I just have one week left in my first run at coordinating Financial Peace University at Goose Creek Correctional Center. It looks like I will have 14 guys graduating this time. In my last post I mentioned that one gentleman told me he just wasn't connecting with what was being taught. He's been incarcerated for twenty years and in that time hasn't written a check, or paid a bill, or even had actual cash in his hand.
But last week's lesson was on giving and living a life of generosity. And really, that's the point behind Financial Peace. By being a good steward of what God has giving us, it puts in a position to be a blessing to others. This week that same guy told me he now he gets it. He feels like he's connecting to the material. Stories like that make the sacrifice worth it!
So I'll wrap this class up on October 4th, and on October 11th I'll start my next class. I was hoping for a good turnout.... And today I found out that all twenty available slots are full!! And thanks to your previous generosity, I've got the cash on hand to buy the $420 worth of workbooks I'll need for these guys.
But I'm already thinking ahead to the class after this next one. So in future updates, I'm gonna be doing some begging. And I will do it unashamedly because I believe in the potential for this class to reduce the recidivism rate here in Alaska. 94% of inmates today will be released at some point and within 2-3 years 66% of them will be back in prison. For the inmates involved in the Faith Wing program, that number drops to a 33% recidivism rate. Our statewide chaplaincy coordinator, Reverend Jim Duncan wants to see that number drop to under 25% before the end of the year. And my goal is a 0% recidivism rate for the guys that complete the Financial Peace class.
I believe this is possible. And I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen. But I know this is bigger than me, so I want give you the opportunity to be be a part. If you'd like to give, you can see your options for doing so here at this post.
In addition to starting my new FPU class on the 11th, I will also be starting a class using the Bait of Satan curriculum from John Bevere. The class will equip the students to deal with offenses, bitterness and unforgiveness. I wasn't sure how this class would be received... Participation in these classes are completely volunteer, and the inmates give up their recreation time to be in the class. So the question was "would anyone be willing to give up their free time to dig into the crap of their past?" Well, apparently they would be because this class is also full with all 20 slots taken. I was able to order the curriculum and it arrived in the mail today.
I am still in amazement over the doors God has opened for me lately. And I'm humbled by those of you who have put your money towards it. I want you to know that an impact is being made. Thank you to those who passed on encouraging words and who have been praying. More great stuff is ahead! I promise to keep you updated as things go along!