"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 "
"The man in the hospital bed I was visiting seemed to be in an almost infantile state: his responses to all my efforts at conversation were limited to one or two words. And like an infant he was nearly helpless to do anything for himself: simply adjusting his position in bed required help from two health care workers. He was feeling his neediness on this day: he kept saying, “Help me… help me…” over and over, and kept hitting the call button. So, I joined him in saying, “Help me,” but I added, “Help, Jesus.” And the man joined me, and together we said, over and over, “Help, Jesus… please help, Lord Jesus…” Chaplain Merten "
"This is one of my favorite weeks of the year to do Bible study at the jail and prison. Every year at this time, I set aside whatever book of the Bible we're currently studying in order to focus on the heart of Christmas — the birth of our Savior. While "my guys" may be feeling separated from loved ones during the holiday season, they need never feel separated from the One who loved them enough to become their bother. Please keep them in your prayers this holiday season. Chaplain Radsek "
"I have been visiting a woman in prison for many years. Every visit she updates me on the challenges, struggles and successes she is having. This visit she shared with me the pattern she has in her prayer time. I was touched when she said "I have you in my prayers every day. I pray that God is with you and your family." I was humbled and inspired to do a better job myself of including this woman (as well as others), as I make my own prayer list, and religiously offer up prayers to the One who controls everything, hears and helps. Sometimes there are blurry lines between the helped and helper, the inspired and the inspiration. Chaplain Guenther "
"She told our group, "My cousin sexually abused me when I was a little girl, and told me to keep my mouth shut. I tried to tell my mother, and she told me the same thing: Keep your mouth shut if you know what’s good for you. So, I did, for years. I drank instead of talking. And then I met God, and he told me, ‘You don’t have to be silent any more. You can tell me everything.’" Chaplain Merten "
"I saw it again yesterday at the prison. It was there in his watery eyes — the overwhelming joy that fills the heart when that still, small voice of God's Spirit whispers in our ear: "Yes, I forgive you too!" As Christmas draws near, I am reminded of what a privilege it is to share God's amazing love for us — sending his Son so that there might be "peace to those on whom his favor rests." Even to those in prison. Chaplain Radsek "
"God brought four men to the Bible study session at County Jail today. Please commend these men to God's care in your prayers this week, as they need to stay connected to Jesus through His Word during this tough stint in their lives. Our Bible study was "The Rich Young Ruler," and wrestled with priorities and how to show proper thanks to Jesus for daily blessings and to use them in a God-pleasing manner. Alan (Adult Correctional Volunteer) "
"He could have gotten away with it. He wasn’t caught. But he understands that repentant children of God confess their sin and turn from it. So, he turned himself in. As he prepares for the day he will enter prison, he is asking, “How can you help me prepare to be God’s missionary behind bars?” We ask that you keep this child of God in your prayers. Storm the doors of heaven, asking God to give him strength, to preserve his faith, and to make him a powerful witness to all around him. Ask the Lord to make him a Joseph, who finds favor with both his fellow inmates and also with those who guard him. Ask God to empower his speech by the Holy Spirit, so that wherever he goes, living water springs up in the hearts around him. Chaplain Henselin "
"As our recovery group meeting was breaking up last week and people started heading out I noticed one guy helping another guy get out of his chair and onto his feet. The man struggling to stand had a weak leg due to cerebral palsy; the man helping him up was wearing a walking cast and leaning on a cane due to a fractured kneecap. I had to stop and take in that picture: One wounded person helping another wounded person. That's a picture of all recovery ministry, or actually, any and all gospel ministry: Struggling and forgiven people reaching out to other struggling and forgiven people. Chaplain Merten "