By Kyle Lovern
Former Mingo County prosecutor Michael Sparks hopes something good can come from his incarceration.
Sparks recently received a one-year prison sentence from a U.S. District Court judge. He will be reporting Thursday to a federal prison in Wisconsin.
“I have been placed at FCI Oxford SPC (Satellite Prison Camp), a minimum-security facility in rural Wisconsin,” Sparks said.
“I considered seeking designation to a closer facility. However, I soon discerned I was being directed to a missionary appointment in Prisoners of Purpose,” Sparks added.
Sparks had asked to serve his time in Ashland, Ky., but because of his strong Christian faith, he feels he has been called to serve others
Prisoners of Purpose is an organic Christian ministry at FCI Oxford SPC with a mission to minister to the spiritual and practical needs of incarcerated individuals and their families. Residents meet every night at 9 o’clock to engage in intercessory prayer and Bible study. The scriptural foundation is 2 Timothy 1:8-9.
This Bible verse reads, “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.”
“My destiny was not determined by alleged actions or inactions. My condemnation was not determined by a federal prosecuting attorney or federal judge. God has foreordained my circumstances for His glory. What others meant for harm, God meant for good,” Sparks said.
“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen,” he said, quoting Romans 11:36.
“The injustice and hardships my family and I have endured this past year is beginning to come into focus,” he said. “God has supernaturally repositioned me for a higher purpose. The Holy Spirit is guiding me to serve the Kingdom in a way I never imagined.
“With the abiding love and support of my precious family, I readily submit to God’s sovereign will,” Sparks said.
The members of Prisoners of Purpose help prepare inmates to re-enter society after their release and to contribute to their communities as better men, husbands, fathers and spiritual leaders.
For more information on this ministry, go to www.prisonersofpurpose.org for more information.
Kyle Lovern is the sports editor of the Daily News. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277, or on Twitter @KyleLovern.