Yes, you read that right. On Sunday afternoon I went back to jail.
It took me several days and an idea from my husband to come up with the topic for this weeks message. You see, the last time that I was able to serve in the jail was March 2020. But God has finally softened the sheriff’s heart and we are allowed to begin some of our services once again.
This week, as with many times before, I was alone with 20 or more inmates. However, God was faithful to give me a message to share & to assure me that He was fully in control. I have never been nervous to serve in this facility or in one of the state prisons.
We began our time together with Betsie and the Fleas: True Story of Courage and Thankfulness in Trial. And then spent some time discussing what it means to be thankful in ALL things.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 16-18 NKJV
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:15-17 NKJV
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. – Romans 8:35,37 NKJV
Since we cannot provide any type of handouts we ended by singing Amazing Grace & Jesus Loves Me, followed by the Lord’s Prayer.
I enjoyed every minute of my time “in jail” and I look forward to my next visit in a couple of weeks.
But there are new rules:
Per directives from the jail administration, we are to adhere to the following and there will be NO exceptions to these rules:
- Masks must be worn the entire time while at the jail. You must supply your own mask. You will not be admitted without a mask.
- Temperature will be checked upon entry.
- There will no combining of blocks. In the case of female inmates, at this time, females are only on one block.
- We are not allowed to pass out anything to inmates, this includes handouts, pencils, etc. The officers will provide the sign-in sheet and can provide a copy at the end of the session.
- Volunteers are not allowed to cross the yellow line. Social distancing is mandated.
- Volunteers are not allowed to sit in the bleachers with the inmates.
- Fist bumping or elbow bumping is not allow with the inmates. NO physical contact at all.
It has been clearly stated that anyone willfully not complying with any of these rules will have their access to the facility revoked indefinitely or permanently. If the administration deems that the behavior is out of control they will terminate all programs at once. If you are unsure of anything that you are going to do or about to do, please ask the officers before you do anything that make be in question.