Ashe told the men the greatest messenger ever is Jesus, but “we’re all messengers” through the lives we lead and the choices we make.
Even though the men remain incarcerated for various offenses, the sheriff told them “Where you are, you’re all messengers to those you’re incarcerated with.” He added he wanted to publicly thank them and thank, also, Locke, Hearn and Luttman for their working with the men.
Ashe noted they are the first participants in the program and he hopes they will encourage others to take part.
“We appreciate the opportunity,” said Jonathan Golden, one of the program’s graduates.
Another graduate, Andrew Jackson, added, “We’re grateful God gave us the chance to prove ourselves.”
“We’ve grown used to doing this,” said Janus Bosenbark, a graduate.
Antwan Robinson, also one of the graduates, stood up and read a poem written by all of the program participants entitled, “New Life Behavior.” The poem, as they wrote it, follows:
We found a program that teaches us a new life and a new behavior,It teaches us that the key to success is through our Savior,It shows that we have been following a path of misguided information,That Christ Jesus is the only path and only foundation,We have learned that drugs and alcohol isn’t the answer to our problems,They only cloud our mind but never solve them,But we learned that our sordid past can be forgiven,That it’s not to late to open the doors to heaven,We also know now that we are not alone but there is others,We also have learned to build off the times we suffer,Because it is a blessing from God in the making,Losing God’s blessing is not a chance worth taking,We learned so much truth that we never knew before,We feel like new men with a new world to explore,Because we have learned that we can make a positive change,With God we no longer need the negative things,Because drugs and alcohol is now things of the past,Prayer is now the key to make our blessings last,What a wonderful program to teach us so many great things about our Savior,So we thank you for everything new life, and new behavior.
In addition to Robinson, Jackson, Golden and Bosenbark, other graduates and authors of the poem include Dustin Hesson, Pat Moyer, Kendrick Majors and Thomas McCrary.
Copies of the poem were made and presented to Locke, Hearn and Luttman with one of them noting he would hang it on a wall.
After the poem was read, Ashe asked them if they minded if their names were printed in the newspaper, and they all said no. He told them that by allowing their names to be printed “You’re publicly saying you believe in Jesus.”
Hearn noted that the New Life Behavior Ministries program is used in the Texas prison system where it has been successful. The program’s desire is “to reconcile individuals to God, family and society” by changing the way participants conduct their lives.
The hope is that when the inmates are released from jail or prison, they will do the right things and make the right choices in life so they will not be reincarcerated.
The program helps cut the recidivism rate, Hearn said, anywhere from 25 to 75 percent.
For more information about the New Life Behavior Ministries, visit online at www.nlbm.org or call (361) 855-3372. The program is based in Corpus Christi, Texas. Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at email@example.com.