In today’s Valor Life episode you’ll get to meet an incredible man that has helped us tremendously – Pastor John Yancey. This man and his church body have been real-life examples of the love of Jesus Christ. As we watch our men being transformed, it always takes a team effort and there’s always many beautiful God sightings along the way. A critical component to successful re-entry is finding an accepting church home – listen to what happened when this church opened their doors (and hearts) to the Men of Valor men. What a cool story!! We are so thankful for our friends at Lighthouse Christian Fellowship in Antioch, TN! What a huge blessing you all are to our staff and our men!!
In today’s Valor Life episode you’ll have the chance to meet long-time volunteer and mentor, Reggie Hickman. As you’ll hear, Reggie’s life experienced some deep trauma early on and since that time he’s had an amazing journey moving away from anger and retaliation and fully into giving back to his community! This kind-hearted man has been a model of faithfulness and joy while serving inside the prisons dating all the way back to 2007! Today, he is a passionate leader on our Valor Ridge campus and has been a true mentor to many Men of Valor men.
At Valor Ridge, we get to meet lots of men and hear quite a variety of stories. Often, we’re deeply impressed with the amazing talent and intelligence that our men display as you get to know them. Many times however life has been a very tough road, childhood was a battle and a guy had to begin fending for himself from a very early age. Those coping skills are hard to unlearn, but God is faithfully equipping our men and training all of us here to trust in His name and in his character! Not to run back towards the “strength” that we had repeatedly observed as a youth – see Psalm 20:7-8! This becomes a brand new journey and an entirely new life that we hope every man will pursue with all of his heart. In this episode, Rudy will introduce you to Joshua Wiggins, another remarkable story that you don’t want to miss!
We wanted to share a quick update from the men at the Ridge. While it’s certainly been a challenging season for the guys in recent months, most have stayed very focused and are still joyful. God’s Word is being proclaimed faithfully and our men are taking steps of growth every day. As Nehemiah shared with God’s people long ago, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Neh. 8:10) We are blessed to watch our men learning to live out this truth and many others. God is at work! In today’s video we want to share some of the fun from our recent MOV fishing day – it was an awesome day!
In today’s podcast you’ll hear from Men of Valor staff member Brian Johnson as he passionately shares how we can “leave a lasting mark.”
In today’s Valor Life episode we get to hear from a long-time member of the Men of Valor staff team, Marcus D. Martin. The men at Valor Ridge have been reading through Psalm 119 this week as part of our Bible reading plan. The author of this Psalm continually expresses: his love for God’s words, how much he delights in them and his deep desire to keep them or obey them! It’s interesting and instructive to consider just how many times he repeats these concepts. Love for the words of God – 11 times! Delight in God’s commands – 10 times! Desire to obey / keep His statutes – 29 times! Just as this ancient writer has done, Marcus prompts us to look back at the perfect message that God has already given us and remember to allow it to lead us forward through the current challenges we face. Let’s never forget that God has given us a PERFECT word (verse 7) to instruct us on how we should live our lives – no matter what may come.
Our men are striving to do more than just survive. They want to THRIVE in Christ and that brings us joy and hope for the future! In today’s video you will meet Malcolm Crawford. Malcolm says, “When I came here I established a relationship with Christ that I had never had before in my life. Now I really understand what the cross and what the blood of the cross really means to me.” Malcolm’s story reminds us of the scripture in Matthew 20:16, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” Just like Malcolm, we must all learn to relinquish control in order to grow in Christ. Both inside the prison walls and at Valor Ridge, our men continue to learn about hope and trust. In these days, we are leaning on the truth of God’s word and trusting that He will take care of us, no matter the circumstances.
In spite of the anxiety over coronavirus, our men are finding ways to stay focused on God and to lift their spirits during these difficult times. While some of our men now find themselves without jobs, our staff is making the most of their time, holding one-on-one meetings with the men, talking about worship, their belief, and their faith in God. To have a little fun, they had their own March Madness at Valor Ridge with a free throw shot and a three-point competition. It was a great time just to get their minds off of things and to remind them that they are children of God, and that God loves them. This is where our men get the opportunity to stand on what they have been taught, believing and trusting that God will take care of them. Hope you enjoy the update from Valor Ridge on this edition of Valor Life!
In this episode of Valor Life, Allan Brooks describes a life he lived before coming to know Jesus: a life of drugs and self. “It was all about me. All about me that whole time. I blamed my parents; I blamed everyone for everything.” Eventually, Allan came to see that the God he had been searching for had been present all along. “I was alone in my cell and I gave it up. I’d been searching for a God who wasn’t lost, and He’d been looking out for me. He took away my desire to smoke marijuana, my profanity, my desire for vengeance, and he brought my step-father back into my life, the one I had hated the most.” Allan knows he has forgiveness of his past mistakes through Jesus.
Kevin Williams describes the habits and life choices that landed him in prison, as well as the seed of Christ that was planted in him as a young boy in church. “Men of Valor helped me change. I didn’t want to change.”
Lance Roy talks about his struggles with alcohol and his recent arrival at Men of Valor. As he contemplated coming to Men of Valor, he was presented with a life-changing question: “Do you just want to be sober, or do you want to be whole?” That’s when the decision was made clear.
“My heart was crying out. Something was pulling me towards the Lord.” Hear from Michael Gupton about his experience as part of Men of Valor’s Jericho Project, and how he wants to show others that there is another way out through God.
Hear from Paul Chartrand about what God is doing in his life and in the lives of his family.
Hear from Michael Hutchison about his experience as part of Men of Valor’s Jericho Project, and how God literally brought him back to life.
Hear from James Smith about the changes he has experienced in his life since becoming part of Men of Valor, and how he now is a man who walks by faith.