With special Love & appreciation to our Chaplain Sandy
One of my sweetest rewards of 30 plus years of prison ministry is watching God “fulfill His destiny” in lives of volunteers. They serve on our teams in jails/prisons and God often promotes them to positions of leadership on the Aglow Prison Board or other ministries. I am especially grateful for one of those special women, and I want to share a little about my friend, “Chaplain Sandy” this month.
In VESSELS OF HONOR II, I wrote several stories of our “assignments” together, but words can never express how grateful I am that Sandy was willing to follow God’s call to become a “Chaplain”…even against my naive advice. Because of her dedication to women in Valley State Prison, she scheduled Aglow teams and The Journey Seminars regularly, and gave me opportunities to minister whenever I could drive the 5-hour trip…almost monthly! When needed, Sandy and husband Ken provided a bedroom in their home for me…times I’ll treasure forever…also with her lovable dog and cats!
I believe God “saved the best for last” when He used Sandy to start a special Leadership Class for inmates with long-term or life sentences…and I could be the teacher! We did this for several years. Among the subjects taught was “How-to-Minister” to other inmates. She allowed us to have an “Inmate Aglow Seminar” for specially invited inmates. The inmates led Worship, sang solos, taught Biblical Lessons, and even provided personal Prayer Ministry. ONLY Chaplain Sandy, our APM President Patty Rose and myself witnessed this unique Aglow service in the Prison Chapel conducted entirely by Christian inmate-leaders…truly a first!
When the State of California moved women inmates to CCWF and turned Valley State into a Men’s Prison, Chaplain Sandy remained faithful where God placed her, and the Holy Spirit sent “revival” to the men. The men read my book, and asked if I would come minister to them too. So last May, I fulfilled “my promise” made when the women left. What a precious time it was…praying over 12 men, sitting in a circle at the prison Chapel…just as I did for “my Leadership Class” of women.
Sandy is retiring this year. We express deep appreciation for her love and service so many years as “our Chaplain”. We are confident that God has some MORE “assignments” ahead for her…with MORE “rewards”! Thank you, dear friend.