JAIL-MAIL from Chaplain Tom, NEW LIFE CORRECTIONS MINISTRY at
WAYSIDE CROSS MINISTRIES, AURORA IL January 30, 2011
STATEVILLE DADS' PRAYER REQUESTS
Allen - for my kids who are without a Dad or a Mom - they're in foster care.
Greg - For my kids to forgive me and get to know the new me.
Terence - Wisdom, Family, my walk with God, & for the lawyer working on my case.
Larry - that my reconstructed life would be one that pleases God.
Marcus - to strengthen my relationship with my son & his Mom, to keep my thoughts in harmony with God & His Word, for God's protection & fellowship.
Ray - for my daughter to leave the street-life & for her Mom to be more assertive.
Anthony - for my cellie who is very sick.
STATEVILLE PRISON MINISTRY
The Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, IL (the northside of Joliet) is famous for F-House, the "roundhouse," technically called a "panopticon."
Around the perimeter are 4 tiers of two-man cells, with a guard tower in the center. It first opened in 1925.
Most of the inmates life in the "Quarterhouse,"
(below) - B-, C-, D-, & E-Houses.
Most of the 1800 men here are doing sentences of 20 years or more. It's these men attending our weekly Dads' Classes. They have one thing in common: They want their children to NOT follow them. Please pray for them.
Upcoming One-Day Jail Ministry Training Seminar
CORRECTIONAL CHAPLAINCY FROM A BIBLICAL POINT OF VIEW
April 2, 2011 9 AM - 3:30 PM
215 East New York Street, Aurora IL 60505
Registration Deadline - March 26th Email Chaplain Tom - firstname.lastname@example.org
January 30, 2011
January 24, 2011
January 23, 2011
A Day of Thanksgiving
While most people started Thanksgiving Day in anticipation of a family gathering, Mike Calia was on his way to the Cook County Jail. Although he isn’t new to serving at Willow Creek, this was his first opportunity to serve with the prison/jail ministry. As he worked alongside 31 other volunteers, his perspective changed in a way that he didn’t see coming.
Hearts of Compassion
On Thanksgiving morning, the inmates of Cook County Jail walked single file in groups of 50-75 into the multipurpose room. Mike’s job was to serve the food and give a smile to each of the inmates as they passed through the line.
Before Jim, a co-leader in the Monday night Bible study at the jail, gave a short greeting, he asked how many of the men attended the weekly Bible study. Mike was surprised at the number of hands that went up. God is truly doing life-transformational work within the walls of the jail.
A particularly moving moment occurred after one of the inmates led the group in a very passionate prayer. "An inmate started singing 'Amazing Grace' and of course, we all joined in," says Mike. "I cannot even describe the feelings I had while singing that song 'a cappella' along with 80 or so other people, most of them male and almost three-quarters of them inmates."
"In my opinion, the most amazing thing happened when Jim mentioned that this was the third year that Willow’s prison ministry was serving a Thanksgiving meal at this prison and this would not be possible without the prison guards’ cooperation," mentioned Mike. Without a suggestion of any kind from any of the volunteers, the inmates actually started applauding. Mike left Cook County Jail that day feeling God’s grace in a new way.
2010 was the third year Willow Creek has harnessed volunteer power to serve Thanksgiving dinner at the Cook County Jail. There is a tremendous need for volunteers (especially men) to serve on an ongoing basis with this vibrant, life—changing ministry. If you feel God nudging you to be a part of the prison/jail ministry, contact Gaius at email@example.com.
For more blog articles regarding the Prison and Jail Ministry, http://wccc.blogs.com/compassion_and_justice/