The saying, “Good things come to those who wait” has proven true in the case of the re-opening of our chapel for services. We waited and waited; then we waited some more. We even waited a bit more after that. Now, after 3 ½ years, our chapel has re-opened and we have re-commenced holding church services for the men and women of Chester County Prison! And for that we are rejoicing and giving thanks to God.
It has been wonderful to welcome the men and women back into our chapel, which for too long had sat quiet, dark, and empty. We are not yet where we used to be as far as the number of services we offer or the number of church volunteers coming in to minister, but we ARE open– and hopeful of gradually working our way back to our pre-Covid schedule.
The women (and men) have been streaming in, also happy to have services again. There truly seems to be a new level of attentiveness and engagement on their part. We are seeing steady, good attendance. Even one day when “Church!” was called at the same time as “yard time”, the women chose to come to church, forgoing their precious outdoor time on a beautiful sunny day.
In the services, the women have been very engaged and interactive; asking questions and offering comments. Many times, I have heard of the friendships and bonding happening between them; as they reach out to help and support one another. When I ask my typical opening request, “Give me one thing you’re grateful for today”, I’ve often heard the answer, “the women on my quad”, which is a beautiful thing.
They’ve developed the healthy habit of gathering with other women on the block who are seeking God, choosing to find their fellowship and friendship there– voicing a dislike of the prevalent tendency to gather for gossip, negative talk or disruptive behavior. God is moving in the hearts of these women and I pray He continues. It has been a complete joy being able to meet face-to-face with them again.
So, good things do come to those who wait– but I would amend the saying to, “Good things come to those who wait, especially when we trust God and are patient to wait on His timing.”