CR Inside Newsletter

The blog for CR Inside. Much talk about all things CR Inside...

Home Run Producers talk about faith, film, and finding freedom with CRI Newsletter

Editor’s note: Shortly before the national release of the movie Home Run, I got to sit with Associate Producer Micah Barnard and Co-Executive Producer Carol Mathews (Co-executive Producer Tom Newman was in England filming “The Christmas Candle”). Their faith in God and faith in what they do is evident in this interview, and evident as well in their vision for the film and for the message that Home Run seeks to bring to this world. DJ

CRIN: Let’s start with your experience of taking the film to Angola (Prison in Louisiana) and what that was like for you.

Micah: It was a surreal experience and very humbling. I had an impression in my mind of what it was going to be like, and it was completely not that impression at all. The inmates were very receptive to the film open, very appreciative that we brought it to them. Many admitted to fighting back tears and it was just a really, really great experience. I got to interview a few of the inmates and hear their thoughts on the film and overwhelmingly everyone was saying that they were just really impressed, not only by the quality of the acting but everything from the cinematography to the way it was directed. I didn’t expect to hear inmates talk that way, and so it was really interesting. They have seen a lot of films, these guys, and so they were really impressed with the film and very appreciative of it.

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Kentucky Inmates Celebrate Milestone in Celebrate Recovery Program

by Kelly Paul, Advance Yeoman (re-printed with permission)

Wickliffe-A group of six men currently incarcerated at the Ballard County Detention Center dedicated to turning their lives around celebrated a milestone in their recovery from alcohol and/or drug abuse and other issues that have taken a stronghold on their lives. On Monday, Pastor Jamie Lee of Grace United Methodist Church in La Center celebrated with the men as they acknowledged their having completed six months of hard work in a program called Celebrate Recovery.

Grace United Methodist Church has offered Celebrate Recovery on Thursday evenings since January 2012. The program has been growing strong and has been helping people not just with substance abuse, but with other issues as well. These issues include but are not limited to divorce, abuse, low self-esteem, and depression. Jailer Mike Horn approached Lee one day about bringing the program to the inmates. Since then, Lee has been meeting weekly with the men at the Ballard County Detention Center for over six months.

The small group of men all showed great appreciation for Lee for having had taken the time to come out to the detention center to show them “the loving power of Jesus Christ through a recovery process.” They all shared their gratitude for Lee, Jailer Mike Horn, and the Celebrate Recovery Program. They also expressed a deep desire to continue with Celebrate Recovery as they work toward getting their lives back on track after having been incarcerated for one reason or another.

“Mike and Jamie stayed faithful and gave us opportunity. Most jails don’t care about your spirituality,“ said Mannie Mathews-Honarmand. “They could be doing something else… Christ is moving in this jail.”

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Prison Ministry… Why Bother?

From the Editor

Why indeed? For those of us who’ve participated in this ministry, we know the challenges of seeing folks struggle to make it in Step Study, struggle to complete their time, and struggle upon release. We’ve been discouraged by our brothers and sisters who volunteer with us who don’t stay committed. For many who don’t participate, it’s difficult to understand. Ninety years ago (March 1923) British mountain climber George Mallory was asked why he wanted to attempt to climb Mt Everest after failing to reach the summit twice before. “Because it’s there” was his reply, and that famous quote has gone on to represent many endeavors. On his fateful third attempt, as observers saw him get to within 1000 feet of the summit, he fell to his death; but we can also see, that he died trying. He never gave up.

In Philippians 4:14 Paul says, “I press on toward the goal…” and in verse 15 encourages us to do the same. And so, we continue to do what we do, “Because it’s there”; and for many, we feel blessed to serve, grateful for where God has brought us from, and hopeful for those whom we serve. How many times have you left the prison yard, or the jail, wondering who got more blessed? Yeah, I know that feeling. We don’t always get to see the fruits of our labor, but what a blessing when we do. Right now, I’m co-leading a step study at our church with a man who was a leader of two step studies inside.

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CRI Ouachita

Men’s CRI graduation at Ouachita Correctional Center, Ouachita Parish, LA; where support from The Warden and his staff allow this program to thrive.