“Well, if I’m not getting in, I wonder what’s open for breakfast?”, I wondered to myself as I waited in the small dark entryway at Luther Luckett Correctional Center. “I wonder what a local church would think if I walk in and sit in the back pew with my full Saints uniform on?” Those are the kind of things that you ask yourself when you hear that your name is not on the list of approved volunteers as you are going through security. My name was left off the list somewhere in the process of the Saints submitting the list of volunteers and the administration approving the list of volunteers. Over the course of my five years in the ministry, I have seen this happen a few times. Sometimes they can run paperwork very quickly or sometimes they simply tell the individual who isn’t on the list that they just can’t come in. After a few minutes of waiting and praying silently, I was allowed to enter.
After a long day at Kentucky State Reformatory, we had some trouble getting runs on the board and lost the first game. In between games, my Central Illinois Teammate and lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan, Ray Koonce, shared his life story. Ray is always fun to listen to as he very passionately shares how Jesus Christ impacted his life. When Ray was done, he made a joke as he introduced me to speak how awesome God is and how He could even bring together a Cardinals fan and Cubs fan to serve together as he introduced me to speak. I shared a message that I have shared several times in prison this year as I talked about the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross (you can check out the written form of my message here).
Overall on the day, we handed out around 30 Gospels and saw 6 men make decisions to follow Jesus.
Overall on the entire trip, we saw 28 men decide to follow Jesus and we handed out over 500 Gospels. Although Jesse, Ray, and I were only able to be there for the last three days of the trip, we were blessed and had a blast joining up with great teammates from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Georgia!