I enjoy my quiet time with Jesus. I seek refuge in His Word to balance my busy life and all the anxiety in it. I can chose where, when and for how long I want to be in fellowship in my savior.
For inmates incarcerated at Darrington Prison this looks very different. They have time, more time than I ever have. Time to use or misuse, time to achieve or time to waste. Time to enlighten their minds, or time to be haunted by it.
Going through security as you enter and exit the prison is exhausting. If you have not walked the halls of a prison where male inmates are peeking through the small windows of their doors, let me tell you, it is heart wrenching. Then, just a few steps more down the sullen hallway, we entered into the chapel. It was like entering into a separate world where men were on stage worshiping Christ and families were sitting lovingly with their inmate. This simple reality instantly changed my thoughts.
In prison, emotions like despair, boredom, anxiety and loneliness are constantly competing against a search for liberation tormenting each of them. The struggle is two-fold in prison: the physical imprisonment and the mental or emotional imprisonment. Many of you, like me can attest that the emotional imprisonment is the most debilitating struggle of all. Your mind is consumed by your past, your present and mostly by fear of your future. There seems to be no hope…
But there is hope. Hope that is found in Jesus alone! Watching the inmates raise their hands and sing worship music, while being served a hot meal that was prepared by my hands gave me pure Joy! An overwhelming amount of joy that I can’t even put into words. Then, to walk away from the prison and pull away in my vehicle with my loved one at my side brought tears to my eyes, and with them a feeling of deep desperation. Desperation to share the gospel.
Darrington Prison welcomed our team with open arms. They allowed Feed the Need Missions to grill burgers and hot dogs outside of its building. This is the first time that this prison allowed food to be brought in from an outside source. God orchestrated the entire event. And I am forever changed because of this experience. My quiet time will continue to offer me refuge with new insight and renewed thankfulness.