1 Corinthians 3:5-9 New King James Version
“Who then is Paul (Peter Roomet), and who is
Apollos (Heinrich Botes), but ministers through whom
you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted,
Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then
neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters,
but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants
and he who waters are one, and each one will receive
his own reward according to his own labor.”
Peter Roomet, in the November 2017 issue of Jottings, very aptly compared the role of a chaplain with that of a lighthouse keeper. This role involves many risks, but especially demands faithfulness and vigilance. The mere fact that there is a lighthouse at a very dangerous point on the coastline implies the involvement of many other stakeholders such as the authorities and ultimately the taxpayers. To the casual and uninformed observer, investing in a lighthouse may seem like a waste of time, money and scarce resources. This type of critic will probably be unaware of the reason for the lighthouse’s existence…many shipwrecks and resulting loss of life in the past. They may also point to the lack of clear evidence that the lighthouse makes any difference and whether it is even at all necessary.
I am sure the reader can see where I’m heading. Chaplains are indeed called to shine a warning light to “passing ships” but also to offer warm hospitality and care to exhausted survivors who manage to make it to the shore alive after being shipwrecked…for whatever reason. Chaplains Jack Crans, Peter Roomet, Lillian Anthony, and others have been very faithful doing exactly this for many decades. I am honored…no, privileged…to join this incredible team and specifically to take over Peter’s watch.
The scripture quoted at the beginning is very applicable to the “changing of the guard” at Chester County Prison and alludes to the importance of teamwork (“working-the-net”, as Chaplain Crans is famous for saying) and the “unimportance” of the individuals who make
up the team. Ultimately, whatever we do should bring honor to God and not to any man…whether we are called inmate, chaplain, or supporter.
I can testify of God leading me ever so gently to this position. I am excited to serve in this position of assistant chaplain given the strength of a very unique and time-tested partnership among Onesimus Ministries, County Corrections Gospel Mission, Chester County Prison and the solid support of you (the “taxpayers” in my analogy!). With your
strategic investment of prayer, financial support and the grace of God, I dedicate myself gladly to fill the “big shoes” of Peter Roomet. He has been an official mentor during my chaplaincy studies as well as a very willing informal trainer during the past eight years.
On behalf of many ships and sailors who passed safely by (and through) your lighthouse,
Thank You, Peter! May God bless you during your well-deserved time of rest…ironically next to the shore!