Have you ever loved doing something so much that it breaks your heart to leave it behind?
I love the jail ministry, and I loved the opportunity that I had this summer to go in every Sunday. I loved the people in jail, and I loved the people in the jail ministry. Oh yes, we had our ups and downs, it wasn't perfect, but it was a place that I could go and love and be loved. It was a place where I could go and minister to people who were hungry for the Word and I felt needed.
Over the process of the summer, there were many times that going to jail on Sunday morning was the highlight of my week. If I was having problems with something or it just seemed like nothing was going right, I could go to jail, put those things in the back of my mind and it was there that I focused on others.
So today was my last day with those people. We started as usual in "F block" the lock down block, where the guys are locked in their cells for 23 out of 24 hours a day. These guys are either the maximum security, or the guys that got in trouble in jail. Peggy and I played kinda a prelude of "Amazing Grace" and "Jesus, I am Resting, Resting," me on the cello and Peggy on the keyboard. Then we sang a song and Rick preached from Luke 15 about the Prodigal Son. Not only did he talk about the prodigal, but also about the older brother who was a self righteous holier than thou, and how really in the end it was the prodigal son who got saved, and as far as we know the older brother never got saved! He talked about how it is so important to make sure that what we are doing is for God and not for show!
The next service was in the chapel and it was the men. Again Peggy and I played a prelude. We had baptisms this morning. Three guys got baptized and one rededicated his life. John really spent time going over baptism and how it isn't what gets you saved, etc. One of the men who got baptized was absolutely glowing with the filling of the Holy Spirit! The look on his face was amazing, I don't think I will ever forget that look of the presence of God! His story is really neat too. He has had a horrible life, I'm not really sure all that has been involved, but he had been living a wicked life. He ended up in our county jail, and his wife is in a county jail north of here. God started working in his heart here, and unknown to him, God was also working in his wife's heart! Both are now saved, and once they get out of jail they are planning on living their lives for the Lord! That is so exciting! On their way out, most of the guys told me good-bye and a few even hugged me!
There were a lot of ladies that came to the service! Again the whole prelude thing, and then John asked that I tell the ladies why I was leaving and where I was going, etc., so I did. Then Rick preached, in both F Block and the ladies service he had Peggy and I read the Scripture, that was really neat. I'm gonna miss the ladies a lot!
After the services are over those of us who go into the jail always talk it over, talk about the things that went well, what could have been improved, etc. and then we pray. During this time Rick brought up the fact that he had enjoyed having me come in and then he informed me that I'm the only one who goes in that is under 50!! That made me feel REALLY young!
I'm gonna miss the jail so much while I'm at college, and I can't wait to go back again!