PRISON: the fields are white for harvest!

 This is something I wrote back in 2006 and had posted on the old CCO blog... 
It relates to the previous post I just finished (below this one)

We grew to love many guys through the 3 year duration of the men's shelter. Many arrived on our doorstep, paroled from various penitentiaries to our facility. Sadly, since it's closing, a high percentage have ended up back in the Joint. Some justly, some unjustly! But most are not in for violent crimes!

I set about to write letters and made visitations to Cook County Jail. A couple other guys also helped me. The Lord had laid upon my heart the importance to remember my brothers in prison (Hebrews 13:3). When we wrote, they responded, and when we visited, they were overjoyed.
So many were encouraged and blessed by my feeble attempts of letter writing.
Most do not receive letters during their stint.
Hardly any of these 50 men get visitors.

Prison life for these men brings them to their knees. In being caged, they lose their freedom, their dignity, their family and friends. In their cries of desperation and weakness they call out to the Lord; they recall the words they heard at Cornerstone, at Church, by Christians and other shelters and beg for the blessed Book. When everyone forgets them, Jesus remembers them and is there waiting for them with open arms. The fields are white for harvest!

The letters of many prisoners indicated a change of heart. Some frequenting Bible studies, others studying the Word in their cell and others going to chapel. They would send me literature! A couple had written how they given their lives utterly and completely to Jesus! The fields are white for harvest!

Before retreating to Aotearoa (NZ) over the winter I set about to write to the 50 prisoners I know throughout Illinois. I typed out a letter, mailed and posted it to them all, encouraging them in the Lord and in making the most of an awful situation, by getting an education, learning a trade or doing whatever their facility offered.

When I came back from my travels, I received a letter from an individual serving time. He did not have a good reputation at CCO because, in an act of rage, he had actually punched one of my co-workers. He wrote about how in desperation he cried out to the Lord, how everything was lost and begged for God to speak to him. Not ten minutes later, the guards gave this man my letter. He went on to explain that he had given himself to Jesus , got his GED and is studying to become a minister. "I'm anew in Christ and the joy of his Merciful Grace is mine and he's alive in me" he writes. He thanks me and writes how the letter is his 'personal sword of endearment'. His letter brought tears to my eyes. He was sincere, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come! Thank you Jesus.


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