Some know each other; most do not. This makes it an act of great courage to agree to come play at the camp with others they do not know when so often they have been disappointed by those they hold most dear. They are invited because they share a common experience: someone they care deeply about has been incarcerated. For some it is for a very short time; for other it is for a lifetime and anywhere in between, but some of the multitude of challenges have been experienced by all. All have experienced at some point, embarrassment, loss, guilt, rude behavior from family and church family, financial challenges, or public scorn because of the behavior of another simply because they are related to them and/or love them.
This is not an easy ministry. We develop deep connections with folks who often have some scalding sorrows in their lives and agreeing to walk with them, even for a short distance, is not for the faint of heart. Because of this we go to great lengths to not be a part of their list of disappointments, of people who did not follow through, of folks who turned away because their burdens break hearts.
So we have spend many hours over several weeks in study, team formation, prayer and courageous transparency with each other as we beseech God to make our hearts tender and resilient, help us let go of assumptions, judgement or bias about who God loves (more); learning to listen and listen and love and love with hands and feet and soft words and lots of tissues for us and for our guests.
Will you pray with us? Will you pray for us?