2014 was an unpredictable year for us. To start off the year I spent 3 weeks out of prison due to an Inmate sit down strike. Then when I was finally allowed back into the facility we had a Tuberculosis outbreak which ended up in a quarantine that lasted till July. Thankfully I was still able to go on with my daily routine at the prison during this quarantine. On August 1st, Chaplain Brown left St. Clair, which left me in charge until October 1st when Chaplain Michael became the new head Chaplain. To spare you the craziness I have only mentioned a few of the unpredictable happenings this last year.
Though this last year didn’t go as I had planned I was early on reminded of a verse in Isaiah that kept me focused on God. Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
These events led me to an encounter with an unpredictable God. It opened my eyes to the truth more than ever that we cannot predict or explain all of Gods ways and actions, it points us to a humbling realization that He is God, and that we can not fully understand the depth of His wisdom. I could’ve never predicted that Keith a former gangster would surrender his life to Christ this year, that I would have the privilege to baptize Matthew and Ricky my two brothers in Christ, and that I would have the honor of leading Wendall, Carlos, and Michael to Christ this year. I could’ve never predicted that 3 times each week 20 men would be gathering for prayer in the chapel, that 55 men this year would participate in my weekly LifeLink classes, and that Earnest, James, Ralph, Levi, and many others would choose to make God known to those who are behind bars with them. We cannot put God in a box; there is no assurance He will ALWAYS act in the ways we expect or predict. Just because we think we can predict it, doesn’t mean it will happen that way.
So now as I focus on 2015 I would be foolish to put out a lot of predictions for the ministry at St. Clair Correctional facility. But there are some things I can say with assurance, we serve a God who desires for His name to be glorified and we will do that by discipling, equipping, and mobilizing people for the advancement of the Gospel among the incarcerated. Please pray with us as we seek to make His name known in 2015.