Is God Enough for an Inmate?

Last Sunday, God showed up in a big way at McHenry County Jail.  We were fortunate to have 4 volunteers so we were able to provide both an English & a Spanish worship service. Both teams reported that we truly felt God’s blessing on the afternoon.

My partner for the day was Karen, she has an amazing singing voice and a beautiful spirit. She used that beautiful voice to lead us right to the feet of Jesus as we joined together in song.

downloadThe message for the day was from 2 Kings 4:1-10

A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.”

So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.”

Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.”

So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.”

And he said to her, “There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”

Now it happened one day that Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a notable woman, and she persuaded him to eat some food. So it was, as often as he passed by, he would turn in there to eat some food. And she said to her husband, “Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly. 10 Please, let us make a small upper room on the wall; and let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; so it will be, whenever he comes to us, he can turn in there.”

We really dug deep into this passage and discovered that when we are at what we think is the end, that is where God can really begin to work in our lives.  We may think that we “need” this or that; when in reality all we “need” is God.

Both Karen and I shared some deeply personal things that have happened in our lives over the last few years. When we open up about our struggles and how God brought us through it bridges the gap between the volunteers and inmates like nothing else can.  Our experiences may not be exactly the same but God can use our story to lift up and encourage those we are there to serve.

Before we sang the last song, Karen shared the following poem: (Many of the ladies asked for a copy)

download (2)I’ve never made a fortune and it’s probably too late now,
But I don’t worry about that much, I’m happy anyhow.
And as I go along life’s way, I’m reaping better than I sowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer, ‘cause my cup has overflowed.
Haven’t got a lot of riches, and sometimes the goings tough.
But I’ve got loving ones around me, and that makes me rich enough.
I thank God for His blessings, and the mercies He’s bestowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer, ‘cause my cup has overflowed.
O, Remember times when things went wrong, my faith wore somewhat thin.
But all at once the dark clouds broke, and sun peeped through again.
So Lord, help me not to gripe about the tough rows that I’ve hoed.
I’m drinking from my saucer, ‘cause my cup has overflowed.
If God gives me strength and courage, when the way grows steep and rough.
I’ll not ask for other blessings, I’m already blessed enough.
And may I never be too busy, to help others bear their loads.
Then I’ll keep doing from my saucer, ‘cause my cup has overflowed.
— John Paul Moore —
We finished a few minutes early and were able to have some brief one on one conversations with some of the ladies before they had to go back to their cells.  I am thankful for those moments and will remember them for a long time to come.


  1. God bless you, sister! This is amazing work.

    I understand if you are too busy, but if you have a moment, can you share what it is like doing prison and jail ministry?


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