Urban Report

A Real Man's Struggle

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: UBR

Program Code: UBR000265A

00:01 Stay tuned to find out some of the major issues
00:03 that are plaguing men in today's society
00:05 and how it has a direct correlation
00:07 to mass incarceration.
00:08 My name is Jason Bradley,
00:10 and you're watching Urban Report.
00:36 Hello and welcome to Urban Report.
00:37 My guest today is Brian Hamilton
00:39 and he is the CFO of 3ABN.
00:42 He also heads up 3ABN's Prison Ministry Department.
00:45 Welcome to Urban Report, Brother Brian.
00:47 Thank you, Jason, it's a blessing,
00:49 privileged to be here.
00:50 Yes, well, it's good to have you here.
00:52 Thank you.
00:53 You know, for as long as I've known you,
00:55 you've been very passionate about prison ministry.
00:58 Yeah.
01:00 Is there any that... What's behind that?
01:02 Where does your passion stem from?
01:04 Okay, well, our story began about nine years ago.
01:10 We received a phone call one evening about suppertime,
01:13 and that phone call was kind of a defining moment
01:17 in our family, in our lives of our family.
01:22 That phone call was to tell us
01:25 that our son was in a county jail,
01:29 facing charges that would put him behind bars
01:34 for, basically, the rest of his life.
01:36 Wow.
01:37 Yeah, it was tragedy, it was a tragic situation.
01:43 It was a shock to us.
01:45 It threw us into a whole new world
01:48 that we had had no experience with before
01:51 and that's the world of incarceration,
01:53 county jails, prisons.
01:56 They're not user-friendly places,
01:58 I'll tell you that.
02:00 Yeah, it's not the Ritz-Carlton, no.
02:01 Yeah.
02:02 And they're not particularly friendly,
02:04 there's not warm and fuzzies
02:06 related to correctional officers,
02:10 and prisons, and jails.
02:13 And so, of course, we were in shock, and grief,
02:19 and we made our trip out to California,
02:22 that's where he was at.
02:24 Our first visit was two days later
02:27 before we were able to see him.
02:31 It was, in fact, it was November 4,
02:34 that happened to be my birthday.
02:37 Wow. Yeah.
02:38 So that started us on this whole new journey.
02:41 But, you know, the Lord has a way
02:42 of taking tragic situations
02:46 and if our lives are committed to Him,
02:49 He takes those tragedies and turns them into triumphs.
02:52 Yes.
02:53 He takes our hurts and pains
02:57 and He can bring blessings out of them.
03:00 No matter how bad the situation is
03:02 that people face or could be facing today,
03:04 and I don't know,
03:06 you know, our viewers situation,
03:07 but if you put it in the hands of the Lord,
03:11 He can bring a blessing out of any situation
03:15 and our life is a living proof of that.
03:19 Amen.
03:20 So as we went in to visit our son,
03:21 we began to see young men that were behind the glass,
03:26 just like our son was behind the glass with the phone
03:29 and their wives, or their parents,
03:32 or their brothers, or sisters, or girlfriends
03:34 and couldn't help but somehow our hearts went out to them.
03:39 Yeah.
03:41 Just like our heart was going out to our own son.
03:43 And God sort of opened our eyes
03:47 to a whole new ministry area
03:50 that we'd never give consideration to before
03:55 and that's prison ministry.
03:57 Yes.
03:58 We came back to 3ABN after that first visit
04:02 and the Lord opened up an opportunity for us
04:06 to join with a team that was doing ministry
04:10 in a state prison here in Illinois called Big Muddy.
04:14 Okay.
04:15 So I joined that team that would already was working there
04:19 and, you know,
04:21 it was just such a healing experience
04:25 for us to go in.
04:26 I mean, these guys are like our sons, you know.
04:29 Yes.
04:30 And we could relate to them so much easier
04:33 because of the fact that,
04:34 you know, we have a son that's in a situation
04:37 like they're in and they could relate to us.
04:40 Yes.
04:41 So that's how the door opened for us.
04:43 Okay.
04:45 And now it's been a good eight years,
04:47 Diane and I have been going
04:50 into sometimes two or three prisons every week.
