“The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (New American Standard Bible, Proverbs 16:9).
I was first introduced to OJPM while looking through a Combined Federal Campaign brochure and searching for a local ministry to support. After receiving the OJPM newsletters, I contacted the office to see if there were any weekend volunteer opportunities since I was working full time during the week.
There was nothing available at the time. In the meantime, I started going back to school for a Christian counseling degree. Soon after I finished school, the daughter of a friend of mine was in the Cleveland County jail and I was able to visit her on the weekends since I had obtained clergy and professional counseling credentials.
During this time, OJPM sent me information on a training session for volunteers at the Cleveland County jail. I went to the training and heard the chaplain speak about a Sunday ministry team. I then started ministering at the jail on Sundays with the team. While ministering at the jail, I met a lady who was going to prison and planned to visit her in the future while she was at prison.
Life continued to be very active and I kept the idea of visiting her in the back of my mind. I continued ministering at the jail and four months later, Diana Chambers, OJPM administrative assistant, contacted me concerning a volunteer chaplain position at the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center on the weekends. I remember being filled with such awe and great joy at the Lord’s perfect way of directing my steps.
I worked on applying for the position and going through the necessary orientation and training sessions over the next several months. In January of 2016, I was officially on board and going to the prison on weekends. There was plenty to learn as a new volunteer and the weekends went by fast. Three months later, I was walking in the prison yard and saw the lady I had met almost a year earlier at the Cleveland County jail.
Once again, I was filled with great awe and a sense of overwhelming joy at the hand of Lord and His faithfulness. “The Lord is not slow about His promises, as some count slowness” (2 Peter 3:9). I could have never planned or conceived of this course of events. I thank the Lord always and will never cease to be in awe as I watch Him continue to perfectly connect us together as fellow saints working alongside one another in His kingdom.