"It is always a joy to watch the Lord walk along (hand-in-hand) with one of my guys, as they face challenges and difficulties in their life – to watch as the LORD impresses upon them the truthfulness of his promise through St. Paul "and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purposes." Today was one of those days. Despite a number of recent "setbacks" in his life, Doug was full of joy, and perfectly content right where he was, because the LORD was right there with him, helping Doug to understand "my grace is sufficient for you." Another awesome day in prison – God is good! Chaplain Radsek "
"“I messed up over the weekend,” Darren told me. I said, “Uh oh. Tell me more.” “I didn’t drink, okay? I haven’t had a drink in almost two years now. But my friend Karl was over at my place, and he had some weed with him, and my head and back were hurting bad, so when he offered me some I smoked it. I got so trashed I couldn’t stand up. So I told him, ‘I’d better stop; please don’t give me any more.” I told Darren, “I’m not happy you did that, but I am happy that you stopped, and you did it so quickly. And that you’re admitting it.” (2 Corinthians 7:10 – “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret”.) Chaplain Merten "
"It was a fairly large group at the jail for Bible study with several talkative ladies with much to share. One of the ladies however, sat quietly in the back and really didn't say much of anything till the very end of our study. While the rest of the women were talking about never wanting to come back to jail again, the quiet lady in the back finally spoke up, "You won't see me back here...well except to do ministry." Pray that the message does bear fruit and go full circle so that those who are now hearing can be those who share. Chaplain Sarah Guenther "
"We had our annual volunteer orientation/appreciation dinner last night at Kettle Moraine Correctional. The "re-orientation" gets a little tedious at times (going through everything year after year), but it's always uplifting hearing from the half dozen or so inmates, who come in to thank all the volunteers. Every time I hear them express their heartfelt appreciation, and the positive impact it has on their lives, It always reminds me of Jesus' words in Matthew 25: "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." What a privilege it is, to serve Jesus, by serving those he loves. Chaplain Radsek "
"While sharing his addiction journey with the class (12th step of Spiritual Foundations in Recovery), M told us that his companion through it all, was his cat. When he was freaking out, high, or in recovery, his cat would listen to him and give him a head-butt of love. Who has been your cat through thick and thin? Whose cat are you? These are the thoughts we talked about as we considered how sinners help sinners. Chaplain M. Wenzel "
"Last Sunday I went to the jail and had only one man show up (Rick, a 57 years old, with a long history of drugs and living on the street). He told me that at one time, he had been a regular attendee at church, but then got involved in voodoo, and this became his religion for quite some time. When he came to me to study Gods Word, he was a broken man, and in desperate need of peace in in his life. We studied the Sower and the Seed, and discussed what faith really is. We then went on to Mathew 7, to talk about treasures and worry. And we finally ended up in John 14, talking about heaven prepared and Jesus the only way. Rick didn't understand why our LORD only had the two of us in Bible study that day, but he was extremely grateful for the one-on-one time and the WORD given to him. I hope Rick shows up again next week to hear more from the Prince of Peace, for HE has exactly what Rick is searching so desperately for. Our ministry....One soul at a time. Phil (Adult Correctional Volunteer) "
"One of the inmates in my prison addiction recovery group asked me if I was familiar with Proverbs 23:29-35. He was grinning when he asked. I looked it up and recognized it immediately: “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine… Your eyes will see strange sights, and your mind will imagine confusing things. You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging. ‘They hit me,’ you will say, ‘but I’m not hurt! They beat me, but I don’t feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?’” Everybody who’s experienced being drunk relates to the imagery here. It’s one of those parts of the Bible people read and realize: Wow, this is about real life! MY life! Chaplain Merten "
"It is interesting to watch at the athletic gym how people drive around aggressively to get the parking spot closest to the front door. Likewise we are tempted to try to drive our own way closer to God. Abraham, Moses, and St. Paul tried it on their own but failed. Really it was the Holy Spirit who directed their hearts to enter God’s plan of salvation. Through God’s Word, the Holy Spirit drives us into God’s presence and exercises our faith in his joyful and saving love. Chaplain K. Wenzel "
"It was bitter cold at the prison this morning, and I was especially thankful for the fact that the correction officers transport us from the front gate to the chapel. Knowing that at least two of my guys (who live in units on the outskirts of the campus) have close to a quarter mile to walk, I was heartened to see that all the "regulars" braved the cold. Never underestimate the drawing power of God's Word. Chaplain Radsek "
"We were reading Psalm 18 in Bible study and there were so many beautiful and helpful verses. The women were especially encouraged by God's power and deliverance. With problems like addiction, legal issues, relationships and parenting problems (just to name a few), not to mention the spiritual battle being waged, there seems to be a great wall between the women and God and sanity, health and functional relationships and living. Yet as David says, with God, we can "scale a wall" (Ps. 18:29). What a wonderful image and promise. Whatever barriers seem to be in our way to God's holiness, forgiveness and a full life, God has overcome through Jesus and we can therefore be conquerors and overcomers as well. Deaconess Guenther "