I spent two days at the FMC Carswell Federal Prison this past week. It is a huge facility that is home to over 1,400 female inmates and, as prisons go, it appears to be quite nice. The lawns are green and lush, the grounds are well kept, the bathrooms are spotless and so is the cafeteria.
As a volunteer team member of the Bill Glass “Behind the Walls” Ministry event, my only job was to love the women I met. In our training, we were told to share the gospel if we could, but to love on everyone. The goal was to make them feel the love of Christ and to let them know they have not been forgotten.
Each day was separated into two sessions, morning and afternoon. Each session featured a speaker with an amazing testimony of God’s love and redemption and some form of entertainment. The testimonials were powerful and the talent was just amazing! In my book, there’s nothing better than gifted people sharing their gifts with others.
The days were filled with love, prayers, tears of joy, longing and sadness. I could hear boisterous laughter from every corner of the room. And our amazing band have had everyone dancing at 8 o’clock in the morning!!!
The best comment all day was, “Wow! I’ve had so much fun today, I almost forgot I was in prison!”
I was only one of 130 volunteers assigned to FMC Carswell while the other 700+ volunteers were assigned to 19 other correctional facilities and non-profit organizations in the Dallas/Ft. Worth, including youth detention centers, men’s prisons and a homeless shelter.
Over the two days, 7,900 heard the Gospel.
2,878 dedicated their lives to Christ, 1,068 of those for the very first time.
Whether dedicating their lives or rededicating their lives, these men and women felt the love of God and wanted to go deeper. I was thrilled to see how many women at Carswell signed up for correspondence Bible study courses offered through Crossroad Bible Institute.
At the end of each day, we were all exhilarated and exhausted…inmates and volunteers alike!
After a long drive home, I curled up in my big butt chair to watch the late night news. I had on my comfy robe and fuzzy slippers. I had my sweet husband next to me and the dogs at my feet. It was like every other night.
After spending the day with all of us, the women at Carswell went back to their colorless world of khaki uniforms, uncomfortable chairs, thin mattresses, white walls, bright lights and noisy corridors. It was, no doubt, like every other night.
For most, this will be their home for many years to come. Others will never leave.
Will you join me in praying for all the men, women and children who are incarcerated?
Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body. Hebrews 13:3
Want to know more about prison ministry volunteer opportunities?
Click on Bill Glass “Behind the Walls” Ministry to find an event in your area. Or if you’d like to serve others in the comfort of your own home, click on Crossroad Bible Institute to sign up as a correspondence Bible study instructor. CBI maintains the privacy of all their instructors. Your name and location will never be made available to a CBI student.
As always, feel free to send me a message to request more information.