Ministry Insights

"There were two ladies who joined me for Bible study on Sunday, one of which is still struggling with her faith, so please pray for her. She has suffered some major losses and is feeling discouraged. She will be released today, so we won't likely see her again. We studied "A Christian's Power against Temptation" both ladies took turns reading and one was able to answer quite a few of the questions.  Nancy (Adult Correctional Volunteer) "
"We studied Paul's weakness in 2 Corinthians today. When I asked what God meant by saying to Paul, 'My grace is sufficient for you', one of the ladies answered, 'It's enough'. Another said, 'It will get you through.' Such amazing answers of hope from women who are struggling with much pain (physically and emotionally). As we looked at Psalm 91, we all took comfort in the fact that God really is our Rock when all else is sinking sand.  Chaplain Guenther "
"We went through the IM lesson Driving the Snakes Out of Your Life. It was a session that had lots of conversation as we recalled the serpent in the garden of Eden, and then the snakes that God set upon the children of Israel in the desert as a judgment for their complaining. There was a real “AHA” moment when we brought the conversation full circle to Jesus comparison (in John 3) of Moses lifting up the bronze snake in the wilderness, and the Son of Man being lifted up on the cross. One man broke into a spontaneous and delightful laugh of joy and surprise as that connection was made. He had always wondered about the connection between Jesus and Moses. He had previously found the passage promising a prophet 'like Moses' to come which was Jesus, but this second passage was further confirmation of Moses as a type of Christ. After that, we compared several other types of Christ in the OT with Jesus, confirming the tightly knit and remarkable continuity of the Bible, and how it was all about Jesus.  Pastor Koelpin (Adult Correctional Volunteer)  "
"For almost two years, I’ve had the privilege of watching the Holy Spirit set a man free from the demons he's been carrying around for the better part of two decades. Today, this formerly angry man, is filled with peace, contentment and gratitude towards God for all the blessings he has received from the hand of God during his incarceration. In the words of Jesus: 'If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed' (Jn 8:36).  Chaplain Radsek "
"'I know I need to bring all my problems and challenges to God and follow his guidance. But sometimes I think: Can’t I just quit drinking? The rest of this stuff is hard!' – An inmate in my prison addiction recovery group.  Chaplain Merten "
"We studied the idea of weakness and strength in Bible study today. It's interesting what thoughts and memories our discussion often triggers. We talked about how our weaknesses can be strengths to God, as we see what He can do in our lives. We also agreed that God will give us whatever strengths we need to do what God desires for us to do. One of the ladies in group recalled a time when she was young and went to a "Sunday-school-like" group. There was a lady there named Sarah, who read the Bible to the children, and let them touch her braille Bible. God had enabled Sarah to serve him, even though she was blind.  Chaplain Guenther. "
"I had the privilege to study The Father's Love with two ladies recently. Both ladies were in their 30's and had never read the Bible, or prayed until they were sent to jail a month ago. God be praised! They both seemed touched by the story of the prodigal son, as well as the story of the lost sheep. How blessed we all are that a loving God would be so patient with us! Please keep these ladies in your prayers — pray that the Holy Spirit would strengthen their faith and keep them in the love of Jesus. Both ladies said that they almost didn't come to Bible class, and that they were tempted to skip. Let's keep praying that more of the inmates will want to come and learn about God's love for them.  Jane (Adult Correctional Volunteer) "
"Recently, a young man (who is new to the faith), started attending my prison Bible class. He made a rather interesting statement in class: "I have faith, I just don't know if I believe." "Interesting" I thought to myself. "He knows God exists. He knows Jesus is God's Son, who was sent here to redeem the world. Every week he learns more and more about his Savior by reading his Bible. And every week he returns to seek out Jesus in our study of God's Word." As I pondered his words, I was reminded of the man (Mk 9:24), who sought Jesus help for his son. He was struggling to believe that Jesus could do "anything" for his son, yet ultimately confessed: "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief." Mindful of the words of Jesus to this father struggling in his faith ("Everything is possible for one who believes"), I invite you to join me in praying for everyone struggling in their faith — struggling to believe.  Chaplain Radsek "
"“Bitterness and self-pity are partners, partners in keeping me sick.” – An inmate in my prison addiction recovery group (Chaplain Phil Merten) "
"We were discussing “light” today in Bible study. One of the verses from Micah said that God will “bring me out into the light.” One of the women who was Native American said that her “Indian” name was “Wasaya” – bringer of the Northern Light. "On my 'good days,'" she added, “I try to live up to my name and bring a positive attitude to help people in their darker moments.” How comforting it is to know, that in our darker moments, Jesus (the “Light of the World”) brings us his grace and mercy, regardless of whether it's a "good day" or not.  Chaplain Guenther "