Being Comfortable, While Being Uncomfortable.
I Michael Fitzgerald Eggleston was a person who always followed his own ambitions. My ambitions almost cost me my life and freedom in several different ways. Personally I had just gave up on life, where my ambitions faded. Coming to prison in 1995 with nothing to drive me, but survival mode to stay alive. So for 14 years straight I walked around unengaged to my environment. Kirkland Correctional Institution is where all the experience was endowed to me. I felt as I no longer mattered to my family, because I never learned how to communicate and properly build relationships.
This neglection cause me to survive off the land and I had no outside connections every thing was like this 14 years straight. Hopeless but surviving. The word for this is to maintain and stay out of every body way. I am now 36 years old and it is 2009. Seeing now I need a change so I got me job in construction as an electrician. The rule to prison you can be what ever and that was what I was going to be. I was two crews or electricians. The first crew would go in and destroy and take up the electrical parts in a building. The second crew would put in every thing new. Me and a man name Richard Workman who was from Rock Hill, South Carolina. One of the Special things about Richard he had been locked up for 31 years and had a joy that I never seen in a man before. The genuine joy was so powerful, it made question I had been locked up for 14 years and was super miserable. I believe this was a divine mission, his joy my miserable was the perfect mix, because we were the total opposite. When it came to doing the job we work as the Dynamic duo. The building would over three hundred light fixtures which we destroyed Fifty a day. Our duty was to take them down and take them apart by taking the glass out of the medal, after that take the ballast out of the lights with removing all the lights out of the fixture.
Our schedule was we worked from 6 am-4 pm Monday's thru Friday. I was in April of 2009 when I decided to ask Richard why was he so joyful in prison like he was like ''Jesus''. He said Boldly Jesus gave me this joy and you need him to give you the same joy. I quickly without even thinking I am good. Actually I wasn't good, I needed that joy but just was to proud to admit. In a strange way my soul desired to have that joy because that's why I was happy to work with him. The next day came and it was a strange day, the Boss man forgot me and Richard tools and we had to clean out that attic this was on a Tuesday. So from 6 am to 4 pm we were cleaning the attic. The talk was about Jesus and where would we go if we died? One of the things that blowed my mind. I was thirty six years old and never talked about Jesus and death in so detail. Richard gave me his testimony to how he gave his life to God. My thought was if God can save you, why won't he save me? My mind was racing with the thought of where will I go if I die? This was the main topic we talked about. I didn't admit it I feared a little, My Foundation was shaken to the core. So he got bold and said tonight I am going to Joe Table's Bible Study, will you come with me? I said No, man I'm tired of all this Jesus talk and he said o.k. And the day was over. We go in the dorm with my mind on that conversation we had so I went straight to the shower, back to the room I went. I was very lucky to not have a roommate, so I took me a nap. That night some one was beating on my door screaming my nick name "eight ball get up man Richard workman died tonight he had an aneurysm and a vein burst in his brain. Once I got my thoughts together, I kept hearing the conversation we had that day. Tears began to roll down my face and I didn't quite understand how can this happen. So I went back to sleep to hear his voice saying, where would 8-ball go if he dies? What if that would have been me? Will I go to Hell? because Jesus is not my Lord. My mind ran that whole entire night. I had found myself in a very unfamiliar place in life. The first part of life didn't make any sense to me, because before I had that conversation with Richard, my life had no real meaning.
The next morning took a long time to come and I went to work. Due to Richard passing they took the day off. I had this whole entire day to think and focus on things in life that really matter. Friday came fast and the Chaplain had a memorial for Richard. Another sign of divine happens, because if not this was the first time I ever seen S.C.D.C. have a memorial for an inmate. It was over two hundred people pack in the visiting room. Richard have affected a lot of people. I seen many staff members came to show their respect to Richard.
As the Chaplain began the service, he began to say, "if you do not know where you going if you die, come up front to give your life to God. If you don't have a personal relationship with God you are at risk to go to hell." My thought was how can I suffer in this life and suffer in the next one too. That didn't make any sense, so me about 280 pounds moving fast to get up there and give my life to Jesus. Now I am standing in front of the Chaplain and the people. He looked at me and ask me to say this prayer. So I said a prayer that God would forgive me for my sins and Jesus will come into my heart. I confessed Jesus is my Lord and savior. My heart was so full and the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. The tears began to flow like I was a little child and as all this pain began to fade, joy began to fill my heart, I yelled praise the lord, thank you Jesus. My soul was not bound up, God had done a miracle in my heart. So I went back to my seat on cloud nine with Joy. The service came to a conclusion and we cleared out. I am now in the room celebrating, thanking god. My heart is full of praise. People start coming to my room to give me support and how happy they were that I my life to God.
