Update on Jason Kent

22 Sep
Published by Carol

Many of you have asked for an update on our son. On October 25, 2010, Jason will mark his 11th year of incarceration. We have exhausted all of our appeals at both the state and federal levels. Last summer Jason’s paperwork requesting a clemency hearing made it to the top of the pile (a three year process). After reviewing the case, the Florida Parole Commission recommended that Jason’s case receive a waiver hearing before the clemency aides. A waiver is needed before a case can be heard before the governor and his cabinet at a clemency hearing. Clemency does not usually mean that an inmate will immediately walk in freedom. In our case, we were asking for a review of the case, with the hope that Jason would be given an eventual end-of-sentence date, instead of life without the possibility of parole. In the State of Florida, a life sentence means the rest of your natural life will be spent in prison. Our son did a terrible thing, believing he was protecting his two stepdaughters from the potential of abuse, and we know there must be a punishment.

Gene and I were given an hour to present Jason’s case in front of the clemency aides. They asked lots of questions and requested that we gather letters from inmates who had been positively impacted by Jason’s teaching, mentorship, and encouragement, along with letters from the parents and spouses of inmates who observed his influence on the lives of their incarcerated loved ones. It took us two months to gather the materials and letters that were requested and we compiled them into eight two-inch thick notebooks and sent them to Tallahassee for distribution. Three days after they arrived we received word that the attorney to the governor of the state had denied a clemency hearing for Jason. It will be five years before J.P. is allowed to file clemency paperwork again.

It was discouraging, to say the least, and I wish I could tell you we immediately thanked God for what he was teaching us through this exhausting, expensive, and discouraging process. I sobbed and Gene comforted me through his own tears. The next day was a visitation day and Gene gave Jason the news. When I arrived at the prison a couple of hours later, I wept as I greeted my son.

J.P. was totally at peace as he said, “Mom and Dad, if God chooses to allow me to walk in freedom in this lifetime, it won’t be because I received the favor of well-connected politicians and attorneys. It will be because God moved in the hearts of decision makers in a miraculous way. I am content with that. My heart hurts for the family of the deceased and I hope that someday they will be able to forgive me.”

Jason is currently taking his 8th group of inmates through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course. He is in the Gavel Club, which is a group of inmates who are working on their public speaking skills. He has reached the 4th level of the Evangelism Explosion program, and he has a group of mighty prayer warriors who fast and pray on behalf of the needs of each other and their families.

Some of you have asked what you can do to help. The workbooks needed for the Financial Peace class are $17 each, so if you are able to donate on our website that amount will cover one inmate’s course material. Additional gifts help us to provide DVD curriculum for chapel programs, inexpensive greeting cards for inmates to send to their families, and Boxes of Hope that are sent to wives and moms of inmates.

Most of all, we are grateful for your prayers—for us and for Jason and for inmates all over the country who are trying to be ambassadors for Christ in a dark place. Thank you for caring. For regular updates on the ministry Gene and I are involved in, please become a friend on Facebook at: Carol Kent, or follow us on twitter.

Be encouraged with these words: “Friends when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.” 1 Peter 4:12-13 (MSG)

Comments

Carol: With God all things are possible...and encouraging you with the acknowledgement that true freedom reigns in our hearts...asking God to continue to pour out his mercy and grace in your hearts....knowing the pain of the new normal you are all walking through. With God all things are possible!

I know that Jason will do no wrong as his own kind has proven to the world. Perhaps the others, such as the members of the selected colors will lead toward his path, and the others at the outside will take all heed.

May Jason and his kind succeed forever!

-Tammy W-O

I just read your book "When i Lay My Isaac Down". As Linda Dillow has been my all time favorite author and I had read what she had related about your story in Satisfy My Thirsty Soul, I was highly interested in reading your book and wondered how I could quickly obtain a copy...how about a friend walked into my home-business and brought it for me to read a day or so after I had that original thought?.. And she had no clue I wanted it. .I think Jesus really wanted me to read it....it was hard to put down and I finished it in 2 days. Now I want my own copy and I also want to share with others. Let me please say, I loved this book...it is such an encouragement and so many are hurting right now and need to see the faithfulness of God in your life. They need to see how God sustains us and even turns around our pain and uses it for good...your vulnerabiltiy is a testimony to me. I needed to read this book. I am getting ready to order one off of amazon and share it with a friend whose husband just committed suicide...a loving godly husband from what I have been told. There is so much in this life we dont understand... I think God is trying to "wean" us from this world...to set our sights on eternity and most of all, on Him as we wait. My friend and I have a basket ministry for women that are hurting, new believers, and ladies who dont know Christ. We try to encourage them by sharing Quiet Time Baskets with them to help them in their daily quiet time. Including a journal, pen, tissues, and a God-honoring book, we try to share as many as possible. We have called this small ministry At His Feet Basket Ministry and we are on Facebook although we dont update it often. I was wondering if there is a possibility we could buy some of your books in bulk or would our best bet be to get them on Amazon....I kno there are many who would receive encouragement by putting one of your books in our baskets. Thank you so much for being real and for loving Jesus! What a blessing your story.....His story has been!

