“Then He said to them. “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” [Matthew 4:19]

Strange but I had almost forgotten that this was one of the first scripture verses I had learned as a child in Sunday school.  Little did I know at the time that it would become a ‘life verse’.

We have been sent out into the lives of people surrounded by darkness. Right here in our own community.  Jail ministry is a privilege but it is also ‘numbing’ – recently the young woman before me was one such person.  Week after week she has sat listening to the word of God, the hope, grace and love that Christ has provided—at some  point she has said ‘yes’ to Jesus—yet here she sits and has sat waiting for her sentence.   She’s quiet today, a few tears trickle down her face as the message is given—at prayer time I gently ask—“what is it ?”  And she mumbles the response, “10-12 years –to serve 8” I am numbed—here is a young mother, a daughter, a sister—a member of our community a life shut away for years.  The moment passes as others speak about their needs…and we pray.

Fishing is not easy work…unlike the picture of our granddaughter with grandpa, sitting lazily on the river bank, in our ministry fish do not land into the net with cheers and giggles.  Fishing for men carries a price, there is great joy at the catch…but the work begins…consequences must be paid, hearts are broken as the road to recovery begins.

I come away from those times with many questions in my heart—alone I weep and pray for God’s intervention and strength for her to endure.  If we could peel back the covering of all the wounded lost souls in our own communities we could not bear the suffering…perhaps that’s why each of us must know God has us ‘on assignment’ wherever we are… to reach out and touch them.

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In addition to the training at Timothy House,  Diane will be travelling to Tennessee to minister at the “Women of Hope” rehabilitation home in Cleveland. We covet your prayers.