Giving Back

Mike’s playing days afforded him much more free time than his coaching days do, so events added to the calendar are given long, hard consideration before being confirmed. This year, when his presence was requested at TURN, a reformation project taking place at Angola State Penitentiary in Louisiana, he jumped at the chance to spend a weekend at the maximum security prison. He had one caveat, though; he wanted Matt and John to be able to join him.

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It’s often said that when you seek to be a blessing to those in need, you end up being blessed. This was certainly the case for Mike and the boys.

They arrived early Saturday morning in time for the day’s scheduled meetings. TURN has been wildly successful within Angola, so much so that prison systems in Texas and California are initiating efforts to emulate the faith-based curriculum. TURN operates on the premise that real reform comes from the inside, and the message of forgiveness and true repentance produces legitimate life transformation.

One of the most unique aspects of the agenda was sleeping in a cell. ‘Lights out’ took place in a former death row cell block, giving our sons a taste of life behind bars. Thankfully, they found it neither intriguing nor comfortable. They did, however, enjoy mingling with the inmates who chose to attend the event. Many of them were open and honest about their transgressions, and all of the TURN guests couldn’t believe that the refined, mannerable men they socialized with were capable of such atrocities. The warden was quick to point out that the vast, vast majority of them were there as a result of crimes committed while under the influence of alcohol. He noted how many of them innocently came down to New Orleans in celebration of Mardi Gras, but will never return home again, serving a life sentence for a crime committed in a drunken stupor. Very sad, indeed.

They found the exhibit of inmate weapons the authorities confiscated over the years quite fascinating:

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But by far they all agreed that one of the most impactful aspects of the weekend was their time spent with an inmate scheduled for execution within days. He was personable, humble, and repentant, and my three guys’ hearts all went out to him. Claiming he was ready, the preparations were being made for the termination of his life.

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The weekend was capped off with Mike’s Sunday morning address. Equally moving and motivating, for which he’s so gifted.

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All in all, the three Singletary men felt privileged to be a part of TURN 2013.

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Comments

  1. Phil Dorr says:

    Kim:

    Thanks for sharing and it is amazing how God uses you, Mike and the family to save SOULS for His Kingdom!

    Prayers daily for y’all.

    Phil

  2. Kurt Dorr says:

    Great story Kim! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Who knows the true impact of such a visit? God bless the Singletary family and those they touch.

  4. Bernie Pagac says:

    Inspiring story as they all are, Kim! Thank you!

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