When I first arrived at Forsyth Jail & Prison Ministries in June of last year, Rodney Stilwell told me, “This is God’s ministry.” I knew it, and I was not surprised by the statement. But, he said it with such passion and conviction, it caused me to step back and think for a minute on that thought. This is God’s ministry.
We are privileged to have answered God’s call to serve here at FJPM, whether it be as staff, board, volunteer, or supporter. We are blessed to be used by God to serve those who are incarcerated and formerly incarcerated in our community. But, it’s important that we keep the perspective that God is in control, and, while we plan, work, minister, and move forward, we must do it with the realization that submission to God’s will and direction is vital.
When I think of this, I’m reminded of Psalm 127: 1. “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”
This is God’s ministry. It always has been, and it always will be. In this new year, that thought has been continuously on my mind. I hope it is always a continuous thought in my mind.
Not a day goes by at the prison or at the jail where real life-change is not evident. Our chaplains work day in and day out to reach each and every inmate seeking hope. Our Transition to Work Program helps ensure former inmates transitioning back into our community won’t return to prison. There is too much at stake to move ahead or in a different direction from God.
Looking ahead to 2022, I’m full of excitement and hope. Let us recommit ourselves to the fact that Forsyth Jail & Prison Ministries is God’s ministry. In the midst of our busyness and through our best plans, let us seek to know and understand where He is working and meet Him there.
This is God’s ministry.
-Mark Hogsed, Executive Director