I was transformed by the power yet I was still in a physical prison (Kirkland Correctional Institution). God was real to me. My hunger to know God had grew above everything and my hunger to share the fact that I've changed. The fact yet I was in prison God saved me and I wanted my Family to know what God done. It's Sunday now and I had been at Kirkland for 14 years now and never went to church. That Saturday Night before Sunday, I was sitting on my bed praising and worshiping God and I began to worship with a language I never spoke before as I was sweating from the fire of God. I felt totally free and worshiped God with every thing I had. As this night came to close, I prayed and went to sleep. Yet I was four days in giving my life to God... I began to dream yet my eyes was close as I never had a dream like this, because it's like I was watching myself from a distance. I was looking down with a sight of seeing me standing in front of many men in white suits preaching up a storm. With this going on I am heard the whole entire Bible being Read. Three things going on at one time. It seems if time had stop, because in reality I never read the whole bible and I never preached before. The miracle of the whole entire thing is the dream gave me a desire to read the entire Bible and to preach the gospel. I finally woke up to a voice saying I had to be at the Chaplain's office at 8:00 AM, which it was now 5:45 am. I got up, got in the shower wondering what do the Chaplain with me. When I got my self together about 7:00 AM now. I start reading the Bible from Genesis to Exodus, it is now 8:05 am.
I went to the Chaplain's office and he was waiting on me. John Houcer was his name and he had been the Chaplain for awhile. He says Mr. Eggleston I had a dream about you last night, I dreamed you was preaching the gospel in front of a lot of people. Then he began to tell me it would be something good for me to get in the ministry class, because he said he believe God wants to use me in Ministry. I said yes immediately to the Idea four days ago I gave my life to God, I was willing to do what ever God wanted me to do. We began to go back to work now, to me I felt sad with my work partner Richard, but I felt happy because I knew if anyone went to Heaven Richard made it. He would be irreplaceable. Life was different but I learned how to move forward. The first ministry class I went to was powerful. Something had happened where the R&Es could not go to church. Kirkland is a unique prison because they have two kinds of inmates. R&Es are inmates just coming in the prison from the county jail. Then you have the Cadre people who have been classified doing they time already. The class was that we had to learn how to preach and share the gospel of Jesus Christ weeks later we learn that the students of the ministry class will go out and preach the gospel in the R&E dorms.
I was kind of scared, but I remembered the dream and I said God I am yours, use me Lord. It's about may 2009 now and I had been saved for maybe a month. The Chaplain call the class to the classroom and said that the warden had approved that we could go out Fridays 6 pm to 8 pm, Saturdays 12:00 am to 2:00 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm, and Sundays 12:00 am - 2:00 pm - 6 pm to 8 pm. So this was my life now and I was a part of something that really mattered. Kirkland had seven and a partial dorms that we could cover. It was me and 14 other guys going to these dorm to share the message of Jesus. We also took time to do cell to cell which was able to do in the Horseshoe.
The Horse shoe was AI, AII, BI-CI CII, we would cover these dorms on Saturdays and Sundays and then we would cover the F dorms on Friday nights and Sunday at noon. Our responsibility to God was to operate in integrity and honor to God.
This ministry was favor from God because normally a cadre could not talk to a R&E inmate, but during ministry hours we could talk to them. As we paired up by fours we would go to the F dorms and have services. The services would stand out with the R&E guys coming out of their cells in a fashion order and sit down on the benches. No more than 50 due to keep order. We would have someone open up to set the order and what we was expect out each other and this was strictly about God and nothing else.
Then another guy would open up in prayer. This would open the door for all of us to sing some worship songs until the presence of God was intense. Only two would give a message and a testimony. The one who did all the praying. We witness broken men truly confess that Jesus was Lord. We witness grown men weep and cry out to God. God showed himself mighty in these services. God showed himself mighty in these services. God allowed us to minister from 2009 to 2013, until some of the other religions was complaining they did not have no one coming around to them, so this one individual tried to take one his relative some canteen and got caught and got the entire ministry shut down. Nothing to do with the Christians, but the ministry as far as the class could no longer go out. Kirkland at the time since 2007 was partnering with Columbia International University, had established a two year Associates of Arts program for inmates and they were going out to the P&E dorms Mondays thru Fridays.
