Monday, April 20, 2009

Basic Instruction and Monday 4 Mission

Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.....Psalm 119:105 (KJV)

Every time I see this button for the Bible Memory challenge I am reminded of the time I spent working with the youth at our church. The are many bittersweet memories. Some bitter I hate to admit. And many, many sweet ones that I cherish.

It also reminds me of the the times in our own ministry that we sat at the dining room table and talked to teens assigned from teen courts. It reminds of those that proudly told us what the acronym letters meant.

Today I want to share with you a little about our current ministry. As many of you know I work with girls that are incarcerate in our States teen prison system.

These girls are ending their sentence and living together in a 20 bed halfway house. It isn't really like a normal halfway house. They are still in prison. The door is locked on the outside (no one can walk in) but on the inside you can push it open and leave. The girls wear shower shoes (makes it harder to run out the door) They are not allowed in bedrooms except during sleeping times. They have assigned seats in the day room. They are not allowed to talk. They have to raise their hand and ask the staff on duty for permission to talk. Sometimes the permission doesn't come in a timely manner. I have seen girls with their arms raised for long moments and then hold the raised arm up with their other hand.

They eat in a cafeteria like room. It has those little tables with the attached round seats that you see in elementary schools. And they are not allowed to talk.
As an approved volunteer I am allowed to eat any meal with the girls if I am there.
What fun is that when you can't talk?

Well none at all and so I worked out a deal with the superintendent. We go ever Thursday for Dinner Date during the week 2 or 3 girls are chosen that have been good all week. We get to eat our meal in the classroom and we get to talk! The girls love it. It is a wonderful time for us because we get to really get to know the girls. And we get to talk to then about God. We always pray before we eat.

This is just one simple way that we minister to the girls. We love our work. I miss those days of sitting around the dining room table. (I'll post some photo's one day) I miss working with the local teens. But I know that God has a plan and I realize how much need there is at the halfway house. And I know how few volunteers there are there. And so I am Blessed to be able to be one of those allowed to share the Gospel with the girls.

Some people wonder about the safety of going there and working with the girls. Some people think we are nuts. In fact some people that have supported our ministry in the past stopped when we started this work.

But these girls are so sweet and so much in need. They are always happy when we come in. They smile and wave. There are a few that are closed off. And those we pray for and we try to find out things about them so we can minister to them.

Each day we we spend with them we are Blessed each day we are thankful that we can tell them that
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path
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