Friday, February 19, 2010
FREEDOM BEHIND BARS
Freedom Behind Bars
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)
Kyle Hebert makes no excuses for what he did or where he is today. He freely admits that he and he alone is responsible for his sins. He doesn’t play the blaming game as so many often do.
Kyle has many accomplishments to his name since entering the gates of Angola State Penitentiary in May of 2000. As an inmate of the largest maximum security prison in the United States, he is also a 2007 graduate of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Angola Extension Campus with an associates and bachelors degree in Christian Ministry. He’s completed many classes including Anger Management and Substance Abuse. Kyle’s also a Class-A trusty and a staff writer for the prison magazine, The Angolite. Taking 10 years to achieve, a Class-A trusty, the highest level, he must avoid being disciplined or written up for an offense, and set an example for other inmates to follow.
Louisiana (Angola) State Penitentiary
Not so many years ago, Angola was the bloodiest prison in America. Now it’s considered to be the safest. Many have speculated why Angola turned around, but for anyone who has visited the prison, they leave knowing exactly what has brought about this miraculous change. And that change can be summed up in three letters: G.O.D.
When Burl Cain became the Warden of Angola State Penitentiary, he brought the word of God. He has promoted moral rehabilitation by allowing Christian ministries from all over the world to worship with the men of Angola.
Kyle is involved in a program, Malachi Dads. It’s a one-year program that teaches men to be godly fathers to their children. Prior to Malachi Dads, Kyle was able to meet his nine-year-old son, Matthew for the first time, through Returning Hearts, a program that unites fathers with their children.
Matthew wrote in a letter to his dad,
“Hi dad, I had a good time. I can’t wait til next year. I didn’t want to say goodbye. I love you with all my heart and Jesus does too. John 3:16 says, God so loved the word that he gave his one and only son for who ever believes in Him shall not parish but have eternal life. Bye dad, love you.”
Love your son,
A Miracle Through Surrender and Faith
If you met Kyle at Angola State Penitentiary, you would find a miracle. One would have a hard time believing that Kyle was once the man he claims to have been. His story is one filled with hope and love.
“I’m not a poster boy for good behavior and recovery in Angola.” Kyle says. “I’m just a guy who knows he has a lot to be grateful for and a God who gets all the credit. He gave his son so that I may now have mine.”
The Willow Creek Prison Ministry
Willow Creek’s Prison Ministry has many volunteer opportunities from writing to the incarcerated, to making cell visits, to donating inspirational Christian fiction to the girls at IYC Warrenville. If you feel led to this ministry, check out a few of the opportunities on Willow’s website under Compassion and Justice.