“Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison,
and not minister to your needs?”
Springtime is an even more desperate time to be in jail. Who isn’t happier with the longer days of sunlight we now enjoy, and who hasn’t looked forward to seeing the last pieces of ice to melt away from yards and yield to the green that grows? And hurray for walking outside without a coat!
“Chap, what’s the weather like?”
I don’t want to answer. Winter was easier for me to spend most of my days in here. Now I want to be in the sunshine and breathe fresh air.
“Everything is coming back to life!”
Likewise, we all can come back to life. Thank all of you who pray, donate, or volunteer in Jail Ministry to share in the second chances… the third and fourth and more chances… that God gives all of us to come back to life and that creation in springtime so beautifully shows us in Wisconsin.
Thanks to God working through you there is more hope this spring. We began counting and more than 110 people have visited a congregation after their release from jail, thanks to the connections we make here in jail. In less than a year, 11 new congregations have scheduled to lead our weekly Sunday worship in jail. In that same time, we’ve had 6 volunteer trainings and trained 89 volunteers who serve in our Sunday worship, Bible studies, Moms’ Prayer, and Storybook programs. Our 13 religious program offerings have totaled an average attendance of over 100 inmates every week in this first quarter of 2019 (this counts some inmates who attend more than one program in a week). Not bad for a County Jail with an average daily population of 200 inmates, I say!
We are blessed to work in Jail Ministry. Next time I will tell you about some special volunteers who started helping and organizing the Forever stamped envelopes, Bibles, magazines, playing cards, jigsaw puzzles, Word Find books, pads of paper and pencils to keep our indigent inmates connected with loved ones and to help lift their spirits. Thank you for everything you do for Jail Ministry!