The man at the gate called Beautiful was looking for a monetary gift from the people as they walked by. But, the truth is, what the man was requesting was not his greatest need. This man did not need silver and gold. He needed God’s touch on his life.
Just as the inmates here at MCJ have many ideas of what they want, God has them right where He wants them so He can give them what they need. They need the Gift of
Salvation – Christ Jesus the Lord!
On December 19th, 2015, something took place in MCJ for the very first time. We were given the liberty to go into maximum security and minister to the men in cells 1-6, which was approximately 50 men. We also ministered to the women in cells 7-12, where approximately 40 women resided. Let me start by saying that the men and
women in maximum security are not able to attend any religious services throughout the year. This is due to their higher level of security and the lack of space for a group to gather. However, in a Programs Meeting at MCJ, the Jail Administrator, Michelle Sanborn, proposed that the Chaplains’ Office organize a caroling team to sing the songs of Christmas throughout the floors of maximum security. Mr. Terry Allen, Music Director from Bethesda Christian Church, came with 10 members of the worship team and indeed a holy morning it was. We walked the cat walks of maximum security singing about the birth of Jesus Christ, reading scripture, and blessing the male and female inmates with the love of Jesus. We’re calling this event “Caroling to the Max”. It was a hit with the inmates as they sang along and some were brought to tears. We trust it will be an annual gala at MCJ.
The Christmas bag giveaway was another successful event. On December 21st, volunteer Judy Rutkoske aka “The Christmas Bag Lady” led 48 volunteers in packing 1200 bags with the Word of God, a pair of socks, 5 fun sized candy bars, kool-aid,
twizzlers, book markers, and the major staples for the MCJ casserole – ramen
noodles, slim jims, and smoked cheese, with peanut butter crackers for topping. Thanks to numerous local churches, organizations, and the MCJ commissary for making this all possible.
The morning of December 22nd came with 9 volunteers hitting the floors and running. With the cooperation of the deputies, we were able to get 1150+ bags of hope and goodies into the hands of every inmate.
Christmas morning dawned and 9 of our impeccable volunteer staff covered every floor and unit accessible with bible services. The greatest story ever told with the gift that keeps on giving, the gift of our Lord Jesus Christ, was shared with every inmate in
The men at Gateway shared Christmas and New Year’s Eve with their new family of believers. Christmas was spent at the home of the Chaplains, where a delicious meal
was provided – venison four ways. For many of the men just released from jail, the meal was the best they had tasted in a very long time. New Year’s Eve the men arrived at the Carleys’ home to the aroma of several different types of chili and soups, along with cornbread and all the fixings. A night of fun and football was enjoyed by all (except the MSU fans).
On December 18th, a man attended my bible study on the 10th floor of MCJ. Like the man at the gate called Beautiful, not knowing what he really needed, he rose up and walked forward in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth to receive the gift of salvation. Just two weeks prior, he tried to take his own life out of hopelessness and despair. But, our loving God spared his life so He could save him.
“Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”
All praise to the Holy One who was sent into the world to provide mankind with what it so desperately needs – the Gift of Salvation!
Chaplains Steve and Robin