CJM June 2016 Newsletter
Ex-Inmate on a Mission
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you,
Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32. This was a conversation that Jesus Christ was having with Simon Peter and it is a conversation that He has with everyone who has come to Christ. We can all as Christians attest to
the sifting that Satan has done in our lives and it is great to know that Jesus Christ Himself is praying for us. Just as Christ said to Peter “And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” that is what Christ is saying to us. Chaplain Washington is familiar with an ex-inmate from Howard County Detention Center (HCDC) who is doing just that. John Edwards was arrested on December 3, 2013 on his fifth driving under the influence of alcohol and was released on December 2, 2014. While he was at the Detention Center he was very active in the Christian Jail Ministry (CJM) programs. He received a certificate and a Study Bible for completing a Bible Study course offered by CJM. Upon his release he began drinking again. In late December 2014 John contacted the Chaplain asking him if he knew where he could get help for his drinking problem and the Chaplain contacted someone he knew at Helping Up Mission (HUM), a recovery house in Baltimore for men and was able to get John admitted. HUM has a no nonsense policy and not everyone who enters the program make it through, but John did. The Chaplain was there with him when he celebrated his one year of sobriety. Once you have been at HUM and you have been on good behavior you receive privileges to come and go. While out John ran into an old friend he used to play basketball with by the name of Charlie Brown. They had lost touch with one another and both of them were lead down a road of destruction and by God’s grace they survived. Charlie Brown became pastor of Graffiti Church, a church he founded in East Baltimore, an area that is riddled with crime and he asked John to assist him. In June John ask the Chaplain to come and speak at a cookout Graffiti church was giving and the Chaplain accepted and they had a great time. It seemed as if the whole community was there. There were hotdogs, hamburgers, cotton candy, drinks, and a moon bounce for the children. John’s teenage kids were also involved serving food. They had a great time serving the community. They are pictured on the right, John on the left, the Chaplain, Pastor Brown and a Deacon from an area church who pitched in to help. John has turned back and is strengthening his brothers. He has become a wounded healer. Praise God!!!
Chaplain’s Visit to Crossroads Church of the Nazarene
The Chaplain loves when he is invited to speak at churches and he was truly excited to speak at Crossroads on June 18th at their men’s prayer breakfast because one of his daughters and two of his grandchildren attend there. Crossroads is very familiar with CJM because they provide some Sunday services at the jail, but he was asked to come and speak and tell how God was blessing the ministry and also to make them aware of some of the programs that were offered during the week at the jail and to get some of the other men at the church involved with the
ministry. It was a great turn out and the men who attended are pictured on the left and the Chaplain’s grandson is standing in front. The Chaplain had a great time talking about how God was touching hearts, men and women giving their lives to Christ, inmates converting to Christianity and inmates coming to grips with themselves recognizing they must make changes in their lives and it can only be done through Christ. Chaplain Washington brought Michael Watkins with him and the men were taken aback by his talent. Michael performs Spoken Word (a form of poetry) on the second Tuesday of the month at the jail and he wanted to give the men at the prayer breakfast an earful. He was spectacular. The Chaplain owes a debt of gratitude to Crossroads and Pastor Kevin Hardy for so many reasons. They have supported CJM since Chaplain Washington became the Chaplain. They have supported CJM with prayer, with their finances, with volunteers and also they allowed CJM to have their Volunteer Banquet there in April of this year. The Chaplain would also like to acknowledge Randy Clay and his team that comes in on Sundays and Norm Hoffman who helped orchestrate the Volunteer banquet. Thank you Crossroads for all that you do. If your church is interested in the Chaplain coming to speak shoot us an email.
An Inmate Story of Illiteracy
Chaplain Washington regularly makes a plea either in the beginning or the end of the
services, asking if there is anyone in need of help learning to read. They can come to him in private and he will get them the help they need. This one particular night after the Tuesday night Bible study a young man came to the Chaplain, his hand sweating, shook the Chaplain’s hand and said I need help learning to read. The Chaplain told him that it took bravery for him to come forth with his request. There are many inmates who are in that situation and are afraid to let anyone know. Illiteracy can almost make it impossible to live a successful life. Chaplain Washington would like to thank Carnell Williams for being available to help these men toward success. He has helped so many over the years. This young man is very appreciative to Carnell. Thanks Carnell for all that you do.
Please send contributions to CJM at this address:
Christian Jail Ministry, Inc.
P. O. Box 6037
Columbia, MD 21045-6037
or donate on the Website at http://www.christianjailministry.org/donate