Monday, April 9, 2007

Former Watergate felon Colson, ministers take Easter message to Pompano inmates

James D. Davis reports in the Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale) that Chuck Colson on Sunday spent his 30th Easter inside prison since his own time inside as a Watergate conspirator. He was part of a team holding an Easter service for the 230 inmates of Pompano Transitional Center and their family members. The speakers included ThomaS Walker who spent time in that very facility:

"I present myself as an example of God's grace and mercy," said Walker, who still visits the center weekly as a mentor to other inmates. "I've come to realize that God is a God of second chances."

The listeners ate it up as eagerly as they ate the chicken, corn on the cob, baked beans and cupcakes during the lunch served afterward by inmates.

"It's encouraging to see people who have done good with themselves," said Virgilio Blasco, serving time for vehicular manslaughter while driving intoxicated. "They're leading by example."

He turned solemn as he mentioned the woman who died in the crash he caused. "I created a kid with no mother and a husband with no wife. If I become a better man, and encourage kids not to go the way I did, I can save someone else's mother and wife."

Fellow inmate David McCoy, serving a sentence for cocaine possession, blinked back tears as he praised the prison program that allowed the family Easter worship.

"This is my best day since I've been here," McCoy said, sitting with twin sister Deneise, daughter Daeja and niece Treneise. "My family and this program are helping me to be the man God wants me to be.

"I'm telling you from my heart, I want to change my life."

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