I’m a roller coaster junkie. Put me in an amusement park, and I’m not thinking of the food or the shows. I’m thinking of one thing – roller coasters. And the scarier the better.
For those of you who share my love for adrenaline, you know the feeling when your roller coaster cart nears the top of the first climb. It’s a feeling in your stomach that’s a little hard to explain. It’s certainly a feeling of excitement, but it’s also mixed with a tinge of… what is it? It’s not exactly fear, but it’s something akin to it.
And that’s the same kind of feeling that I have right now. Knowing that in a few hours, I’ll be meeting up with a small group of volunteers and driving out to Bledsoe County Correctional Complex as Faith Promise Church launches its first prison campus.
Partnering with God Behind Bars, our Bledsoe County Campus will be unique to prison ministry -we will bring our entire worship service to the prison via video and large video screens. Not only will it give inmates the opportunity to experience Faith Promise, it also gives them a church home where they can stay connected once they leave prison.
All of our volunteers met together for the first time on a Saturday morning a few weeks ago for several hours of training. In addition to learning more about God Behind Bars and what to expect, they talked about what to do in a hostage situation, what to do if a riot takes place, and other fun stuff like that.
As a part of our training, we were told that we can only bring a single key and a driver’s license with us into the prison – no cell phones, no polo shirts, t-shirts, or jeans.
I didn’t think that I was going to be able to bring a camera along with me, so I figured that a blog post was in order and that I’d write about the campus launch instead. But half way through writing this article, I got a text from Micah. We got approval for a camera! If everything goes well, part two should include photography.
Please pray for our volunteers and our first service of our God Behind Bars Campus that launches tonight. Pray that God draws many to attend this service and that He touches many hearts.
And now I’m going to go rummage through my closet to see if I can find a pair of dress pants that still fits.
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Kyle Gilbert serves on staff as Pastor of Communications – overseeing social media, graphics, web, and Internet Campus for Faith Promise.