We always like to have a break after ministering when possible. Today we can do that over a meal. Ministry to hungry souls requires output from the volunteers, mentally and spiritually: Mark 6:30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Jesus frequently rested and so we must also, to recharge our batteries as it were.
Once we have eaten and relaxed our time is up and we are back in house for the second leg of our ministry for today. The guys have spread the word that Mike is with us this day and they come to meet and greet, we have men in this meeting we didn’t have in the study earlier.
As volunteers we cannot say enough good about the prison officials who clear us and the chaplains who assist us. Without their help our task would be very difficult. Today we have the prison band, we so look forward for their music. They put their heart and soul into it and help set the atmosphere for the meeting. We conduct a meeting much like any church service and Jesus honors us by attending.
As the men play and sing the guys listen and respond, some songs are written by the members and some are performed from other artists. As I get up afterward to do the preliminaries it is evident that they have helped calm the souls and now passed the service to us for our input. That is team work that facilitates ministry and we do not take it for granted.
Steven H., gives his talk. Steven speaks the scriptures of encouragement and truth, this month our theme is Trusting God and Steven gives a very solid word on that topic. The men listen and when he is done they clap. I then go forward as the transition man and check to see if Mike wants to speak but he has a glint in his eye. I know that glint, he is wanting to do the wrap up because he wants to speak to the men on the final note. So now yours truly gets up and I deliver what I believe God has laid upon my heart for the meeting. I speak about trusting God and how it has taken me places I never thought I would go such as our African mission to prisons in Kenya. God will never let us down if we trust Him. The men are attentive and you can see they are taking in the Word.
Now it is Mikes turn, he is a walking miracle and he has the floor. Silence in the room as he begins to thank all the men for their many prayers and inquiries. You can see Mike has been ministered to by our congregation and they are now being ministered to by him. He speaks on trusting God in the hard times but also the authority of the believer. A comforting message he received from a Pastor while in hospital. After Mike speaks he wraps up with prayer and then we have a few minutes to mingle and talk.
This time is so rich, this is where we find out if they understood what we were communicating. Mike has men who want prayer and I have men who tell me what I said has helped them. Steven likewise. We leave built up and the men leave encouraged. We leave commending them into the Lord’s care until next time.
Now we must gather up all that we came with and proceed back to home base. Today we have been ministered to by God via the inmates, and vice versa. Jesus is alive and well in the ‘Church behind Bars’.
Prison Christian Ministries is a not for profit ministry based in Fredericton NB, we visit all Federal and Provincial institutions in NB along with most recovery facilities and Hart House a halfway house. Currently we conduct 28 events in a 30 day period, we have a penal ministry, book distribution ministry, along with The Jesus House Refuge in NB, and African prison outreach in Kenya. We consider Volunteer Applications from all interested persons. We also have a home made cookie ministry to some of the institutions, perhaps you can bake. We need baking all the time, the Lord confirms His love to the inmates via this baking. Please contact us via our website address PrisonChristianMinistries.com or email Rosemary Blair at firstname.lastname@example.org Blessings…Bill