I document the many incredible miracles I have seen in jail ministry for my own sake — that my faith would be continually refreshed and strengthened. I want to share some of them so that God can be glorified and that your faith might be restored or beautifully magnified. This is from my journal, two years ago today. I’ll be in the Hamilton County Jail tonight, making more memories.
December 17, 2016
I had an amazing experience today that I will always remember. Nearly two years ago, I met a woman in the Hamilton County Jail. I will just call her Z. The first time I met her, she was incredibly angry and did nothing to hide it.
We had nothing in common from the world’s point of view. She was born and raised in TN as a Muslim. I was born and raised a Christian in Indiana. But over the next few months, she continued to come to our group and invited me to visit her one on one as well.
After several months, she told me she was going to be released to Community Corrections (Work Release). Together, we excitedly prepared for the next stage of her life. As part of that, I collected just about everything on the “allowed property” list so that she would be well set when she moved over there. Several friends of mine helped to collect clothes, toiletries, shoes, a coat, and everything else she was allowed. I documented the campaign in the post, “God Provides.”
This might be the most vulnerable post I have ever written. I have shared stories about my food addiction, my morbid obesity, my extreme weight-loss attempts and ultimate success, and some of my deepest, darkest (though hilarious) thoughts. But, this — on this, I hesitated. I didn’t want to admit this truth to myself and I certainly didn’t want to admit it to the world. But I think it must be shared because it might help others.
Columbine. Sandy Hook. Virginia Tech. Parkland. Santa Fe. Noblesville.
They are the names of schools and towns forever burned into our memory by the horrifying bond they share — the experience of an active shooter situation. And now, the place my family has called home for over 15 years, the place we chose to raise our daughter, has joined the dubious list. On Friday, May 25, 2018, just a week before the end of the school year, Noblesville West Middle School was the scene of a code red, active shooter. I joined those in my community, praying, as details leaked out over social media and network news. (more…)
I am writing this late on a Sunday evening, reflecting on an intensive training experience I have had recently. It may take me a while to appreciate the full scope of the work The Holy Spirit has done on my heart, but I feel compelled to document it. I was humbled. I was stretched. I was reluctant. I was eventually obedient. I was changed. (more…)
A few weeks ago, one of the women in our jail ministry team brought SEVERAL winter coats and heavy jackets with her to our Monday night meeting. She wanted me to take them to Hamilton County Community Corrections for those in need of a coat. In all honesty, I’ve been so busy lately that I could only see taking them to the facility as one more thing I had to do — a chore. (more…)
Sometimes, I’m struck with inspiration when at the jail ministry that surprises even me. There are those women who challenge us — they don’t want to drop the facade or let anyone in. (more…)