Cleveland County Site Chaplain Larry Heikkila and his wife, Janet, also a Cleveland County volunteer chaplain, hosted a staff luncheon recently in their home. Janet, I assume, decorated the tables with Mardi Gras mementos, cooked gumbo and made King Cake replete with its traditional hidden baby Jesus figurine.
Larry asked me before the meal if I wanted to share anything with the group. I felt it was best to be one of the team and to sit back and enjoy Larry’s leadership and the group’s fellowship. When the meal was finished, one of the two guests who had been invited to the gathering to hear more about our ministry asked me about the purpose of OJPM.
I easily shared our mission statement of “transforming people on both sides of the bars!” After a brief description of how that has developed over the years, Kathy Jones, Lori Rahhal and Bill Farley graciously brought the statement to life by detailing how it was being lived out in their lives.
Kathy, a five-year volunteer chaplain at Cleveland County, shared about her experience with incarceration in both jail and prison, her coming to know the Lord and her six years of sobriety. Lori, a first-year volunteer chaplain at Cleveland County, shared about her long-time walk with the Lord and how she was enjoying the hands-on ministry of OJPM.
Bill, long-time volunteer chaplain and director of development, excitedly told of how that morning he had picked up an Uber rider that recognized him as the chaplain who had shared with him back in June of 2009 and that he was walking with the Lord, married with children and had not been back to the county jail. Three transformations on display!
This Cleveland County OJPM luncheon was a sweet time of food, fellowship and testimony. I am so thankful to be a part of our OJPM family that the Lord is working through in “transforming people on both sides of the bars!”
Unleashing the captives,