04:56 Different days of the week,
04:57 and we have the federal prison in Merion that we serve.
05:03 And then two state prisons, ones in Pinckneyville,
05:06 about 45 minutes away.
05:07 Okay.
05:09 And another one called Big Muddy,
05:10 this is about 35 minutes away.
05:12 Okay. Wow.
05:13 So that's how we got started.
05:15 And we do a service of Bible study
05:21 teaching principles of,
05:25 you know, of Scripture, God's love.
05:28 You know, I have a text here I'd like to share.
05:30 Yes, please.
05:32 And it's found in Luke chapter 4,
05:37 starting with verse 18.
05:39 And this is
05:41 when Jesus got done reading a passage in Isaiah
05:47 in the synagogue in his hometown Nazareth,
05:51 this was the passage He read.
05:54 He says, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me
05:57 because He has anointed Me
05:59 to preach the gospel to the poor."
06:02 And we're not just talking about poor financially,
06:06 these are people who are poor in Spirit,
06:09 who are downtrodden, okay?
06:13 Yes, they've all lost probably all their earthly possessions.
06:18 In fact, I can remember about a month after the situation
06:23 happened with our son, Diane
06:25 and I had to fly out to California.
06:29 Go in, and take all of his worldly possessions
06:33 out of his apartment, his clothes,
06:34 you know, his bedding,
06:37 everything he owned and dispose of it,
06:40 give it away, bring some home
06:43 'cause he'd never need it again.
06:45 It was almost like death.
06:46 You know, when person dies,
06:48 you have to go and take everything
06:49 out of the closet and...
06:51 So we had that grieving experience,
06:54 you know, to do that.
06:56 That would have been extremely hard for you.
06:57 Oh, it was, you know, it was our second son,
07:01 Trent came and joined us for that
07:04 and helped us through that experience.
07:07 Said, "I came to preach the gospel to the poor.
07:10 He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted."
07:14 Prisons today are full of broken people,
07:17 brokenhearted people.
07:19 And for everyone in prison,
07:20 there's a whole family of brokenness
07:24 associated with that person incarcerated,
07:27 there's parents, there's brothers and sisters,
07:31 there's husbands and wives, there's children,
07:34 all affected by this.
07:36 So he says, "To preach the gospel to the poor,
07:40 He sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
07:43 to proclaim liberty to the captives."
07:48 We've discovered it with our son's experience,
07:51 you can be more bound,
07:54 bound in the chains of sin and Satan outside of prison
08:00 and you can be incarcerated today
08:03 and be free.
08:04 Yes, and that is very interesting.
08:06 Yeah, and then that's a whole new insight.
08:09 So "Sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
08:12 to proclaim liberty to the captives,
08:14 and recovery of sight to the blind,
08:17 and set at liberty those who are oppressed."
08:21 So those words have taken
08:23 on a whole new meaning for us.
08:25 Yes, yes.
08:27 And so as I was saying,
08:28 we spent about the last eight years
08:30 involved in prison ministry.
08:33 Always looking for material
08:36 that would be helpful to people incarcerated.
08:39 I have a few stats, Jason, that I brought.
08:43 Before you go into those stats...
08:44 Okay. Sure.
08:45 You know, it's important
08:47 that people know that it's not just the inmates
08:49 that are doing the time, like you said,
08:51 you have families that are experiencing this hurt
08:55 and it's like you're doing the time
08:58 with your son because you're separated.
09:00 Absolutely, yeah. Yeah.
09:01 And that's...
09:03 When we go into or say do a prison ministry event...
09:07 And you've come with us on a number of those events,
09:09 so we've had a great time together.
09:11 Absolutely.
09:13 That's one of the things we do to introduce ourselves
09:16 to the inmates says,
09:17 "Hey, there's something you and I have in common
09:20 that you have no idea
09:22 and that's we're both doing time, you know."
09:24 Yes.
09:25 Our son is locked in, as long as he's locked in,
09:27 we're locked out.
09:30 And the same with their sweethearts
09:32 and their families and all,
09:34 when they're locked in, the others are locked out.
09:37 We're all doing time together, you see.
