The Gift of Grace | Devotion #4: Sally Port
Getting to be a part of the Prison Team has been one of the most incredible things in my life, I have gotten to see God move in more ways than I can even begin to describe. One of the most overwhelming things that I have gotten to see is the grace and favor that God has given us when it comes to us processing in and out of prison.
When it comes to prison trips, I am in charge of all of the tech and band equipment that enters the prison in our van and trailer. That means that I have to have a perfect count of everything that we are taking into the prison, including the 100 different cords. On most of our trips we go into four separate prisons; what that means is that we completely set up and repack the trailer in each of the prisons that we enter and as you can imagine it is very easy to misplace a cord. If our count is wrong, we could be held up in processing and miss our window to share the Gospel with the inmates that we get to meet.
One of the craziest times that I can remember was in a Sally Port. We had just begun to process our entrance, and the lieutenant that was in charge told us that we needed to empty the entire trailer to make sure that every single thing inside of it was on our registry. Normally, this is just an inconvenience, but on this particular day, we had a very small window before we had to be at another prison for the afternoon and emptying the trailer would almost surely mean that there was no chance of us hitting our window. As we began to empty the trailer, seemingly out of nowhere the lieutenant’s radio went off, it was the warden calling down to tell the officers in the Sally Port to let us enter. The warden doing that is absolutely unheard of and has never happened since but it allowed us to do our complete program with the Gospel presentation in that prison and make it to the next one with time to spare. The grace of God was so apparent and shocking that many of us were awestruck and in all honesty, I did not fully grasp how amazing it was until the trip was finished.
Every prison trip reminds me of a verse. Matthew 25:40 says, “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”
I have heard many people describe prison ministry as being the core of ministry. It is one of the purest forms of ministry. It does not bring more people to our Church or help with tithing, but getting to see God’s grace and the favor that He shows as a result of our effort is more of a reward than any of us could ever hope or expect. If you are looking to see God move in more ways than you could ever imagine, I strongly recommend coming on a prison trip. It will change your life. I know because it has changed mine.