It was an incredible time of worshiping with the 100 inmates inside, and an especially memorable night for me as I got to bring some friends and family along to experience this together (see what they wrote about their time there under the "Volunteer Testimonies" tab on the left side of this page).
We worshiped together through singing, praying, reading Scripture, hearing faith testimonies, sharing a Gospel message of salvation and allowing the women time to respond, and even salsa danced to some Spanish praise music!
There is one person who stands out to me the most though from our time there. The prison guard. The job of a guard is to man their station inside the room that we are all gathered in and to keep a close watch on the inmates, constantly scanning the room. In my experience, we've never had an issue with any inmates causing outbreak and this night was no different. The women were engaged and enjoying our time together. As the night went on, the guard must have taken note of this too, because I started to notice him listening in on the messages that were shared from the stage. He too was beginning to engage in what God had in store for the evening. By the end of the night, the guard's attention was completely fixed on the screen that displayed the lyrics to "Our God" as the room filled with our praises in singing together. God was using the praise of the inmates to draw this prison guard into God's presence! Do we serve an awesome God or what?!
I never got a chance to talk to him that night, but what an awesome reminder that we never know who else is listening in as we minister to others at any given moment. I hope we can see him again when we go back next time!