When I was asked to describe my role in the ministry at CCP, I thought about why I first became interested in ministry. My desire was and is to help people come to Christ and to see who they are in Him.
The Biblical story of Onesimus in the book of Philemon is the story of hope. Here we find Paul in prison and writing to his friend Philemon about a young man he led to faith in Jesus while in prison with him. Paul appeals to Philemon to receive back his runaway servant who stole from him, not so much as a servant, but as a brother in the Lord. He was once “useless” and now Paul finds him “useful.” Paul makes a play on the name Onesimus which means “useful.” That is the story of hope, love, and restoration.
Ministry at Chester County Prison for me consists of a weekly Bible teaching with interactive conversation about the lesson, one-an-one counseling, going through requests for Bibles, phone calls to inmates family members and occasionally going to court for moral support. Once I was asked to be at the hospital for the delivery of a young woman’s baby.
Aside from my working with the female inmates, my interaction with the staff has grown over the years. I find that many days I have an opportunity to speak to the Correctional Officers and spend time with them regarding their personal issues and concerns.
After Care has become a larger part of my ministry as many of the women have contact with me after release. This allows me to help them find a good church in their area, placement in a re-hab facility or just get together for coffee and see how they are doing. The most rewarding part of my job, aside from new converts, is seeing women never return to Chester County Prison.