This last weekend was our second ever trip to both the Pittsfield Work Camp and Jacksonville Correctional Center.
The Pittsfield Work Camp is a little off the beaten path and there is actually a cattle farm on the other side of the outfield fence. The quaint farm scenery, the grass infield, and the morning sunrise made it a beautiful morning to play softball in the Midwest. The men there were excited that we came back for another year. We lost the first game by a run in the last inning which is always heartbreaking but we rallied back and won the next two games after our ministry time.
Fifth year veteran, Brent Gerber shared his life story about how he came to know Jesus as his Savior. Brent has been a huge part of this team over the last five years, and I love hearing his story about how God has changed his life.
Ben Morrow did an excellent job explaining the Gospel to the men that were present. Ben is a very passionate speaker, and I am always pumped to hear him speak!
We departed Pittsfield and after we grabbed some Arby’s we were on our way to Jacksonville Correctional Center. Jacksonville plays a different kind of softball than we are used to. Instead of using a traditional softball and softball gloves, they use a 16″ Chicago style softball with no gloves! Last year we surprised them (and ourselves) and won both games. This year we were not as fortunate as they defeated us in both of the games.
Due to some last minute administrative decisions, we only saw about 20 guys on the field. Sometimes this happens, and it is kind of a bummer especially when you were expecting to see around 300 guys. It is a blessing, however, to enjoy some one on one time with a smaller crowd.
During our ministry time, another fifth year veteran, Kurt Hand, shared his story about how God changed his life shortly after a difficult period of his life. Joe Isbell did a great job with his first time preaching in a Saints uniform.
Overall on the day, we handed out 148 Gospels of John and saw 33 men make a first time commitment to follow Jesus between both facilities! The day was good, and, as always, our team executed it quite well! Thank you again to everyone who has either supported the ministry financially or with prayer. I am so blessed to get to participate in this ministry and am blessed to have the support team that I have!
Our next Illinois outing is Centralia Correctional Center on August 27th. This will be our first visit to this facility.
I will be sending out another email shortly with some updates about our upcoming Crusade to Wisconsin. My teammate Jesse Miller and I are traveling to Wisconsin next week to visit six prisons with members of the Georgia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey teams.
Please keep the Centralia and Wisconsin trips in prayer!