Ministry Insights

"Recently, I encountered two women (in two separate institutions), who have been heavily influenced by Muslim teachings. Both of them have expressed their desire to have Jesus as their LORD and Savior, but their Muslim training has been making it difficult for them to trust in His grace and believe in His divine nature. I am however, beginning to see evidence of God working in their hearts and lives — Thank you, Jesus! — but I pray that God might continue to work through His Spirit, to enable them to wholly trust in His perfect redemption, and see Him as He is — the Son of God and Savior of the World.  Chaplain Guenther "
"One of the ladies I’ve been visiting with really has a rather difficult and sordid past (traumatic childhood, rocky relationships and multiple divorces). The last man she was married to was Muslim, and so she also has a great deal of spiritual confusion. "You'll have to have patience with me,” she said recently. “After all that I've heard and believed in the past, I still have a hard time believing that Jesus was anything more than a good man." I told her that God is a patient God and that we are all works in progress. I also encouraged her to allow God to continue working in her heart through His word. Each person is on a different part of the journey of knowing, believing, trusting God and His Son to be who they are, Creator, Father, Savior. Pray with me that God keeps touching hearts, minds and lives.  Chaplain Guenther "
"Does “I am a new creation in Christ” mean “I am no longer an addict”? That gets kicked around frequently in the groups I help facilitate. Recently a man told me this: “I was walking back to my dorm from the prison chapel after a Bible study, and I was really feeling close to God and thinking, ‘I’m healed! I’m delivered!’ And then I started smelling a skunk somewhere. And I stopped, and breathed it in. And my mouth actually started watering: all I could think of was smoking weed. I was all messed up, because I was smelling a skunk! I guess God’s still working on me.”  Chaplain Merten "
"In our study of Acts today, we covered Paul and Silas being flogged and thrown into prison at Philippi. As they sat there in the dark, locked up in stocks within the inner most part of the prison, Paul and Silas began singing hymns of praise to God. As you might guess, the men sitting around the table with me in prison, found it rather easy to identify with Paul and Silas, and we spent some time discussing the peace and joy that are ours (regardless of our circumstances). One after another, the men began sharing examples from their own lives of being similarly blessed and filled with joy. For over 20 years now, I’ve been sharing God’s Word with people inside of correctional facilities, and I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard the guys I serve express joy and contentment (despite spending month after month locked up in prison), because Jesus is in their lives. How blessed we are to know Jesus, and make him known to others.​  Chaplain Radsek "
"Easter is without question my favorite day of the year, and what pure joy to have shared Easter with eight women at the Jail! In our study, we examined various gospel readings that support the truth of what occurred that first Easter Sunday. We also considered what all of this means to us now and for eternity. It was especially comforting for these ladies, who often struggle to have confidence that ALL their sins can be FULLY forgiven, and that a better way of living is possible...Easter takes care of that! One of the ladies in our group indicated that she will be going to prison soon. She looked very sad and fragile, but was encouraged to hear that she could seek out our chaplains in prison to continue her study of God’s Word. Please continue to pray for those we visit in prison.  Nadine (Adult Correctional Volunteer) "
"One of the main sources of pain for the women at the jail is worrying about their children and grieving not being with them. A woman in jail recently said that her 13-year-old daughter was entering mental health treatment for suicide. Pray that the women will be able to take their pain, which usually was dulled by alcohol or other substances and highs, to a Savior who will walk with them and comfort them in their helplessness and hurts.  Chaplain Guenther "
"One of the prison inmates in my addiction recovery group commented, “In the Bible God gave human beings dominion over the plants and animals of the earth. But we’ve gotten addicted to things like cocaine, alcohol, and heroin – all plant products. We’ve let plants have dominion over us.” Chaplain Merten. "
"Recently, one of the men in my Bible study at the jail admitted that over the past several years he has been searching other religions, "trying to find something he could lean on". He had been studying Islam for a while but it just didn't make sense to him. As it happened, we were studying the person of Jesus Christ, examining his true nature as both God and man. Our study of Jesus brought us to the very foundations of our faith and simple Christian doctrinal truths. Exactly what all of us need to "lean on".  Phil (Adult Correctional Volunteer) "
"Amy was having a pretty tough day when I came to visit. She is about 2 1/2 months pregnant and her great-grandmother has been caring for her 5-year-old while she’s been in jail. Apparently overwhelmed by the thought of Amy continuing to stay with her upon release, her great-grandmother has begun to encourage Amy to abort her baby. Our Bible study was “What a Friend” and we spent our time looking up passages that underscored the great friend we have in Jesus, and I encouraged her to take her troubles to Jesus in prayer. Amy enjoyed looking up the passages together and seems quite interested in learning. Before I left, she asked for information on the WELS pregnancy center, as well as a list of our churches in the area, and any Bible studies about changing/improving her life. Please keep Amy in your prayers.  Nadine (Adult Correctional Volunteer)​ "
"We were discussing the 23rd Psalm at the jail, and one of the women looked like she was really trying to take it all in. When I asked if the group knew about the shepherd's staff, she asked, "What is that?" After I had explained, she responded in a touched, gentle voice, "Oh, that's how He gently brings us back."  And at that very moment, she seemed to realize that the Good Shepherd was even now doing this for her.  Chaplain Guenther "