So to keep the noise down about what happen with us, they promoted the C.I.U. guys to go out on Saturday and Sundays. With this happening I cried out to God to see what was next for me. I wanted to preach with all this word and zeal in me needing an opportunity to share. I was able to preach every now and then on Sundays. But I heard God say sign up for C.I.U. and he would use me in a way that would glorify him on a greater level. So I got in touch with my niece to send me my G.E.D. I got in 1986 from Bamberg Job Corps she said that since the G.E.D. didn't have the Palmetto sticker on it, it was invalid. So I prayed and ask God what to do, I heard him say get your G.E.D. I was in a 3 on 3 tournament with the inmate Nanne Vernon Bellamy who basically ran the Education Department. So we won the Tournament so I ask him how can I sign up for the G.E.D. class and he sign me right up the next day. So its March 2014 now I am going to class to get my G.E.D. It is formatted to take the [Iabe?] test, but I remembered the [Iabe?] test when I was in job corps. I had to take it twice because I made a 12.3 on it. It was the same exact test and end up making a 11.9 which the teacher said. I was ready for the pre-G.E.D. and 50 hours in class and I would pass the G.E.D. easily. So that is how it basically worked. The next few weeks I took the Pre-GED and made a twenty five hundred. So passed that coming to class four days a week working hard everyday.
The teacher aid allowed us to get extra hours on Fridays. My date was set for June and I was ready to get this G.E.D. I practice in the dorm because the more work I did the more I understood the whole breakdown of the testing. My day came and they gave the test in the same place where I gave my life to God. It is about twenty five guys sitting in the visiting room waiting. The test went as plan, I felt I had dominated it. I had to wait two weeks before the score came back. In this time waiting I filled out the Columbia International University prison initiative program Application. I truly believed God told me to go. I was still working in construction and it was a Friday as I open the door to the room I was living in I saw a paper on the floor. It was my G.E.D. scores, I passed it, one part of the mission completed. When Monday came I submitted my application for C.I.U. trusting that God's word will come forth and I stood on that. I waited about a month or two to hear a response from the C.I.U. application. The process was that if you get chosen they will interview you first and everybody do not get an interview. I got an interview and it was one of the most powerful experience I ever experienced in prison. Me and four other inmates going to Broad River prison to be interviewed to attend College. I was humbled by the fact being in this position. As we get shackled up from waist to feet to go I could feel the peace of Jesus on me. It took us about thirty minutes to get to the holding tank where we got stripped searched and then led to another tank which is a cell.
The first group went in the interview room, they stayed in there about an hour. All of them came back angry and upset because none of them made the cut. I was in the second group and one other guy from Kirkland went in the interview room. My prayer was to God you say go, I went and I am here now. It was a panel of people who was in power. The associate warden, director of the program and the senior Chaplain. There was the Chaplain who was with me when I gave God my life and Three people without an Idea who I was. So they began to ask questions as the interview began. Mostly they wanted to know who you are? And how would you fit in the program? Every one was in harmony as one by one every body began to give a short testimony as the room became a little bit calmer. Before we know it an hour has flew by and that was strange it seems if this was meant to be. We prayed out and went back to the cell, while waiting to go back to Kirkland we talk it was three guys from Lee County talking about how messed up Lee county was. Our conversation was basically all five us loved Jesus and loved basketball.
That was a bond was supernaturally made on the spot. We prayed and the officer said that it was time to go back to Kirkland. We got back on the van seemed like it only took a few minutes and we were back. People walk up to as we got back to conversate about the interview on what was the great part about the interview on what was the great part about the interview on what was the great part about the interview. I was in trust mode the whole entire time. Three months went by and the officer: "Is there a Michael Eggleston in here." I said that's me it was the letter of confirmation that I will be attending Columbia International University prison initiative program. God said and it came to pass. With the thought being to able to obtain a College Degree in prison is Amazing. The greatest thing to be able to preach God's word to the R&Es. Praising God, Moving on a floor being I was in Cohort 8 and 1 year with cohort 7. The first days was kind of hard because of the volume of work. The work seems as though it was going to be too much. I heard the word of God speak to me said I will never bring you to something without bringing you through it. I stood on that word.
