RiverKings Hockey and Safehaven Team-Up to Help Create New Futures

By:Whitley Rives

November 29, 2011

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. -- The Mississippi RiverKings hockey team will aid Safehaven of North Mississippi, a post-prison ministry and residence program, to bring help and hope to former prisoners.

The RiverKings will feature Safehaven of North Mississippi as the M.V.P. (Money-Volunteers-Publicity) Nonprofit Organization at the Dec. 9 RiverKings home game against the Knoxville Ice Bears. Additionally, Safehaven volunteers are selling benefit tickets to that night’s RiverKings game from which they will receive $10 back per ticket sold – provided they sell 200 or more tickets – thanks to a matching grant from Maddox Foundation, the RiverKings ownership.

Safehaven has a residential facility in Olive Branch that houses up to 10 men. These men enter into a year-long program that includes everything from budget training and job placement help to what Executive Director Larry Logan says is the most important: Christian discipleship.

“Working with men from the jails and prisons of Mississippi is not for everyone,” Logan said. “I have heard men crying out, not for comfort, prestige, or entitlement, but for what many of them have never had: love, whether it be in church or family. Above all, these men long for a relationship with God. To them, Christian discipleship is not merely individual matter, but an issue of community.”

Most of the men at Safehaven have expressed a desire to undergo real life change upon leaving prison while participating in Bible studies with local prison ministry during their sentences.

“These men are troubled, without question, but they value the same desires everyone does: safety for their wives and children, viable relationships that can enrich their lives and a sense of well-being that comes from taking true responsibility,” Logan said. “Even though most of these men have little or no understanding on how to become people that can achieve these goals, the desire is still there.”

Logan said that he and other prison Bible study leaders have observed that oftentimes, a man would profess Christ during his sentence and express a desire to change and become a responsible, good citizen upon leaving jail; but with no job, no money, no vehicle or shelter, this often left him no option but to depend upon former friends, environments, pressures and temptations, culminating in a return to the same activities that landed him in jail before.

“These men have paid a debt to society, a debt that they must pay due to crimes that they have committed; but prison, while serving the correct capacity of punishing wrongdoing does not give them the skills that are needed to take responsibility for their lives or families,” Logan said.

As a residential facility, Safehaven can use any donation, from food to furniture, but two of their greatest needs are mentors and money.

“We need men and women from our community who have a heart for helping these guys know the Lord and stay legit when they leave us,” Logan said.

And, Logan said, men who adhere to those two guidelines for life are going to go out and be shining lights in dark places, helping to transform their communities for good, because they have been shown good. That, he said, is the meaning of biblical discipleship.

“I love telling men about Jesus and what He can do for them if they will receive Him as Lord and Savior,” Logan said. “With the help of God, SafeHaven is transforming, producing, and thrusting out spiritual leaders for His Glory through biblical discipleship.”

To get involved hands on as a volunteer, donate household products, or make a monetary donation, contact Larry Logan at 901-634-3289 or larry@safehavenofnorthms.com. To sign up for the Safehaven newsletter or get more information, visit www.safehavenofnorthms.org.

The Mississippi RiverKings are supported by their community partners, season ticket holders, fans, and by program-related investments of the Maddox Foundation, an independent private foundation based in Hernando, Miss. To find out more about the RiverKings or the team’s fundraising programs, call 662.342.1755 or visit www.riverkings.com.
Posted by Mississippi RiverKings at 4:17 PM

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