The first Summit at Southeast Correctional Center in Missouri was held in August of 2015 with the sponsorship and the support of the team at La Croix Church. They caught a vision to serve prisoners, unleash potential and change the culture of the prison from inside out, using the tools offered by The Global Leadership Summit (read more about the event here).
After the event, we received letters from several of the prisoners who were able to attend, and we are blown away by the powerful impact the Summit has had on these men. Here is just one of those letters. We hope you’re as encouraged, challenged and inspired by his words as we were when we received it:
The Global Leadership Summit was way beyond what I expected!
For two days it was like I wasn’t in prison, and that means a lot to someone sentenced to live out the rest of his life in prison.
While facing the death sentence in county jail, a preacher visited and preached. At the end of his visit, I decided to approach him to ask for help. He introduced me to Jesus Christ and I got saved. From that moment, I’ve never been the same again. I prayed and decided that each day from then on I would live for Him despite what the future might bring. I decided that each day I was blessed with, I would live a better life for Him. I was 20 years old when I made that decision, and 10 years later I’m still serving Him where I’m needed.
Apparently, some of the staff and volunteers in this institution have noticed what God is doing in my life, and chose me to go to the GLS. The La Croix Church sponsored it and paid for everything!
God really does work in awesome ways for those who don’t deserve it!
I was one of the first 40 men to attend the Summit out of the 1600 in this prison, and this is the first time this has ever been done in the state of Missouri. What a blessing and honor!
For years I’ve been trying to reach younger men who desperately need Jesus and a new beginning. Unfortunately, many of them choose gangs, violence, drugs, and many of the other evils prison has lurking in the darkness. This becomes bothersome because I want them to experience what I’ve experienced in Christ.
I never really viewed myself as a leader, but since the Summit, I’ve realized there’s more in me than I could ever imagine.
God dwells within me, and he can help me be the leader and man of God He wants me to be! The GLS has given me many more tools to use in the ministry and in my everyday life.
It’s difficult to choose just one speaker as my favorite because each of them spoke to me in a special way. I’ve really been questioning my “White Hot Why” while asking others about my blind spots. I’ve started to reassess the ministry I’ve been blessed with and my servitude as a whole.
I’ve looked into my “dumb ideas” and have created some “Big Hairy Audacious Goals.” Some seem unreachable like the “dumb idea” of having a “Dignity and Respect Walk-a-Thon” to encourage staff and offenders to co-exist in a friendlier environment instead of the dislike and hatred on both sides. For each lap an offender and staff completes, an outside entity will donate $1.00 and the proceeds would be sent to the victims or a place that helps victimized people. Offenders and staff working together? It seems impossible, and to some, a “dumb idea,” BUT with God all things are possible!
I want to do more with my life, and I want to impact people in a positive way for Jesus Christ.
I’m also trying to see how I can reach society in a way that will help others. I’ve created a proposal for a halfway house idea, but it still hasn’t been looked at. The Grander Vision is sometimes difficult to achieve. I’m still learning to step back and let God have His way.
One part of the GLS caused me to cry tears of joy. When Bill Hybels and Brian Houston sat on the stage for the praise and worship, I melted inside. I sat in my seat singing and praising God as tears rolled down my face and fell on my prison uniform. Just thinking about it almost makes me cry. God is sooooo good! That day I sat next to a Muslim. I’m sure he thought I was crazy, but God deserves praise no matter where I’m at or who is around me!
Since attending the GLS, I’ve contacted a friend of mine (Frank Brooks, the pastor of Flag Springs Church in St. James, MO), and explained to him it is a must that you attend the GLS or go to a church that hosts it. I believe he is going to get the leadership of that church to either host one or attend in 2016.
God is doing great things through the GLS and those who are participating in it.
I can’t wait to see what God will have transpire throughout the upcoming year! I guess I just want to say thank you for letting me, of all people, attend such an awesome event. It was an honor and I hope I’ll get to see the next one. Until next time, take care of yourself and may the Lord bless you abundantly in every aspect of your life.
Sincerely in Christ’s Love,
GLS attendee, Southeast Correctional
Please pray for our prison sites in 2017.
This year there will be 60 prisons experiencing the GLS teaching.
Imagine what God might do!