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A Day With Dad
Visting Those in Prison

Through the years many of you have seen the face of Calvary Commission change, although the heart remains the same. "Help them when they get out," echoes through the offices at the new International Center as the phone is answered by one of the many students or volunteers who are part of a team with a common goal, helping people. Many calls during the week are mothers, spouses, grandparents and even children of the incarcerated, asking about our school. What a joy it is to be able to explain that God has prepared a place for him or her and how we are able to support what God is doing in their life. Some of those calls are prison Chaplains requesting help. This year in 07, we have had over 700 prison meetings in the state of Texas alone. Over the past 30 years the staff at Calvary Commission and many of the Chaplains have become great friends. We have found ourselves being an extension of their work, as they have poured out their lives into these special people. We are able to continue this great work by having them come to our school. Most of the meetings we do in the prisons are discipleship classes where relationships are established and also recruits are found for the school. This past year, we have increased to over 450 volunteers working under the covering of Calvary Commission. We presently have 22 anointed team captains who preach throughout the system. This past year, we also held CVCA training for volunteer chaplains to become certified through the state.

Our latest program that is working on 5 units with a team of 20 workers is called, " Day with Dad". The team captain just happens to have been incarcerated himself for 10 years. He missed his wife and children so that after 7 years of being reunited with them, he and his wife and daughter brought their burden to Calvary, where God has opened a door. In the past 6 months, we have been able to facilitate hundreds of children coming into the prisons and spending a Day with Dad. Just recently, my wife and I attended this program that was at the Beto 1 Unit near Palestine Texas. At 10:30 on a Saturday morning, we arrived at the gate along with 20 other workers.

Our ID's were checked and we were quickly escorted into the gym. There, we set up 50 tables and "Oh Yea", we brought 120 pizzas. About 30 minutes later, the guards escorted 50 guardians and 147 kids into the gym. We had 250 chairs set up with a microphone and we were all instructed by the team captain to be seated. He explained to the children that if their daddy's were spending too much time with their mama's, to come see him and that child could pick out any game, and the team captain would make sure their daddy would play .

Just minutes later, 50 inmates dressed in white, entered the gym. In all the years of ministry, I can say my wife and I have never cried so openly for so long. What an emotional moment that was to see all the children run to their Daddys.The families began to sit at tables and visit. Thirty minutes later, pizza was served. My wife and I walked down the line and greeted these special people. One girl spoke up and said, she had never eaten as a family before. After an hour had past, we gathered as a group and the men were asked prior to coming, to prepare something special.

Well, one man took the mic and he read a poem he wrote and then asked his daughter to forgive him. Well, the tears started again, but this time in the whole house. God's presence came and much healing took place in the hearts of many that day. You have probably wondered why I have called these inmates "special". I have come to find that to the depth of depravity they have known, is also the measure of healing thy have received and for the purpose only to give to others. What a God we serve! Thank you for letting me be your representative. With Great Hope, John Owens (Calvary Commission Prison Coordinator)