My personal threshold for enduring trips like these are generally three days. After three days, I am no longer running at full mental capacity and the physical ailments start to become a distraction. It is hard to be sharp in a conversation because you are thinking about what time flights leave and seeing your family when you get home. Still, regardless of how sharp or dull our senses are, Day Five must happen with the same intensity of Day One!
When we arrived at the prison the Chaplain told us that we would be delayed getting on the field because of the fog that morning. Often times inmate movements are delayed over weather issues such as fog. Because of the delay, we would have to play one short game and then share the Gospel afterwards. We lost the game but we did have a solid ministry time with my Illinois teammate, Kurt Hand sharing his testimony and Johnny Adams sharing the Gospel. God has really used Kurt so much over the years and his story of growing to be more like Christ out of a painful situation is a powerful one with the inmates.
Johnny Adams is the most passionate person I know about sharing Christ with those around him. If you are waiting next to him in line at McDonalds, he is going to tell you about Jesus. If you are on an elevator in a hotel, he is going to tell you about Jesus! If you are in the stall next to him in a public restroom (true story)…he is going to tell how wonderful his Lord and Savior is! Johnny is a very good communicator but his passion for telling those around him about Jesus is so cool!
The trip back to the hotel is always bittersweet. I was 100% ready to go home and see my family but I was also still engaged on being a Saints teammate on the Crusade for just a few more minutes. As we entered the hotel we ran across a guy who was from New York. He was with another group that was heading to Angola the following day. Included in his group was baseball legend Darryl Strawberry. Mr. Strawberry was heading out as we were heading in but he took a few minutes to take a couple of pictures and shake hands.
Overall on the day we saw around 50 men and had 8 indicate that they made a decision to follow Jesus. On this trip we saw 51 men make decisions and we handed out close to 600 Gospels of John! Thank you again to everyone who has supported this trip with finances or prayer. This has been a great trip and I am looking forward to a great 2017 serving with the Saints Prison Ministry!