So as the word and Class began my faith grew in God the first semester My memory was terrible but with God all things are possible. Taking one class at a time I leaned on God and I started dominating. I had to figure out how I learn and how I retain knowledge. My mind was getting whipped in college mode and God was allow my faith go to the next level. I just put my hand in the man hand Jesus. I found myself creating great study habit and the work was making sense. I had been locked up all this time and I had never officially learned how to type, so this was a learning process as I began to master it. Only God it was a divine thing. I could only give God the Glory for this. Things would just fall in place and my grades began to rise and before I knew it, six month had went by fast. My first year was right around the corner and everything was starting to line up. The work was comprehensive and my hunger grew for more of God's word. The hunger was being strengthen as more opportunity to learn the word. The teachers was bringing their experiences as God work through what they life look like, yet life was going Good on the spiritual side of things and time was difficult because of all the blessings was happening. My family members began to die one after another. My mother was the first one to pass on. I went to a place of emotion I never been before. I experienced a place of sadness, because when I was out on the street, I never learned how to process pain. So when you give your life to Christ your heart changes. At one time when a person dies I would not deal with it, I for the first time allowed myself feel the pain at its Fullest. My mother was one of the motivation that I had set in my mind when I gave my life to Christ. I was going to make it out of prison that she can experience the transformed man God had touched.
So life moved on and I was able to thank God for the time I had with my mother. Yet another year went by and more opportunities came as I began to get a greater understanding of why God had saved me. Now in six months away from graduation I find out my sister Dorothy passed away as Great things on one level one another level. On one hand God was blessing with new people in my life my family members was dying. That lesson kept playing back in my mind. God is in control of all things and I was able to push forward with one month left to graduate and to go to another prison. I have had some of the most powerful experiences that was so great. Two days before graduation I was supposed to find out what other prison to go to. I was selected to go to Evans Correctional Institution. A prison that was in Bishopville South Carolina. Graduation was set for that following Friday December, the Ninth 2016 at 1 pm.
It was another Special Moment to work and grow in the spirit for the last two years. The fact that God told me to go to Columbia International University and he delivered me, my time was to live out this. One o'clock time is my reality to stand with cap and gown and receive this degree in prison. The twelve is about to walk this out as we take steps in unison, walking in the visiting room to a song that you can barely hear. Family members, professor, and other inmate watches as we began to move toward the special seats that we are assign. As I sit down I look out in the crowd to see my sister and niece looking at me with amazement and as if they were proud. The graduation starts as the names are called to receive the associates degree. One after the next, then my name is called: "Michael Fitzgerald Eggleston" Columbia International University Prison Initiative program presents you with the degree of Associate Arts. So I rise to receive this degree, pause for a picture as I make the walk, seeing the word that God had been fulfilled seeing the people clap I embraced the idea that I had accomplished something.
Sitting down as the rest of my brothers received their degree and the benediction was done. Our families was able to take pictures with us. We went in full celebration mode as my sister Betty and niece Sandy was able reflect on what God will do as you surrender. The love and support on that day was amazing, yet I was in prison, This was a special moment, Because walls did not exist on this day. We began continue to pray and fellowship about what God was doing in our lives. We ate cake and drank soda catching up with what life look like. Three hours and thirty minutes flew by and they had to leave.
So as this time came to an end I began to walk them arm and arm with degree in Sandy hand. We hug and the tell me how proud they are of me. I am telling every body how much I appreciate them and began to leave. Kirkland is a different prison, because that day it did not seem I was in prison. I walked back to the dorm on cloud nine because all the thoughts of me walking up to the altar and giving my life to God on me Rushing back by my heart as tears of joy run down my face. I did see any one from the walk to dorm.
My face is dry I began to walk in the entrance of the dorm which was B-II, I walk to my room thinking God and praising him for choosing me. My roommate came in the room knowing that I am about to go, start talking about how he appreciated me and how much he would miss me. Yet I had lived in this since 2000 and it was 2016 the reality was to set in I am about to leave this place.