09:40 Yes.
09:41 And when you said that,
09:43 you know, there are some people that are in there,
09:44 that are more free than people out here...
09:46 Yeah.
09:47 I remember being in a prison and seeing Lemuel Vega,
09:50 he, you know, he calls for volunteers
09:52 and when they volunteer,
09:53 he'll usually give them something.
09:54 Well, he gave these two gentlemen Bibles.
09:57 Oh, yes.
09:59 And these men began to cry.
10:03 They were so hungry and excited that they got the Word of God
10:07 and they started to cry.
10:09 Yeah, and moved by the thought that someone cared enough
10:13 to give them something like that, you know.
10:15 Yes. Yes, that's true.
10:19 Since my son is in California,
10:22 I have some stats for California.
10:25 There are about 34 prisons in California.
10:28 Okay.
10:29 Three of them are women's and all of the rest are men's.
10:34 So out of 34,
10:36 you have 31 prisons that are full of men.
10:38 Wow. Three for women.
10:42 California has about 118,000 persons incarcerated,
10:48 just a little over 118,000.
10:50 Wow.
10:51 Of that, 5,200 are women and the rest are all men.
10:55 A 113,000 men incarcerated in California.
11:01 Their prisons are at a 132% of capacity.
11:06 132%?
11:08 132% of capacity, that means they are full
11:12 and then 32% on average fuller than full.
11:16 Man!
11:18 Some more than that and some a little less than that,
11:20 but on average.
11:22 It's pretty costly to house and take care of someone
11:27 who is incarcerated,
11:29 and California has one of the most expensive cost.
11:32 Yes.
11:34 On average, it's about 70,800 per year
11:36 per inmate in California.
11:39 Wait a minute, 70,000 and...
11:41 $800.
11:42 $800 and there a 132%...
11:46 Of capacity.
11:48 Of capacity. Yeah.
11:49 Illinois, we have 40 prisons, three of them are women's.
11:52 We have about 43,000 persons
11:55 incarcerated with 3,000 of them as women.
11:58 So that means 40,000 men.
12:01 So you can see, this is really a man's,
12:05 a men's, a male's problem.
12:07 Yeah, that's alarming statistics.
12:09 Yeah.
12:10 If you look at it nationally, we've got
12:11 about a 111,000 women incarcerated,
12:15 that's a terrible number.
12:16 Yes.
12:17 But men, we have 1,400,000 men incarcerated nationally
12:23 compared to a 111,000 women.
12:28 This was kind of startling to me,
12:29 90% of murders are committed by men,
12:32 88% of robberies are committed by men,
12:36 75% of everyone arrested are men.
12:40 So if you're thinking
12:42 about the greatest predictor of incarceration,
12:47 it's if you're born male.
12:49 Wow.
12:50 That's the greatest predictor of incarceration.
12:53 So you have to ask yourself, "Well, why?"
12:57 Yeah. "Why all of this?
12:59 What has caused it?
13:00 Particularly for men,
13:01 what are the problems that men face?
13:04 What has caused this to happen?"
13:08 Well, the people that have done some study into the conditions
13:12 and the state of manhood
13:14 have come up with these interesting and tragic...
13:23 Or what should I say, reasons.
13:26 First, "I guess men as a general rule
13:29 are confused about their role and function in society."
13:34 What is a man's role?
13:35 What is his function?
13:36 They've never been modeled that or taught it
13:40 and they're just guessing at what it is
13:43 or don't have a clue what it is.
13:44 Or they're finding it in all the wrong places,
13:47 the music today, television programs,
13:51 all kinds of things
13:52 where they're teaching all the wrong things
13:55 about respect and all that.
13:56 Yeah, our media
13:58 is projecting a totally inaccurate image of manhood.
14:03 Absolutely.
14:05 "Men are generally, I guess, disappointed with their life
14:07 and what life has dealt them."
14:09 And you think if a person is disappointed
14:14 and felt let down,
14:16 usually the reaction is anger.
14:20 And so you can think of all the violent crimes committed,
14:23 they're committed by men.
14:24 These are angry men.
14:25 Okay? Yes. Yes.
