July 20 & 21
I went into Marion Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio with Bill Glass Ministries on Friday and Saturday.
Really, I hate going into prisons, but I love talking with the men there and sharing the good news of Jesus with them.
I was impressed that we did not have very big crowds until Saturday afternoon, but on Saturday afternoon, the men were stand almost shoulder to shoulder watching and listening to Tanya Crevier and Paul Wrenn. Tanya and Paul have been doing these prison events for years and have probably each done their presentation well over 1000 times. They are very polished at what they do. Paul was second and I thought he was at the top of his game - the best I'd ever seen him. The men were engaged with him. They were laughing at his jokes and impressed with his feats of strength. But as soon as he started talking about Jesus, there was a steady stream of men leaving the yard and going back into the prison. They would rather go back into that nasty prison than stand out there in the gorgeous weather and listened to Paul talk about Jesus. It made a real impact on me.
I'm finally updating this page after the third (and most significant) prison ministry event of 2012 for me:
The Dayton DOC was a good event, although I don't remember a single conversation I had there. I remember is was very cold going from the parking lot to the jail, and I remember the room that was our "base" was a dorm room with lots of bunk beds.
Scioto Juvenile visit was once again a not so good experience. We had as many if not more team mates than residents and the time we had to spend with them was pretty short too. The only discussions I had with a prisoner was when we went to the isolation dorm. There I spoke to one or two kids.
This was my first time to Trumbull Correctional. I was impressed with how clean the place is. This one was a bit different in that the inmates had to sign up the day before for the program in order to be able to come out to the yard on Saturday. So the crowd was somewhat limited, but I had several good discussions. I also met a missionary from India to the US (Dublin, OH) who was there to minister. I had the opportunity to pray for him and his family as they had a family crisis going on that he was very concerned about.
This weekend took me back the instution where I first did a Bill Glass event. That really is just trivia as it really has no effect on the weekend.
We had to get to the prison at 6AM and then wait to start processing through. Then wait to start the program, then wait for lunch, etc. Typical prison day. I didn't have any notable discussion yet on the other hand, anytime we're talking about Jesus, it is notable I guess.
I came away again impressed with the number of men (2500 in this case) most of whom are in the prime of their life and they are locked up. Very sad.