Ministry Insights

"Ralph and I are acquainted with some of the same people; he from his life on the streets, me from my ministry in the jail. As we talked about one young man, Ralph started sounding like a responsible, caring adult. He talked about giving this young man a place to sleep, food to eat, and clothes to wear. Then Ralph talked about his concern for a number of young people he was helping, how they were always fighting over something, how they were unable to get along. He talked about being able to direct their lives in a more positive direction. Now Ralph also cooks and distributes Meth, but I'm hoping there might be something here to build on.  Chaplain M. Wenzel "
"Today we observed the power of God to change the hearts and lives of his children, as we witnessed the culmination of God's transformation of Judah in Genesis 44. God had worked so mightily in his heart, that Judah went from being the callous hearted brother that came up with the idea of selling Joseph into slavery, to being the loving brother, who is so deeply concerned about his aged father (Jacob), and his little half brother (Benjamin), that he offers to become the slave of Egypt's Prime Minister (Joseph), in order to spare his father from suffering the loss of his favorite son for the second time (first Joseph, then Benjamin). What a comfort it is to know (and joy it is to share), that this same God continues to bring his power to bear on my heart (and the hearts of those I serve) in order to transform all of us into this same kind of child, one who reflects the love of his heavenly Father!  Chaplain Radsek  "
"It's been fun studying some old hymns with the ladies. A couple might remember the tune so I invite them to either listen or sing along. By the end, most of the women are usually singing at least the refrain. And it is so beautiful. This week sang I Know that My Redeemer Lives. In talking about verse 2, we brainstormed what Jesus as our "ever living head" might mean. Some great insights were: I want Him to be intimately involved with my thoughts, my brain, the control center. I want Him to be my "head" and lead me. I can know that He is "ahead" of me. There before I get there and yet with me on the journey as well.  Deaconess Owens "
"After 2 weeks of no visitations being allowed at the jail, I had 6 people show up for Bible class today. They were all very attentive and friendly, appreciating the time spent in God's Word. Then, much to my surprise, we even had a little music as two different ladies spontaneously broke out in song. It was a good day at the jail.  Lenore (Adult Correctional Volunteer). "
"Summer smells are here. There are the fragrances of flowers, cut grass, barbecues, campfires, sweat, and faith. How can faith smell?  Some people might think of incense, but the Lord is more interested in nonphysical smells. He loves the smell of our faith when it shares his saving forgiveness and love. God smells the stink of sin stained deeds, but our deeds for Jesus are filtered by Christ and give a pleasing fragrance. Paul writes: “But thanks be to God, who always lead us in triumphal procession in Christ and though us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. (2Cor 2:14) Let God smell your faith!  Chaplain K. Wenzel "
"After a weeks vacation (followed by a week and a half of being sick), I'm really looking forward to getting back into the prison tomorrow to continue our Bible study on the book of Genesis, and finally help Joseph escape from Pharaohs' dungeon in Egypt.  Chaplain Radsek "
"So for our ice breaker question in group, I asked people what they see as a personal strength. One of the last ladies, who had recently been baptized by the chaplain at the jail, said, "My biggest strength is being born again as a child of God." She had seen her personal failures, but in jail, now she saw how God was forgiving her and lifting her up. Her uplifted attitude and thoughts pervaded the discussion in our group as well. Pray a prayer of thanks and help, for all of the new "baby" Christian brothers and sisters!  Deaconess Owens "
"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 allowed plants to have dominion over us.”  Chaplain Merten. "
"In our Bible study today (Gen. 33), we covered the emotional reunion of two 90 year old twin brothers, whose hearts the Lord changed during their 20 year separation, in order to facilitate a reconciliation. May the the Lord, who changes hearts, work so mightily in our hearts, that we are likewise reconciled to anyone that we have alienated, or have become alienated from. Chaplain Radsek "
"This week's great hymn for study: Great is Thy Faithfulness. What peace for women in jail and mental health hospitals to know that while they change, lives change, relationships and people change, seasons change, God's amazing love and mercy stands forever! Looking forward to studying "Rock of Ages" with the similar concept: Because He is faithful, He is our Rock!  Deaconess Owens "