I have a lot of memories flowing and my heart is full of great things that I have experienced at Kirkland. I came here at Kirkland when I was twenty two and now I am forty-three years old. Out of all the members that had graduated six of us was leaving Monday so they issued our green bags that Friday night and said be ready to go at 5:30 AM Monday morning. So me trusting God fully was ready and began packing that night. I gave my roommate things that I couldn't take on I didn't have room for. I ended up going to sleep around 3:30 AM talking to my roommate about what to come. I finally went to sleep to believe on God's promises and I was ready to see what God was gonna do next. I woke up at 7:00 AM only giving me three and a half hours to sleep but I was full of energy. My excitement was so powerful, I began to walk through the dorm to talk to my closest people that I knew. The day was a day of shooting the breeze and saying my goodbyes. Before I knew it the day was over. Now it's Sunday Ready to go to Church. I did not know that they wanted to preach that Sunday, because the word say be ready in season and be ready out season. God had me ready. I began to praise God and thanked the brothers for the opportunities that they have given me. So the Church began to fill up and the service started with the Choir singing worship songs. The first song was open the floodgates of heaven, which the choir allowed God use them. The presence of God was so powerful and as they went to the next song 'Praise Him.' Then the Chaplain came up front to introduce me before the Congregation. I came up and open with prayer saying to God that we need you and we love you. The book of Jonah was all in my spirit and I felt that God wanted me to share this word. Most of the Guys who graduated did not want to go to the institution that was chosen for them, I definitely did not wanted to go to Evans, but I had made a vow to God wherever and whenever. I will go and I will honor you wherever I go. One of the greatest lessons that I learned in C.I.U. is to preach a sermon and I began to give the background of Jonah. My first point was the question. Why God is allowing to go where you going? What is God doing in the book of Jonah? Will you go where God is sending you? What will God do in you?
As I began to read some scriptures in book 2 of Jonah being inside the belly of the fish - representing our rebelling phase as not going where God want you to. The second phase was that if anyone felt like Jonah we needed to repent right now. So right in the middle of preaching I made an altar call A lot of people came forth and I lead us in a prayer of repentance.
The presence of God filled that place, people started weeping and praising God. So I ask everybody to go back to their seats. Everybody went back to their seats as I resume to preach as the third point was to re-prioritize our plan and surrender to God's will. So in all we began to release our personal plan and surrender to God will. As I began to bring this sermon to a close I remind the congregation that wherever we are God is with us. As I use psalm 139 to remind that they can send to the Belly of the Beast God is with us. He is our Emmanuel and he will never leave us or forsake us as we are leaving Kirkland but God is going with us.
The Chaplain came up to do the Benediction he wanted to pray over everybody who was leaving the institution so the service ended on this note and everyone was ready to go see what God had for them as another institution. Sunday was a blur as time hit me like a ton of bricks. I got back from church I slept that whole entire day away waking up to the call of the 2:45 evening count, sitting up for a minute a fell back to sleep to wake up for the 9 o'clock count only to go back to sleep.
4:45 AM came so fast and I arose feeling super fresh as God peace was all in me. I began getting ready thanking and praising God for what he has done and what he is about to do. It is 5:30 AM Monday Morning a officer shouts all inmates that are transferring bring your property to the visiting room. The mission is beginning as we walked to the visiting room to get our property inventoried. The worker began to take my property out on a table and the officer go through all my property piece by piece. The process was about a forty five minutes process as I began to repack my property and sit down in silence. I must have waited about two more hours to be chained up from arms to feet and gathered on a bus to go to the terminal at Broad River to wait two more hours. This place is like a Big garage with so many inmates talking about every thing.
The order was strange because yet it was noisy everyone was sitting down. No one said you couldn't stand, but everyone felt the need to sit down. Two hours has pass of listening and telling stories about what yard we been on and where we are going. One of the voices from a tall black guy saying "I just came from Evans and it is the worst. They is on that K-2 bad almost all the people on it."
It is a disciplinary yard and most of the people get in trouble all the time. The yard also stay locked down he kept on and on how bad this yard is and gangs run the yard. So my mind was running a thousand miles per hour. Two hours went like that and then I head my name "Eggleston Michael Eggleston - then I got up and a officer said he had to chain me up to go to Evans Correctional Institution. So as I am slowly walking chained getting on a bus hearing all kinds of stuff, people talking aloud. As I take a seat the officer takes off the shackles. Once the other officer comes on the bus and the bus cranks up and we are on our way to Evans Correctional Institution. It must of took all day to get to Evans, because of all the stops we had to make before we got there. We stopped at Lee county prison, we must have waited another hour, before we got back on the road. Now it is getting dark around five P.M. Riding finally getting there and we have to go in this holding cell which we stayed five hours to get processed into Evans prison. Finally we get out property and get escorted to our dorms.
