Doors open at 5:30pm, the banquet begins promptly at 6:30pm and registration, once again, IS A MUST.
You may register by going to: https://2017gatewaybanquet.eventbrite.com, by visiting our website: thegatewaytoglory.org or by going on our Facebook page and following the link. Alternatively, you may register by calling 855-55GATEWAY (855-554-2839). Consider reserving a table and inviting your friends or church family to join you!
We look forward to sharing the joys of changed lives with you at this banquet.
In His love,
Chaplains Steve and Robin Malek