Friday, January 15, 2010


A Christmas Celebration at Cook County Jail

As the first group of men from division fourteen filed into the room, taking their seats, I could sense God’s presents. What a treat it was to recognize several of the men from only a few weeks prior when I severed then a Thanksgiving meal.

The hour began with encouraging words from Gaius. When Chicago Willow began to sing, oh, what a blessings that was. The men were off their feet and clapping their hands. A smile spread across my face as we sung the roof off the jailhouse.

Bev gave a message about salvation and how each and everyone of us have sinned, yet Jesus came to save us. Her message was powerful; reaching many of the men as they called out, Amen’s and nodding in agreement.

Song that grabs the soul

A song from Cheryl, I HAVE TO BELIEVE was so powerful; it reached down and touched your soul. As I glanced around, there were men standing with raised hands, others with tears in their eyes. Even the three officers standing in the back of the room, arms around one another, were swaying back and forth to the powerful words Cheryl sung with tears rolling down their cheeks.

Jim then spoke to the men on how we all have made promises we haven't kept. Have had people in our life let us down. Yet Jesus is always faithful. His word is His word! At that time Jim asked the men if they’d like to ask Jesus into their heart, to step forward. One by one, man after man, gathered at the front of the room. Tears were flowing from volunteers, inmates and offices. The presence of God was truly tangible.

Back to their floor

As each man left the room in single file, one by one. They shook our hands, thanking us with a grin upon their face. Once back on their floor, each man would receive a bag of homemade cookies that were baked by volunteers.

Receive the blessing of volunteering

Every Monday night several volunteers meet at Cook County Jail for a Bible study with Division 14. As the ministry continues to grow, so does the need for volunteers. If God has put upon your heart to find out more about what goes on behind locked gates, please contact Anne Rand at, http://arand@willowcreek.og.

Picture courtesy of SOCPM (Soldiers of Christ Prison Ministries) at,

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