Coached only by men, for men, Malachi Dads, is a faith-based program, at the Oregon State Correctional Institution, that offers life lessons for better living and better parenting. Written and developed first by adults in custody (AIC) of Angola State Prison in Louisiana, Malachi Dads is a community of men that help each other recognize their role as spiritual leaders of their families. As men participate in this program, they sense a genuine restoration and transformation, and live up to their understanding of biblical responsibilities as a father.
Below, six graduates graciously share their personal stories about how the program changed their lives.
“Malachi Dads: The Heart of a Father has had a great impact on me. Although I am now divorced and have not seen my children for over nine years, Malachi Dads has helped me fully recognize that I can have a positive impact on other men who do not see their and / or are married. These twelve lessons, along with the men in the group, have helped me better understand where I went wrong in my relationships prior to incarceration. Moreover, it has helped show me where I went right and how I can be a positive influence for other men in their relationships with both their children and their wife. This group bible study has helped me become a godlier man and prepared me to be a godlier father and husband if that is what God has in store for me. Either way, I have a stronger hope for the Lord, for both, my relationships, and in the influencing of the other men in theirs.”Morgan S. Bohnstedt
“The Malachi Dads program has been life changing for me. I am a Christian and have faith in Christ and the redemption He has given me. But sometimes, in the environment that we are in (prison), society’s perception of us as inmates, and our own judgments of our worth, redemption is hard to believe in. Through Malachi Dads and the relationships, it has helped create, I am a believer in redemption through Christ. He is using all of us for His will, which is extraordinary and amazing! I have been shown through this program that there are no boundaries in the love that God has for us, or limitations in the ways He chooses to use us. This would include being a father to my children while incarcerated. I thank all who are responsible for the gift of this beautiful program. I also give all the glory to God.”Richard L. Knudson
“Before I say what, I have gotten out of Malachi Dads class I would like to thank ODOC OSCI for letting Lifeline Global give us the opportunity to do this class. I have learned to be a man, brother and father. Since I have been attending this class, I have given my life in God’s hands and built a relationship with my brother that I have not talked to in 8 years. This class is not just for religious men. It is for everyone that is trying to be a better man and dad. I am looking forward to use what I have learned in this class for my kids and society. I want to give a special thanks to Chaplain Hodney and facilitator Darryl Galloway without them I would not have a better heart and mindset.”Vicente Heredia
“Malachi Dads Reflection: Malachi Dads impacted my life and my relationship with my children in many positive ways. Instead of communicating with shame and guilt and isolating myself from my children, God has taught me, through Malachi Dads to not only forgive myself and my past but He has also helped me to make a firm foundation in building back relationships. How I communicate with the love and confidence of God has given me.”
“For with God nothing is impossible” Luke 1:37Antonio Pena
“After walking with God for just over twenty years I have come to realize that I tend to forget, neglect, or even pass over the essential foundational biblical principles of God’s word. Malachi Dads has brought me back to those fundamentals that I have been brushing over that my spirit has been thirsting for in order to live an effective godly life. For those of us that needed a refreshing awakening from God’s word, and for those that have never had those powerful elements taught to them, Malachi Dads is bringing us all together with a sense of accountability and community to allow iron to sharpen iron, and we now have the privilege of watching each other grow.”
“Thanks to all of you that have been praying for us, and to those that have played a part in getting this program into OSCI.”Brad Ballantyne
“I have spent almost the last 10 years in prison away from my two beautiful daughters who are now 11 and 12 years old.
I have always thought I was doing well as a father in prison. Then I started Malachi Dads and found out I could not have been more wrong and there was so much I was missing.
For my life in here (prison) is a daily struggle and I slip and stumble more often than not. But Malachi Dads has shown me so much about being a good man and father.
Seems like every class I learn something new. Don’t think I have ever been to a group where I was excepted by everyone more quickly. I do believe in God and His power, but I would not say I am Christian. Because of the way I live. And all the guys in my group know this and still do not treat me any different. They always listen and give me advise on being a father in prison and being a man in prison with a long way to go.
I have truly enjoyed every class and always look forward to the next one.”Buford Harper
The 27 graduates are continuing Malachi Dads with the second book in the program, The Heart of a Man: Part 1, written by noted author and marriage counselor, Dr. Gene Getz.