Darwin “Hutch” Hutchinson has been in Angola prison for 17 years, becoming incarcerated when his two daughters were 7 and 8 years old. He explains that he hit rock bottom, slipping into trends of selfishness. But it was the spirit of God and the word of God that worked together to break through his hard heart.
During his first Returning Hearts Celebration, his daughters were 14 and 15. It was this event, just one day of the year that encourages them to treasure their relationship as father and daughters. The relationship-building process was not always an easy one. Hutchinson was allowed to send cards to his daughters to maintain communication, but for every dozen cards he sent he would get maybe one response back. It was a bit discouraging, but he was determined to stay firm because he knew, as a Malachi Dad, how important it was to pursue the relationship.
The Returning Hearts Celebration facilitated that bonding time between him and his daughters. It gave them one-on-one special moments to bond and develop a relationship. Without those times, Hutchinson says, he would not be the person he is today. They have helped him learn to treasure his family and love them unconditionally. And saving those cards, he says, showed him how much she did care about his words and their relationship.