"For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield." Psalm 5:12KJV
Thank you LORD for You are blessing JP because he is righteous through the blood of your Son, JESUS! Thank you that Your favor surrounds him like a shield. Thank you that YOU alone, are his judge and Your ways are the blessed ways. In Jesus' powerful name- Amen.

Oh my goodness........how heart breaking. I can't wait to get the new book. Know that you are loved and thought of often.

Hugs,
Gina Humphreys

It is very sad to see your child go to prison, even if he took someone's life. My father was murdered in cold blood 30 yrs. ago. If I was the judge in 1981 or the jugde today, I would have never given this young man life in prison or Death penalty like he was given. He did not come from a family that had money to hire the best attorneys he came from a poor family in another country. To give the Death penalty or Life in Prison with no parole will not bring back my father. 31 yrs. ago I was not a Christian today I celebrate 25 yrs. of my walk with Christ. If I could make a difference in allowing this young man to be free I would do it.
Now you and your mission can help so many that are back in prison that tax payers are not aware of in Florida their are 12,000 men and women in prison for NOT TAKING ANYONES LIfe, or hurting anyone. But for a "Technical Violation" The Florida Parole commission is responsible and has the power to decide who they send back to prison even if they have not committed new crime, just for a technical violation. I know men and women that are back in prison for years for a Technical Violation. The 12,000 men and women on technical violations in Florida cost Florida Tax Payers over 250 million dollars a year, this is not counting the single mothers that will be applying for welfare, food stamps , healthcare , free school lunches because their is no father or mother around to help support these children.
AS Florida Citizens and Tax Payers its our responsiblity to change this power the Florida Parole Commission has to destroy lives like they have. I know men and women in prison 25 - 30 yrs in prison that did not kill anyone and are denied parole release every year, THIS IS HEART BREAKING AND NO ONE IS SPEAKING UP FOR THOSE THAT DO NOT HAVE A VOICE IN THE SO CALL FREE WORLD.
YOUR MISSION SHOULD RESEARCH THIS AND PRAY ABOUTH MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF THESE MEN AND WOMEN.
YOUR SON'S FREEDOM CAN COME TOMORROW. BECAUSE "NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD" GOD WILL MAKE A WAY WHEN THEIR SEEMS TO BE NO WAY. GOD IS ABLE TO DO WHAT MAN SAYS CANNOT BE DONE HE IS THE WAY MAKER"
CRIMLAWFLA@AOL.COM

I would greatly love to read this book I'm A survivor of a brain infection In May of 2010 I Lost my disability the lord has led me back to a home with friends in Il I saw you are speaking in wheaton I will be there. I understand the trying times the lord is leading me great peace and contentment at this point here I have not been able to gain employeement but I have all I need thank god My prayers will be with you and your family

My heart goes out to you and your family and the family of the deceased. Maybe God feels right now your son is more needed in prison where he is to help save the lost souls there =) You are also blessed to be able to still see your son, in some other countries there are not even visitors allowed to see their loved ones behind bars. Not only that but prisoners in other countries get beaten every day as part of their punishment or would have been given death for the crime. May your son continue to bless those in prison while he is there!

Carol and Jason,

Thank you for your openness and transparency in sharing this most painful journey. Your first book "When I Lay My Isaac Down"- gave me much needed comfort and hope as well as "A New Kind of Normal. " The words of hope and faith in the midst of seemingly unalterable circumstances- has given me faith to continue to believe for our oldest sons life. The pain and shame of having a child incarcerated is almost unbearable sometimes- but the Word you are living and speaking gives hope to us mothers of kids in jail. I am praying for you, the family, Jason and the countless others that feel so alone in this. God Bless- will keep you in my prayers....I hold onto the word......"All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Teresa

"For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield." Ps. 5:12:kjv
Thank you LORD, for blessing JP and the Kents - they are righteous because You say so. Thank you for favor surrounding them like a shield. You alone are JP's judge and your ways are the blessed ways. Because of His blood, Jesus, the name above all names. Amen

