A version of this post originally appeared on the West Belmont Place website, and is used here with permission.
Executive Chef Chris Ferrier of the West Belmont Place Event Center in Leesburg, Virginia, opened his kitchen to volunteers from Prison Fellowship for the baking of 50 dozen chocolate chip cookies.
I visit prisons frequently, and rarely do I feel uncomfortable. When the prison staff will permit it, I shake hands with and even embrace incarcerated men without fear. But one recent experience left me feeling shaken.
After a worship service in a prison auditorium, I was taken to F Block, a multi-tier roundhouse where the prison’s most violent and hardened residents are kept.
A young woman I met recently was 22 years old. Her adult life had barely begun, but she had already done quite a bit of hard living. She was one of several children born to an overburdened mom. Her dad was not around to help.
Are you excited about prison ministry, but feeling a little skittish about going inside a prison? That’s totally understandable. To help you prepare, we’ve put together a two-page list of general safety guidelines for in-prison volunteers.
A prisoner I’ll call Jared is getting ready to be one of the first graduates of a new Prison Fellowship pre-release unit. This is his third time behind bars. He has spent most of his life as a drug dealer and a petty thief, governed by that troublesome four-letter word: self.
When fear and insecurity fill our hearts, we respond with selfish indifference to the needs of our neighbors. But when faith rules our lives, when we have wrestled with God and found Him true, we become secure in His ability to care for us, and we cease to doubt and fear.