“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Mathew 25: 37-40
Oak Hills supports two ministries that work directly with those in prison. Adopt-A-Ward provides weekly Bible studies in the Sacramento County Youth Detention Facility and Ylli Beqiraj has a prison ministry in Albania. Beyond these two wonderful ministries there are numerous Oak Hillians who serve those in prison and their families through various organisations. Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in physical chains that God would break any strongholds on their soul.
It is a beautiful thing that Jesus meets us where we are. And it is beautiful that Rick and Chris Johnson are meeting youth where they are; the students they happen to be meeting with are at Juvenile Hall. Rick and Chris have been faithful to lead weekly a Bible study, providing the Johnson’s opportunities to support children and their families.
Recently Rick and Chris received the Sacramento Youth Detention Facility Annual Chaplaincy Volunteer Awards for their service and commitment to the Adopt-A-Ward Program being piloted by Oak Hills Church. The Chaplaincy Volunteer Banquet was attended by a couple hundred people including local county supervisors, the chief probation officer, and top juvenile hall administrative staff. Part of the ceremony included a video highlighting certain programs, including the Adopt-A-Ward program featuring mentee Anaya B who is being mentored by Oak Hillian, Christine Evanson.
If you’d like more information on how you can be part of Adopt-A-Ward and the wonderful impact they are having please contact Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org
A Story From Ylli
A young man from Vlore was condemned in Norway for two years. Through the local chaplain he found out that there is a Christian organization that helps people either in prison or soon to be released. He was impressed and asked if anyone could help him travel home from Rinas once he was released because he didn’t have anybody expecting his arrival. SHKBSH, the organization that supervises prison ministry in Albania, contacted Ylli, because of his local prison ministry. Ylli agreed and met the young man in the airport and drove him home. As Ylli puts it, “In the long journey from Rinas to Vlore we talked about many things that have happened in Albania and in his life when in Norway but a little about God. I had the feeling that he was expecting me to take advantage of the situation so I didn’t talk much about religion. Towards the end he warmed to me and promised to phone and have coffee with me soon.”
Reminding people of their value because they are created in Christ’s image is a wonderful testimony to God’s unconditional love for us!
All HANDS on Deck
Fellow Oak Hillians, Jerry and Lois Scott, are involved with a prison ministry called Kairos. They will be part of a retreat at Folsom Prison with 48 inmates, April 12-15. Part of the decorations for the retreat are cut out hands with bible verses on them. This is a visual reminder for the participants that there are people supporting them in prayer. Our youth group made over 100 hand prints, what a beautiful reminder there is forgiveness in Christ.