The name of the dorm I was assigned to was Sant'ee. When I entered I had seen about ten people I met at Kirkland or preaching to them when they came through R&E. As I was going to the Room it was this young Guy who I had met when I was ministering to in the youth Dorm. I called his name and he looked at me remembering Saying, Here comes the Preacher, they called him High yellow, because he was Light, Light skinned. When I first met yellow he was eighteen now five years later, I am being put in the room with him. His story is something. When he was eighteen him and step dad tried to rob someone and end up killing two people. He got two life sentences running wild, and when I was telling him my story, he started to listen, but he was not living for God. He now was the Head of a Gang who run the dorm. I told him I needed to go take a shower would he watch my stuff and he agreed.
As it is about 10:30 pm now I take my stuff to shower as I hear a bunch of commotion as I am taking shower a bunch arguing was going on, So it got quiet. I continue to take a shower and as I began to finish to dry off and dress all the up with boots on.
Just as I am coming down the steps I hear a loud scream as I see about five guys stabbing this guy up, he didn't have a chance and the officer had about five other officers come in and lock the dorm down. I am in panic mode because I didn't see High yellow, they said it was a hit on him by his own gang because he had been stealing from them. High yellow had got stabbed about fifteen times and still lived. So for the first three months our dorms was on lock-up, No body moved out, nobody moved in. The S.C.D.I. did a full investigation and the dorm was cleared out. My purpose for being at Evans was to work as a Chaplain worker. So now it is March and I finally get to start working and the Chaplain said he wanted all his workers to live in the Character dorm. Two days off lock-down I was moved to the Character dorm, which was [Cheraw?]. The Character dorm is design for all the guys on the yard who do not get in trouble. Serving God was where my mind was and However God wanted to use me I would surrender. It was a lot of strong personality in this dorm, because this dorm was set to inmates regulating inmates. There was a noise control system and coordinators with mentors with mentees. This system was design to produce positive leaders who took responsibility, facilitated classes. The entire idea is to change a negative place to a positive place. The dorm I was in was new and was being developed. Most of the guys was sincere about helping to change the negative to positive, but you had a few that was negative.
My job with the Chaplin affected me a lot of opportunities to Facilitate classes. I was able to learn many things on the ministry side of the job. I was also able to do the Kairos walk while working the walk. Yet I was in a horrible place, God was with me, While I was at Evans many people lost their lives due to the violence. I know for the first six months at least Twenty people lost their life. My responsibilities were mounting due to the Religion activities increased, because of all the violence it kind of made many people cry out to God. One thing I know there was too many people wanted to die, So people start coming to Church and people start signing up for classes.
One of the biggest paradoxes of life out of all this death, people wanted change and they was vowing for it by any means necessary. There was this gate called gate five that I had to go through to get to the Chaplain office. It was a bad Fight between the officer and the inmates and they shut the yard down. But the Chaplain wanted me to teach four books of the Bible in the dorm. After this fight at Gate 5 the yard would be close down until further notice, so yet we had to go to classes to meet a certain Quota. It was mandatory that every one go to 4 groups a week.
When I began to facilitate four books of the Bible I did not have to go to no other groups. I decided to do the book of Mark, John, Romans and Galatians a 12 week course that would allow people to understand the word of God on a higher level. God was with me I had at least twenty students a class.
A lot of truth was taught in these classes and the guys really appreciated the fact God was using an inmate to teach his word. The word spreaded like wildfire and the associate warden ask me would I go to the worst dorm on the yard and do a class or two. The dorm was called Cherokee. I said yes I would be glad to go back there to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, yet the yard was closed. I was able to go to this dorm with four pods to do a Bible study on Sundays in the worst dorm on the yard. I was still doing the four classes in the dorm Monday through Thursdays. Friday and Saturday was preparation days. The head Chaplain went to Kirkland Correctional Institution, which I was learning a lot form. Three months later I was watching the news to see four guys I knew was brutally killed in a dorm called F2. This dorm was the Mentally Ill dorm and four guys lost their lives.