Carol, after our conversation (girls getaway)while shopping in Keywest my heart was touched much deeper than expected. I do understand the pressure that the political world has over the judicial system. I am amazed and blessed by the depth of faith and trust Jason has shown and spoken out reguarding the denial of his clemency
hearing. HIS grace and peace shines so brightly thru your son that it is difficult to see the sin b/c of the redemption. I picked up a couple of your books and look forward to becoming a woman of greater influence !
God is blessing you and your family as you bless others.
Chaplain Peggy

Dear Carol,

I'm so sorry to hear that you've exhausted all of your appeals...I know the hurt and pain associated with losing a child to incarceration. It is a very diffiult road to walk that many do not understand unless they've experienced it. My heartfelt prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. May the lord give peace to your broken heart....

I was so moved by your book "I Lay My Isaac Down" that I can't help but think of you and your family often. I just want to thank you for being so vunerable and real in expressing your pain (I think you may have kept some of the painful times between you and God). I picked up the book to read about God's faithfulness in difficult circumstances and hoped for a victorious ending. It took some time to digest but I do see the victory in the spirit of your son, you and your family. What victory watching you and your family conquor your flesh desires. God's purposes are not always known to us but as you struggle thru may Jesus continue to make you more like HIM....this is what I see through your heartbreaking story....You are more Christ like and thank you for sharing that......Beth

Carol I was blessed by you several years ago when you spoke at Franklin Heights Baptist Church in Rocky Mount,Virginia. I am so sorry to hear about your son. I can't imagine as a mom what you are going through. What I can encourage you with is only through the power of Christ; we get through these dark moments and have hope of a brighter future. At a recent E Women's retreat I heard a speaker say " Remember whatever you're going through it had to go through Christ first" I thought about that statement and it made me look at life's trials a little differently. We know God has a plan for our lives and sometimes his way is difficult to understand. Sitting on my side of the window looking at JP's situation I can see how God's promise of "ALL Things Work Together for Good to Them that Love the Lord" The promise doesn't say only good things it say's ALL things and as sad as it is to see JP behind bars God is using his situation to lead others to Christ and even encouraging ones who already believe. As for you God is using your perspective to encourage and win souls too :)
God Bless you Carol and keep you lifted up when you feel down! I have been praying for you and JP and will continue to pray for his release.

Your Sister in Christ,
Lew Spencer

Thank-You so very much for the update on Jason. My son is prison also and your books have helped us so much, you are such a blessing to us. We will continue to pray for your son and your family.
Lori Fisher and Joshua Ranck

May the Lord bless you all as you encourage and lift so many others up as you go through such tragedy. My husband is in prison after being falsely accused. We have also gone through several appeal processes and in the middle of what looks like our last effort. So, I understand. God is the God of the impossible and is ALMIGHTY. I pray for you and your family and hope for freedom for Jason... which will bring freedom to you as well. It is not easy on the families financially or emotionally. Thank you!

Carol, I met you and Gene as you were in the beginning of this journey with Jason. You had come as a guest speaker to Christ Fellowship in Palm Beach Gardens FL. and shared what was taking placed and asked that your family be remember in prayer. I have been privileged to pray for you as God leads.
We have used your study materials and shared your books and story often. "Between a Rock and a Grace Place" spoke to several in our Home Fellowship Study recently. Jason's ministry at the prison speaks volumes of how our God uses us just as we are and where we are if we are willing. Be encouraged that although this is not the life you probaly would have chosen, your are being used mightly!

The Kent family is in my heart and prayers. You ministry is a blessing to me.

In Christ!
Linda R. Webb

Carol and Gene, I just read your book "a new kind of normal". What an incredible story you shared. I have wondered if Job was real or an architype, but now it does not matter as god has shown me that you both are a real modern day Job, as you have remained faithful to god under terrible and unending trials... As well as the others who shared their stories in your book. I am a Hope Mentor at my church and this book will help me in my ministry to broken christians. Your lives are a blesing to others, just as Job's is.

Having hearing your ordeal on Focus on the Family Africa several times now down here in South Africa i think you are such an amazing woman and family. Nomatter what know that God really loves Jason and he affirmed that to you already. I believe He has something he has to accomplish but unfortunately it has to be down through another human being who has full access to those in need. Ezekial was asked to marry a harlot, Moses killed before leading the people of Israel. Even Lord Jesus didnt want to go through that daunting task of liberating us. Mind you, God is doing someghing via Jason. Keep keeping up.

