The Philemon Ministry seemed to be a solution that would help Darryl acclimate to life outside of prison. Not expecting to be released until 2022, he contacted a board member. They prayed that God would open a door. Soon afterwards, Darryl learned that the state had miscalculated his time served. He was listed for immediate release. The Philemon House had a vacancy and Darryl found a place in the ministry, reflecting that the timing was an act of the Lord Jesus.
Not every brother who is released into the Philemon ministry has the same experience. Some men profess faith but their life does not reflect it; they fall to pieces and end up going back to jail or are asked to leave the house. The house is a safe, strong faith environment. Those who strive to live with Christ, to truly have a relationship with Him, will excel. Those who do not keep this relationship the highest priority in their lives will struggle.
Darryl says that the world takes the softness of humanity away. The devil is busy and knows how to destroy people. This destruction can come in many forms. For some, including him, this was the result of habits that developed at a young age. The music he listened to, the relationships he made, the substances he tried; these choices caused a slow fade in his spirit and he spiraled down. He did not live up to his parents’ aspirations, but he is thankful that throughout his life they have always reached out to him.
Jesus will find you. Darryl had encounters with Jesus throughout his life. He recalls listening to his mother read bible stories. Christ was evident in Darryl’s first wife, whom he married when he was 18. Members at the church he attended were Christ-followers. These encounters led to an acquaintance with Christ, but Darryl’s actual quest for a relationship with Christ did not start until much later in 2003. The quest ended in 2005 when he had a personal experience with Jesus. Jesus set him on the path of salvation and in 2007 Darryl laid his stake down and was born again.
Moving into the house was an answer to prayer and allowed Darryl to continue a fruitful relationship with Christ that is just now beginning to bud. The ministry is a place of refuge. It is a place to find safety in God. There, Darryl is transitioning from being incarcerated to becoming the man God is purposing him to be. There is no room for superficiality; men in the ministry need to be honest with each other, with themselves, and with God. God keeps His word, is worthy of trust, and has met Darryl’s needs time and time again. Serving the Lord is time well spent.