We All Are One in Mission
Recently, I was reminded of a line from one of my favorite hymns of how we all work together to spread God’s love. For many years we have partnered with the Anderson Prison Ministry family who have supplied us with New Testament Bibles for our work in the jails and prisons throughout the state of Wisconsin. In recent years however, the demand for just New Testament Bibles has dwindled in our prison ministry (everyone wants the entire Bible). In an attempt to help the Anderson family find other ministries that could still make use their Bibles, we put them in contact with a pastor who had begun a prison ministry down in Texas. Here’s a story he shared with us about his prison work in Texas, where he is putting those Bibles to good use.
Yesterday I almost did not go to the jail. I was with a family that was taking a loved one off of life support and I was ready to skip my weekly visit to the jail. I spent time with the family in God's Word and their loved one was hanging on and the doctors thought it would be a few days.
After some hesitation (I had good excuses to skip my visit), I headed to the jail in a driving rain storm. When I arrived, the secretary handed me an inmate request from a prisoner. I immediately recognized the name. When I got to his cell in the infirmary and asked the guard to open the door, sure enough, it was him — the guy who got this whole ministry started. He was arrested in the summer of 2017 and asked me to bail him out. I didn’t bail him out, but I visited him twice and those visits began the last 18 months of ministry at the jail.
As I stood at the door of his cell with him, we had a devotion about the day of Pentecost. I told him he was responsible for the Gospel coming to hundreds of souls in this jail. Suddenly it hit me, one visit had opened the door to:
- 300 - 400 law / Gospel presentations I have been able to give in that jail
- 300 devotion books from special ministries distributed in that jail
- 300 bibles from Julian Anderson distributed and more being given out daily
- Thousands of our WELS Spanish bible studies be used in in that jail and these resources are being used by all the chaplains there.
I often forget how the Lord uses the little things we do in some big ways. Yesterday made me realize again that the Pentecost power of the Gospel is working even when we don't see it. Thanks for all you do to serve our Savior and help to get the Gospel out. — Pastor Brown
The words of the hymnist sum it all up rather well:
We all are one in mission; We all are one in call,
Our varied gifts united By Christ the Lord of all.
A single great commission Compels us from above
To plan and work together That all may know Christ’s love
Thank you for your interest in Institutional Ministries. May we all continue working together so that all may know His love!
Chaplain Joseph Radsek