Dear Carol, Gene and Jason, thank you for sharing your story and for allowing God to use it as a door of hope to the body of Christ. I stumbled over your story yesterday as I was seeking God for some answers regarding my pain and loneliness in ministry and my strength has been renewed just by following your examples of how God's love has made up for your pain. I would love to meet you Carol someday and hope you'll be visiting us in the UK with your ministry in the near future. God bless you all and lots of love.

I just watched Dateline about Jason's story. It has always troubled me that he was given such an unjust sentence, when he was trying to protect his family. Who does the right thing when the "government" won't? I even emailed the Florida Chamber of Commerce about the wrongful "Mandatory Sentencing Laws" that are not practiced in surrounding states. I did not receive a reply. Anyone with a working conscience can see the inequities in our very flawed justice system.

The only thing I can think of is garnering widespread support through a petition. You should contact as many churches as possible to try to bring them on board. Remind them of the verse "I was in prison, and you did not visit me..." and James 2:16.

I prayed and asked God to help you. I will try again to email someone about this - I have experienced a different trial with our flawed medical/legal system; I know the depth of your frustration. One person however, can cast a very long shadow. "I would have fainted had I not believed I would see the goodness of the Lord..."

Sharon

Words can not convey the impact your book had and has on my life. I'm reading it for the third time with a friend.
When I downloaded it to my Kindle, I thought it was a work of fiction based on the Bible account. Months went by and I didn't read it. After several months I experienced the loss of a dear friendship I thought was a life long gift I would have. My experience was certainly not as horrible as yours, but my grieving this loss was more painful than I can describe because I'm face to face with the loss every Sunday without knowing "why" since my friend refuses to discuss the matter. I began reading your book that I still thought was fiction to take my mind off my circumstances. Imagine my surprise to find a true story! I cried through most of the reading of your experience knowing my loss was so much smaller than yours, but I gained so much from your heart breaking writings. It's been almost two years since the loss of the relationship I thought was near perfect and I still grieve with tears spilling over when least expected. I bought the hard cover and the workbook in hopes that the time comes when I will be able to lead a small group through its pages. I'm reading Between a Rock and a Hard Place now. God bless you and your husband for the ministry you have and for the blessing you are in sharing your heartbreak and struggles.

Where can i send mail to jason kent? Touched by story.

Dear Carol I just want to say thank you for writing "When I Lay My Isaac Down". This wonderful book got to my hands by a sweet lady who thought your story and my had many similarities. After I finish reading the book I understood what she meant, even though many of our life situations are different, we had walked the same painful road and had experienced the many blessings of The Lord. My son's name is Ariel Isaac and he was incarcerated in June of 2000. I identified my self with all those difficult moments of not know what to expect, the waiting, the not so good news after been praying for days about that day in court, the weekly visiting and the "good byes".
I had found my self sniffing my son's clothes trying to find his scent. At the same time I had many good experiences in the "ladies room", God put me to hug,and cry with many women that I did't know and even pray in the street for one of them. Your book gave me hope, and my faith got more stronger to face every new day knowing that God is working in our lives. He just want us to give Him our burdens, and He will take care of the rest. Is not easy to do that since we, as mothers want to take care of our children no matter how old they are. I gave my Issac to The Lord and I feel much better. It is plentiful that I could say about my experiences with The Lord during this long 13 years and this is not the time for that, but at least I had to tell you how I appreciated that you shared your testimony with us through this book. God bless you and your family gratefully!!!

I have " When i Lay my Isaac down" and its a wonderful and truely an amazing book i couldnt be happier with the purchase of this book. I have a senario where my loved ones have ended up in prison and this book taught me to not blame my self. I've cried, and while reading this book. This is is truely a great book. and i bless and pray for you.<3

Your book and testimony bless my heart and soul. My family and I lost my oldest daughter to suicide and so much of what you shared is reminding me of the everlasting love from god. Thank u again, Linda

Hi Carol,
I live in Australia and was just given your video series to watch by a friend. Our 22yo daughter was killed two months ago by her ex-boyfriend, and your words were both encouraging and challenging, particularly the last one on forgiveness. I do not have hatred towards the man who took my daughter's life, but am in awe of the woman on your video who prayed for that man in jail who killed her loved one. The three things that are getting me through this time of grief are faith, family/friends and the inspiration to make something good come out of tragedy.
Thanks for sharing your story and pray that you will keep making positives out of your story to help others, as I hope to do too.
Kerryn

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