Transforming people on both sides of the bars; the story of Karyn and Anna
Anna recalls that it was a night to remember when Karyn said, “If you want to meet people ready to hear the gospel you just have to go to the county jail.”
That 2017 statement was made during a weekly women’s Bible study at Calvary Chapel, Oklahoma City, where Karyn mentioned a meaningful encounter with an inmate at the Oklahoma County Jail. After the study a young woman named Anna approached her wanting to learn more. Karyn’s statement about inmates ready to hear the gospel stayed on Anna’s mind for several weeks as she prayed for discernment on which direction to take regarding this incredible ministry.
Throughout the next few weeks Karyn shared with Anna how she came to serve in this ministry, honestly answering all of her questions, helping her through the application process and becoming a prayer partner.
“Throughout our discussions,” Karyn recalls, “it became obvious that the Holy Spirit was calling Anna to the adolescent’s ministry. Our great God was calling the young Christ follower to the young Christ needers!”
Many years ago Karyn investigated OJPM and has felt privileged to meet many female inmates enduring a series of painful consequences and in most cases feeling very far from the love of their Savior.
As she continued speaking with women in desperate need of Jesus, Karyn and all others in the ministry have planted seeds in many and witnessed miraculous transformations in others who have given up a lifestyle of sin for a life sold out to Jesus Christ.
Karyn didn’t know that there would be someone present at that gathering who would be called to this ministry, but Anna is so thankful that she was willing to share about OJPM and come along side her throughout this journey.
There is no greater example of meeting people where they are than that of Jesus Himself. It’s important to remember that it’s not about whether you think there will be someone present who will be open to serving in the ministry, but it’s about planting seeds that God will later harvest in His perfect timing to continue building His kingdom.
Karyn wrote, “We need to generously salt our conversations with our beliefs. In the same way that OJPM volunteers simply show up to the locations of inmates and in faith open their mouths through which God speaks Life-giving words: in that same manner, when we mention this great ministry, which may be ‘Oklahoma’s best-kept secret,’ our great God does all the rest!”