One day an inmate said to me, “Could I tell you something? I want to thank you for always smiling when you see us. Your kindness has ministered to me multiple times and I wanted to let you know that. You don’t have to say anything, you just smile.”

Interestingly this inmate always greets me and others in the chapel with a big smile. Smile begets smile. A simple thing to do? Maybe not. This guy has lived a tumultuous life. His childhood was riddled with disappointments, rejection, and emotional struggles. Crime was a way to take control of an out of control, mixed up life. His story is similar for many in prison. But behind his smile is the hope that only God brings to change a hardened heart to one of flesh. He knows God is real and has a plan for his life. His smile is full of hope.

When volunteers go to the jail and prison to offer a prayer, teach a Bible study, tutor, shake a hand or share their musical talents, they carry the hope Christ brings. There are many inmates looking for someone who will share the love of God to transforms their hearts. We invite you to join us in sharing love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control (Galatians 5:22) in our local mission field of incarceration. Through the Spirit of God living in you, many will be blessed. Sometimes you don’t have to say anything; just smile.

-Jone Reid, Community Relations Coordinator