From a volunteer…
First of all, I became a mentor because I was asked. But even before being asked, my heart was getting ready. In the Bible I had read Matthew 25:31-46. What spoke to me in this passage was the part about visiting people in prison. I thought, maybe, I could do that. Shortly after that I was asked if I would visit one of the inmates who wanted a mentor from my denomination so I said I would come and meet with her.
Since that first time I have been visiting weekly for several months. As a result of these visits, I have grown spiritually as well as perhaps becoming a friend and good influence to the ladies with whom I have talked. At a recent retreat at my church I heard the phrase, “Lips speak to lips and hearts speak to hearts.” I think this phrase sums up the work of Maury Chaplain Ministries. They are trying to reach the hearts of these ladies for good and for the good.
Blessed by chaplains, blessed by inmates… (A report from one of our chaplains)
Walk into the Maury County Jail at any given time and you will be confronted by many things – brokenness, bitterness, addiction, anger, and depression. However, there is one thing you won’t find too often…gratitude. But gratitude is exactly what Tina, an inmate, has for the Chaplain’s office. She is so thankful for them that she says she wouldn’t transfer to a different jail with TV, better food, or other improved amenities. Why? “I need what they provide,” she says. “I’ve been told that one day I can live the life I lived before I got into all this trouble. But, no I actually can’t, because even if my life seemed morally upright then… I wouldn’t trade it for what I have learned about God during this time.” Tina credits the chaplains for counseling her, bringing mentors and teachers to her, and giving her a chance to break out of the entangling cycle of sin. She even wrote the chaplains a thank you note. There is no difference between Tina and me – we both need the same savior. We both need to be pointed to him in all areas of life.
And today, through her gratitude, it is Tina pointing me to Jesus. If we truly see ourselves as beneficiaries of His great mercy at the cross, can there really be any response other than gratitude?