For Throwback Thursday, we revisit the ABC News' "Nightline" 2015 story on Forgiven Ministry's "One Day with God" program. Forgiven Ministry is a ministry partner with Prison Fellowship®, who organized the program at E.C. Brooks Correctional Facility in Michigan in 2015. To watch the "Nightline" video, click here. And to read our previous post on this story, click here.
Last year, ABC's "Nightline" featured a story about Johnny, an incarcerated man who met his 8-year-old daughter for the first time thanks to the program "One Day with God."
The mission of "One Day with God" is to bring parents and children together for a day inside prison walls. Prison Fellowship partners with Forgiven Ministry to give these incarcerated parents a chance to reconcile and bond with their children. These events feature fun activities for the children like games and crafts. It also encourages forgiveness by allowing parents and children to spend time together.
"Nightline’s" Juju Chang gave viewers an inside look last year as she followed the story of Johnny and his daughter Arkinya. While in prison, Johnny participated in one of Prison Fellowship's intensive programs. He began to make positive changes in his life. During this time, his daughter Arkinya and her mother Chekesha reached out to Johnny.
Chekesha supported her daughter's need for a relationship with her father. As she explains to Chang, "My father was in prison when I was a kid. I knew what it was like. I put myself in my daughter’s shoes."
Johnny and Arkinya’s relationship began through telephone calls in April 2015. But it was the chance to be a part of the "One Day with God" program that allowed Arkinya to meet her father for the first time.
By partnering with Forgiven Ministry’s "One Day with God" program, and through Angel Tree®, Prison Fellowship works to help heal the relationships between incarcerated parents and their children. Children whose parents are incarcerated have a higher chance of serving prison time in their own lives than their peers. Yet through programs like these, the cycle of incarceration can be broken, as children connect with their parents and understand they are loved and not forgotten.
"One Day with God" events have continued since "Nightline's" segment last year. In fact, the program has events at three more prisons from now until the end of the year. In addition, Prison Fellowship's Angel Tree program is currently seeking churches willing to support children in various counties throughout the country.
For more information on how you can help reunite families separated by incarceration, visit our Volunteer section for more options.