14:27 "Men are lonely, they lack intimacy,
14:32 they need intimacy but are afraid of intimacy,
14:37 and don't know how to solve the problem."
14:39 Yes.
14:41 "Men are in pain emotionally, and in general,
14:46 men are drifting without purpose or meaning in life."
14:49 Those are some of the factors, as they've done research,
14:52 they've discovered about men.
14:54 So when you look at the situation,
14:57 it's no doubt that men act out
15:00 and they act out with anger and aggression
15:03 because of their situation.
15:05 Men medicate their pain
15:07 and what do they use to medicate their pain with?
15:10 Alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography.
15:14 So those things don't solve their problems,
15:18 they just medicate it or put a band-aid on it.
15:23 But when the medication wears off,
15:25 problem's still there.
15:27 Yeah.
15:28 Go right back to it again and...
15:30 Yeah.
15:31 It's like traditional medicine, it doesn't solve...
15:33 it doesn't attack the root cause.
15:35 Yeah. It just masks the symptoms.
15:37 Right, that's exactly right.
15:39 "Other men become workaholics."
15:42 They're distant from their families,
15:45 homes fall apart,
15:47 or turn to excessive sports, or other things to again,
15:51 mask the pain, the hurt, the confusion,
15:55 or just drifting through life.
15:57 Yeah.
15:58 And so just recently, in fact,
16:01 it was my son who put me on to this.
16:04 Uh-huh.
16:05 He says, "Dad, I'm attending a program."
16:08 Then I says, "Oh, really? What is that?"
16:11 And he says, "It's a program on authentic manhood."
16:16 And I go, "Wow, authentic manhood,
16:19 never thought about that.
16:22 Authentic manhood, okay, well, tell me about it son."
16:26 Uh-huh.
16:27 So he began to tell me about the program
16:28 and he made this statement when he did,
16:30 it's like my antenna went up.
16:32 He says, "Dad, I wished
16:36 that I'd had this in my teenage years.
16:39 I wish I had this in academy or someplace."
16:42 He says, "I think it might have made
16:44 a really difference in my life.
16:46 The things I'm learning right now through this program,
16:50 it could have really made a difference."
16:51 Wow.
16:53 Well, I said, "Wow, if that's my son
16:55 who is incarcerated saying that to me,
16:59 Yes.
17:01 then I need to take note of that."
17:02 And I brought with me the program.
17:04 It's called 33 The Series, you could Google it on,
17:09 you know, on the internet, 33 The Series,
17:12 a journey to authentic manhood,
17:14 as modeled by Jesus Christ in His 33 years on earth.
17:20 Wow.
17:21 And so that's what the 33 is for.
17:22 Right. Yeah. Yeah.
17:24 And so it's a six-part series. Okay.
17:27 And each part has successions.
17:31 So it's 36 sessions altogether.
17:34 And it starts out with talking about men,
17:38 males and God's design for them,
17:42 His purpose and mission for men.
17:45 I'm not saying that women don't have issues
17:47 and don't need to be ministered too,
17:49 but when you look at the problem, it's...
17:52 We've got a huge male problem.
17:55 Absolutely, the statistics, the numbers don't lie.
17:58 Yeah, yeah.
18:00 And so man in his design,
18:03 a man in his story, this session,
18:05 the second part or the sessions two...
18:11 Stop us men and make us look back over our life,
18:15 how did we relate to our dad
18:17 or did we even have a dad to relate to
18:20 and how did that affect us.
18:21 Our mom, how did we relate to our mom.
18:24 I have a man in prison who shares,
18:29 every once in a while,
18:30 things about his past and it was so tragic.
18:34 He talked about his mom
18:37 that hated him for all his life,
18:40 he could think of no time
18:43 where his mom ever was affectionate,
18:45 or showed love, or any kind of,
18:48 you know, mothered him in any way.
18:51 Yeah.
18:52 So it's no wonder he is in prison
18:54 for aggressive behavior against women.
18:58 You know, it's just...
19:00 that is Sad.
19:01 And that where you're supposed to get
19:03 that nurturing kind of stuff from.
19:04 Yeah, right. It's from your mom.