Yet in this tragedy God was cutting out a path for me and my ministry which I had no Idea. One of the greatest thing about Evans I did a lot of Reading on mental Health, because one of dorm had all the mental health people in them. So I had to learn how to share and learn to be compassionate toward people who had mental disabilities. The yard was still close and opportunities was continue to opening, because the other dorms was requesting for Bible studies so I had to do a training how to facilitate the classes. I didn't get a chance to see how this all turned one month today the way it was started I was being shipped back to Kirkland Correctional Institution to be a para-professional for Mental Health.
I agreed quickly, that night I packed my stuff up waiting to leave, leaving all my duties to another C.I.U. student to do them Bible studies. The morning came fast and at Five am we were packed shackled and in Columbia about seven AM. With all this riding and praying we reached Kirkland back gate around eight fifteen. Ten months I left this place and now I am back to work for I.C.S. We go to the visiting room where I get my property inventoried. A officer escorted me and my property back to F.I. which is the High Function of ICS program. I meet the people I work for and my duties are explained. I will be actually living with the people of the program. When I was on Kirkland yard before I lived in B-II now I am living in F-I and my duties are under the direct supervision of the unit manager. To improve and inspire the relationships between inmates and staff. Monitoring behavioral and the welfare of inmates. Reporting abnormalities that would threat inmates as well as staff. Interacting as a modern citizen and setting the example to the inmate core service program. These duties has been fulfilled which my starting date was June 2012.
I am living with people with all types of mental health issues to learn how to be a help to them. A lot of the people deal with post treatment stress trauma, dealing with paranoia thinking people out to get them. Some in the high function its hand to tell that something is wrong. I heard a lot of the guys story and I'm like how can someone make it through that. The most valuable lesson I learned if you are not suffering a mental problem, how do you know if someone else is? I see when people do not take their medicine and have a complete meltdown, Mental health is really real, because there is levels to mental health. The first part is a doctor, counselors and the medicine. Another part is Groups and environment plays a major role to the patient maintaining.
I also see there is a manipulation factor in this. If high function have all the support with a mental tech and another inmate to help them functions normal as possible. With mental health is Real this is prison and everybody who is in mental health for different reason. My personal opinion is two reasons, the first seeking help and not getting in trouble. The second reason is to run from another yard and try to do what they know is no wrong. These are the manipulators who are running and taking a opportunity from some one who really seeking help. My adjusting to the pattern of behavior and the manipulators which causes me to evaluate when help is needed.
I also learn if a man think it's ok to control another human being to his advantage his mental thought is distorted. The man who is able to depend on himself is taking the responsibilities of his failures and successes. As the hustle and bustle being a para-professional aiding these guys and all they needs of normal functions.
The behavioral of high functions are aggressive and they kept doing things to keep the dorm on lockdown. After about six month the dorm had been locked down for two months now praying and reading the Bible. Not being able to use my spiritual gifts I ask my supervisor could I start a Bible study Group in the dorm Since we were on lock up it would be good for the moral of the Dorm. She agreed and gave me the green light to start it, the name of the group was called Historical Biblical Studies. A twelve week study consist of studies of several different books of the Bible. The class consist of fourteen guys came and as the class progress about twenty four guys came faithfully. The class was too full I had to do two classes. The classes was prospering and there was another part of the I.C.S. which was the low function that stayed in F-2. These guys was considered to be a lot slower and needed more help. The normal process that people who are considered to be low functions and life takes a person who need help. Life of mental health in prison is real. Living in the F-1 dorm helping the high function guys, which is about behavioral. The light that people see in others, the people saw that light in me. So they ask if I could move and help the low function guys because they was going to bring both low and high function will live in the same building. So I moved to the F-2 building. The mental Health is real in the Department of Corrections. There are many forms that appear that I witness to mental health. Me being a para-professional my Duties has change from F-1 one. I was able to be many different things to many different people.
The list of duties varies from one thing to another which I am currently doing now June 2019.
*Counsel mental health inmates
*Fill out canteen orders, property
*Take out people to their medical appointments
*Mediator between staff and inmates
*Pass out hygiene bags for the indigent
*Administer dorm duties
*Facilitate Bible Class
*One on one counsel
*Advice or reason to the population
*Taking the property to people who order who didn't get it
*Peace maker among
*Spiritual advice to inmates
*A model inmate
These are the things I do on daily basis. Yet I was sentence in prison, but God had a different plan for my life. I threw my life away, but God turned my mess into a message and this is the truth. I am currently still in prison.
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