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Monday, September 5, 2016

My prison time, sick time, home again

Thursday afternoon Pastor Horton and I headed out from the church parking lot to go to prison in Bonham, TX. On  the way we stopped at his son’s house to visited with the grand children and met up with the man in charge of the prison revival. We got to the prison at about 6 pm, met one additional worker there and set up for a service - about 35 inmates showed up and three got saved that night. That in itself was a pretty good experience.

The next day we got to the prison at 10 a.m. and met up with a larger group. There were eight total; doubling our group. When we finally got cleared to go into the prison area we split into two groups to visit in the “dorms.” There were four dorms set in a square with a secure area outfitted with a guard station in the center of the building. All this was behind two locked doors from the outside. Each dorm was individually locked and there was very little privacy in any of them. Windows on the inside towards the guard station  wall looked directly into the toilets and showers.

Bunks lined the outer walls in each dorm with a capacity to sleep about 60 inmate per dorm.There were tables with attached seating in the center and benches to sit on to watch TV toward the front of the dorm  facing the bathroom. When we entered we just found someone willing to let us talk to then and sat there until they were talked out or we had effectively presented the gospel to whoever was in hearing range. Then we moved on. Large fans kept air moving in each dorm, which was nice because it was fairly hot but it also made conversation difficult.

I got to present the gospel seven or eight times but only had one pray with me in the dorms. I had a lot of good conversations with the ones I got to talk to and there was no particular hurry in any of the conversations; neither of us was going anywhere since we were all locked in together. Where we saw the most saved was at the service that night where about twenty of the 87 in attendance got saved. That was a wonderful response to the gospel but with only eight workers we had to take three or more per person to help with the final decisions and prayers. I had three pray with me and had plenty of time to counsel them, give them assurance verses and tell them where to begin in their Bible study. It was a great experience.

I got home Friday night a little after 10 pm. Jake was packed to leave in the morning and all seemed well until about 2 a.m. when Mama and Jake both started getting very sick. His mom was called about 6 a.m. Saturday morning to give her the bad news and she immediately called to reschedule the flight - which proved to be very easy since the airlines were cancelling flights through the mid-Atlantic states because of the hurricane. It took all day Sunday for Mama and Jake to recover - and me too. I got a lighter touch of what the two of them had and spent Sunday in bed.

His flight home was scheduled for about noon local time today and the airline allowed Mama, Victoria and I to go with him to the gate. We were about an hour early for his flight so we had a good time saying our long goodbyes until finally he walked through the gate to board the plane. Until that time he did not let us out of his sight. He was one of the last ten or so to board and as soon as he did we headed home; by a rather circuitous route.

We stopped at a large grocery store and shopped a bit. We went to Chipotle for lunch - Victoria’ s treat -  then headed the rest of the way to Chico. By the time we got home, put up the groceries and tended to the animals we got confirmation that Jake was headed to his house with his mom and dad. It was a good visit. He is still planning on coming back on Christmas day.

We’ll see.


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