19:05 Right, so in second section
19:07 has this look back over our life
19:10 and look at the things that might have affected us
19:14 to cause us to be in the situation we are today.
19:17 Okay.
19:18 And then move forward from that,
19:20 you don't want to live in that past.
19:21 Yes.
19:23 But you want to learn from it and then move forward.
19:25 And session three is a man in his traps.
19:28 Satan is a roaring lion seeking who he can devour.
19:32 And so he has traps
19:33 that are particularly designed for men.
19:36 He has them for women too
19:38 but this session three deals with a man in his traps.
19:42 Session four, a man in his work,
19:46 and then in his marriage,
19:47 and then in his fatherhood,
19:49 so those make up the six different parts of this.
19:53 And you think a man's world is involved with work,
19:56 his marriage, and family, being a father in a home.
20:00 A lot of guys don't know how to be a father.
20:03 They don't know how to be a real good husband either.
20:05 Yes.
20:06 And so anyway, we're just started this,
20:10 I told the guys that...
20:13 This is the...
20:14 You get a DVD, you get a booklet,
20:17 and uh...
20:20 and then a leaders guide.
20:22 And it's a really nice series,
20:26 I've just started educating myself on it,
20:29 and I told the guys
20:30 that they are going to be my guinea pigs.
20:32 Wow.
20:33 So we're going to go through this thing
20:35 and it's going to take about a year.
20:37 Uh-huh.
20:39 And we're gonna evaluate this program.
20:42 We're kind of excited about it. That's nice.
20:44 I mean, it's... Yeah, it sounds like
20:45 it's a great program and very informative.
20:49 You know, what are some preventive measures
20:52 that, you know, we've talked about
20:53 how people try and mask the symptoms,
20:57 what are some preventive measures
20:58 that a man can take?
21:01 What are some examples?
21:02 What's the example that he can look at?
21:05 Well, of course, like this series
21:06 is based on the life of Christ,
21:10 so Christ can be an example.
21:12 You have many biblical stories about situations,
21:16 both in homes, and families, and marriages,
21:19 in people's lives, case studies, okay,
21:22 that's one place you can look.
21:28 That would be, I would say, a good beginning.
21:31 Absolutely. Yeah.
21:33 Because even if
21:34 even if you didn't have a father in the home...
21:37 Right.
21:38 You can go to your Bible,
21:40 to the Word of God and look at the life of Christ.
21:42 I mean, He is like
21:44 the true definition of a man, you know.
21:48 Right.
21:49 And He was self-sacrificing,
21:51 His amount of love that He's given
21:55 and continues to give is amazing.
21:57 Yeah.
21:58 You know, He's the true definition
22:00 of what a real man should look like.
22:02 Yes.
22:04 You know, the Bible tells us that God is love,
22:07 and when we as men
22:11 turn to our Heavenly Father
22:14 and ask Him to help us,
22:16 He's in the business of healing.
22:19 You know, we focuses a lot on His love and forgiveness,
22:23 and to be forgiven is a wonderful thing.
22:26 But then what happens after you're forgiven,
22:30 well, we need healing, we need restoration.
22:33 And if, I believe, if we as men commit ourselves to the Lord,
22:38 He starts us on this journey,
22:40 and He brings people into our lives
22:43 that will help us in the healing process,
22:46 He brings resources and different things,
22:51 and connects us with them.
22:53 It's not an accident,
22:54 we're in these prisons doing what we're doing,
22:56 it's because God has uniquely put us there
23:01 for the mission of extending His healing
23:05 and restoring love to the people
23:08 that we rub shoulders with in those settings.
23:12 Absolutely.
23:13 That's how it's worked in our lives, anyway.
23:17 What testimonies or stories can you share with us
23:22 where you've seen lives touch inside those walls?
23:24 Yeah.
23:26 Oh, wow, we see it every day.
23:29 I think of one particular man,
23:31 he is in a prison
23:33 for just the most horrific crimes
23:38 you could ever think of.
23:40 I don't want to repeat them
23:43 but they are just horrific.
23:47 And he's in a county jail waiting for his trial.
23:51 In a situation like that, you could spend one, two,
23:54 or three years in a county jail just waiting for trial.
