Life inside a jail can be extremely difficult and trying on anyone, especially someone that has never been in a jail before. The men and women that come to the jail for the first time are often confused, scared and honestly very easily taken advantage of. They have no concept of what they are about to encounter besides what they have seen on TV or read in books. When reality hits a person behind the walls of a jail it often breaks them down emotionally and spiritually. We are sure to seek out those people that are new to the jail and try to help them when we can. I, Chaplain Winter, make sure that any person that wants a bible gets one, a brand new bible that they can keep, write in, take notes in and study Gods word daily. What we provide is a paperback bible, because hardback books are not permitted inside the jail. Because they are paperback many inmates think that they are not good enough to take to church or even at times outside the jail. Please know the bibles we give to the inmates do not state they are or have been in jail they are regular bibles just paperback.
Recently I have been teaching the men in my class the importance of the words in the bible not the covering of the bible is the most important part of the bible. Even though its wrapped in paper its pure gold inside. Its just like them, although they often have a rough exterior God looks past this into their heart and sees the real man or woman and who they truly are. When an inmate leaves and he or she has attended many of the studies offered and made an effort to change I often use a donated bible that is a study bible or leather like covering to give to them as they leave to encourage them to always use the word of God in their life. Also to let them know that we are here to help them in many other ways. I do this by writing a note in the front inside cover encouraging them to call me and also to seek out a church in their neighborhood to attend and actively get involved in. Plus they are encouraged to seek out like minded christian brothers and sisters to fellowship with. Many go right back to doing what they have always done in the past and we will see them again, but its those few that do follow the straight and narrow path that keep the volunteers and myself encouraged and helping us to see that the work we do really does help to change lives.
The newsletter this month is filled with testamonies about how the MCJM has effected the men and women who attended our studies. Please be sure to read it because it is amazing.