“HE WHOM THE SON SETS FREE IS FREE INDEED!”
Chaplain Chuck Wade and Jackie
We have been involved in Prison Ministry since 1985, and then became licensed “Chaplains” through Shield of Faith Ministries for jail and prison ministry. After 10 years of ministering in the Saginaw County Jail, we laid that down to focus on the inmates in men’s and women’s prisons in Michigan. On a monthly basis we have been privileged to do church services in the Freeland “Saginaw Regional Correctional Facilities” (SRF), since it opened in 1993. Over the years, the services were held on Sundays. However, now it has changed to a monthly Saturday evening service with the Level #2 men. We are most grateful for the “open door” allowing us to go in to minister to God’s flock under Chaplain Tim Beaver, as well as having favor with the administration and guards who escort us across the yard to the gym. God is raising up mighty men of God out of brokenness and hopelessness! “They, being reconciled to God through a relationship with Jesus Christ, and then given the ministry of re-conciliating others to God.” II Corinthians 5:18 The men love the special blessing of Pastors Weldon and Kathy coming in on occasion to preach and encourage them as well.
For many years we have prayed that the “Keryx Prison Ministry” (which we are involved with) would become a part of SRF. We are delighted to say we are joyfully overwhelmed that SRF will have its first Keryx 3 day weekend in June of 2012. This will make it the TENTH “male” prison, and ONE (only) “female” prison in Michigan that allows God to powerfully impact and truly change the lives of these men and women who are seriously seeking God to bring change into their environment.
The definition of a “Keryx” is “someone who is sent by his master to proclaim in public the ‘Master’s Message!’ He dare not change the announcement because it was not his own. His responsibility is only to proclaim it accurately.” A team of approximately 40 men (50 women for the Huron Valley Women’s Facility in Ypsilanti) from several different denominations form a bond of unity as they meet weekly together to prepare and develop a servant’s heart in order to minister through teachings, testimony, chapel meditations, worship, and enjoying meals together. Small groups are formed, which enables a closeness and openness to share and build lasting relationships to help them in their daily walk with the Lord, following that weekend. The small groups will come together monthly for on-going discipleship. Those inmates who make the weekend are offered the opportunity to “serve” on subsequent weekends. Through this ministry, wardens in prisons (nationally and in Michigan) see a very positive solution to prison recidivism. When released back into society, a high percentage hook up with a local church, adding to the body of Christ, and continue to grow spiritually as well as ministering to others.
Matthew 25:36-40 ~ “Jesus said, ‘I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous one answered Him saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?’ And the King answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, in as much as you did it to one of the least of these, my brethren, you did it to Me.'”
If you feel you would like to minister in this area, you may contact us through Shield of Faith Ministries, (989) 781-4668 or email Chaplain Chuck Wade, [email protected] Orientation at the prison is a requirement in order to attend services. Involvement with Keryx requires one to make a street weekend through Via de Cristo, Emmaus or Corsillo. There are other ways you can minister to inmates as well, through your prayers, financial donations to the Prison Fund at Shield of Faith Ministries, or donating men’s clothing for those soon to be released to “Caro Re-Entry Facility” (many have nothing), as well as, nice clothing for job interviews is always a blessing to the men.
In Jesus ~ Because of Jesus ~ Chaplain Chuck and Jackie