Carol said No for years. An elderly gentleman in the church who had faithfully served in prison ministry believed that Carol would be great serving in that ministry. She politely declined. “I work with children. I don’t do ministry to adults,” she said. He kept asking; she kept declining.
And then, one day, Carol said Yes.
That was almost seven years ago. Since that time, Carol has served on thirteen consecutive prison ministry weekends through Kairos, and she has gone back for dozens of “reunions” with the inmates and other leaders to encourage those on the inside. She is the face of Kairos Prison Ministry in our congregation, she has recruited other women to join with her in the ministry, and she faithfully shares the needs of those in prison with the congregation so that we can join her in prayer and support.
This ministry that Carol so reluctantly stepped into is now a vital mission field for our church family—even for those who cannot serve in person. Our children make placemats for the women, our members bake cookies, and we have people scheduled to pray throughout the ministry weekends. Responding to Carol’s leadership, her small group organized our church’s participation in a Jail Party hosted for families of inmates who are soon to be released.
Because Carol said Yes, her life was transformed through her years of serving those in prison. As she says with tears of both sadness and joy, “They had no idea of their worth, but now they do.” What a privilege to join with God’s work in the world by visiting, loving, and pointing these souls to Jesus.
Because Carol said Yes, dozens of others in our church have responded to the call to serve in a new way. And we’ve all grown closer to Jesus as we’ve gone out in his name.
Carol reflects back on that initial invitation to serve. “I wish I hadn’t put it off as long as I did,” she says.
What work is God inviting you to join him in? What is he inviting you to say Yes to?