For several years I have renewed my notary license so that I may assist offenders’ signage of legal documents. These include power of attorney, state forms and documents relevant to family matters. This service is an opportunity for me to share the love and care of Christ.
During the high virus cases, a table was set-up outside the prison chapel so that I could continue notarizing documents for offenders. One by one, the offenders came for notary services. After completing the notarial act, one offender asked me, “Can you tell me how to get divorce papers?” He explained his wife wanted the divorce. She was caring for their two children and felt it would be better to end their marriage. As he talked, I sensed this was something he would do for her, but not what he wanted. I encouraged him to speak with one of our chaplains to discuss his family situation. Knowing that a mother raising children alone was a difficult situation, I encouraged him to write a letter to his wife thanking her for the care and responsibility she daily provided for their children. He looked at me and said, “Thanks for listening and encouraging me. I’ll do that.” I promised to pray for him and his marriage. I hope when you read this you will join me in praying for the struggling families that offenders have left behind.
A routine notarial act, became a ministry opportunity. Ministry comes to us through many forms. Wherever you work, live or serve, ask God to show you someone who needs encouragement today.
Ministry is, first of all, receiving God’s blessing from those to whom we minister. What is the blessing? It is a glimpse of the face of God. Henri Nouwen
– Jone Reid, Church and Community Relations Coordinator