Launching in the Jail
Two days ago, we did our very first 'practice service' in the Douglas County Jail. Mike Goett is the staff member who led the way for us. Every-week services begin in January. Here is the report from Mike!
We just got back from our first service inside DCJ. (It was supposed to be Sunday - got bumped up). Here is the Great News. We had access to Pod 18, one of the largest. It houses 60 men. A full third of them came to worship (more will later). 11 of them received prayer after the service (50% of those in attendance)! It was absolutely amazing. These guys are hungry and eager to hear more. They are also very grateful and have been anticipating our coming for weeks now. They are very disappointed that we won't be returning until after mid January. It was very difficult to tell them that we would not be back 'til then.
Interestingly, at this campus you can't say "I hope I see you next week". You have to say, "If you're still here and I hope not, see you next week".
We had about 6 latinos and are converting the sermon series and music sheets to Spanish. Fortunately on our maiden voyage, In God's wisdom, we had Alejandro Duran (Alex)along from Venezuela who interpreted for me. The Latino population is especially open to Christ.
I tell you it was abundantly clear to me today that the nearer we came to this point, that Satan was intent on derailing us and yet by the conclusion of the service it was more than obvious that God had his hand all over this service. It worked out beautifully, but started with "Wrong day, bad communication, horrible weather, no badges, forgotten equipment etc etc." I had determined before going in that it was going to be difficult and to expect complications and a persistent continual effort to take us off task and that no matter what happened short of a guard escorting us out, we were going to have worship. God prevailed! He delivered on every count in amazing fashion.
I have shared with the inmates that the entire CCC congregation considers them and all the members of Pod 18 to be an extension of the church at large and that they matter specifically to the Old Mill Campus. I told them that CCC has been actively pursuing the opportunity to worship with them for 18 mths. and that it is because we earnestly believe this should be the next campus for Christ Community Church. I could tell by the expressions on several faces that this may have been the first time in quite a long time that anyone demonstrated that they actually cared for them or desired to be in their company. Or maybe it was just that they couldn't quite gather why CCC - Old Mill would care about inmates they have never met.