23:57 Wow.
23:58 And he picks up a Bible and starts to read it.
24:04 And he's not understanding it.
24:08 There happened to be a Muslim...
24:11 Uh-huh.
24:12 In the prison that knew about the Bible.
24:14 Really?
24:15 And he started working with...
24:17 This fella had never opened a Bible,
24:19 didn't own a Bible until he got to county jail,
24:23 and a Muslim brother who you wouldn't think
24:27 would know anything about Scripture
24:28 knew about the Bible
24:30 and started helping explain it to him.
24:33 Wow.
24:34 He gave his heart to the Lord,
24:36 he moved from county to federal.
24:39 Uh-huh.
24:41 In the federal prison, he met a fella
24:45 who had some Adventist background,
24:50 and began to teach him systematically,
24:53 over a period of time,
24:56 all the principles of the plan of salvation.
25:00 Wow.
25:01 Jesus love many of the errors he had heard on the streets,
25:05 you know, people hear all kinds of things about God,
25:08 and about the Bible,
25:10 and about life that is totally off-base.
25:14 But they believe it because that's all they know.
25:15 Yes.
25:17 But anyway, and so Mark taught Dennis,
25:22 and we baptized Dennis just a couple years ago.
25:27 Wow. Yeah.
25:28 I wonder what happened to the Muslim brother.
25:30 Yeah, I don't know.
25:32 And that would be interesting to find out too,
25:34 you know, as he is witnessing through the Bible.
25:36 Yeah, but how did he know about the Bible,
25:37 you know, how did he know about the Bible.
25:39 Yeah.
25:40 Who knows how he knew about it,
25:41 but God had people planted in there.
25:45 You never would have guessed
25:46 it would have happened that way.
25:49 So we just had, a couple months ago,
25:51 we just had a baptism, Big Muddy with nine of our guys
25:56 that come regularly to our service baptized.
25:59 Wow.
26:00 And Pastor Lomacang came, and joined us,
26:02 and performed the baptism,
26:04 and it was just a high day, just a high day.
26:07 That's amazing.
26:08 Even behind the walls, people can get baptized.
26:11 Yeah.
26:12 And there's that true sense of freedom
26:14 and true sense of joy
26:15 even though they're incarcerated.
26:17 What does a class look like?
26:19 When you go in there
26:20 and you start teaching and sharing the Word of God,
26:23 what does it look like?
26:24 How did it start?
26:26 It's just a classroom like you would see at any school
26:28 and that's usually their worship center.
26:31 And we come in
26:32 and we have anywhere from 35-40 guys down to
26:36 as little as three depending on the facility.
26:39 But we'll come in for two or three,
26:41 it doesn't matter to us,
26:43 other ones we have much larger group,
26:45 and we have a time for singing, time for sharing,
26:49 prayer and praises, time for Bible study,
26:53 and question and answer, and closing prayer.
26:57 In some places
26:59 we get about an hour and a half,
27:00 other places we get two hours.
27:02 Nice.
27:03 It's a great time.
27:04 Nice, and people ask a lot of questions?
27:06 Oh, yeah, oh yeah, it's a lively experience.
27:10 Yeah.
27:12 So they bring all the...
27:14 Maybe some of the things
27:15 that they've been taught that have been wrong
27:16 and then you show them in the Word.
27:19 Yeah.
27:20 In other words,
27:22 does God crisp you in the fires of hell forever,
27:24 and ever, and ever,
27:26 you know, to find out that God doesn't do that,
27:29 you know, that even in His judgment,
27:32 there is mercy.
27:33 In other words, society has heard,
27:35 it just never ends but no, it does end.
27:38 Just something simple like that,
27:39 you'd be amazed
27:41 how much the discussion is around that whole subject.
27:44 I believe it. I believe it. Yeah.
27:46 Well, thank you so much for coming on
27:48 and sharing with us about prison ministry
27:50 and real manhood.
27:52 Yeah. And thank you for joining us.
27:54 Well, we've reached the end of another program.
27:56 Join us next time, and remember,
27:58 it just wouldn't be the same without you.


Revised 2018-09-17