The Power of Partnership
“It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.” – Philippians 1:7 (NIV)
YOU are my PARTNER. You are my friend. You are family to me. You are my co-laborer in Christ. And I love and appreciate you! You are part of our beloved “GraceInside Family.” There is no way that I could even begin to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the nearly 24,000 incarcerated men and women in Virginia’s 42 state prisons. Where would I even start in trying to help these dear ones become growing disciples of Christ? The task would just be too big. It would be kind of like thinking I could climb Mt. Everest on my own. Let me tell you: An endeavor of that magnitude would end up as a very SHORT hike (and would conclude with a SCARY fall)! It is wise to know our limitations – and to realize that there are some things that we simply can’t do ALONE.
How I praise God that He has called and provided our 33 dedicated Chaplains to help with this HUGE task! And how I praise God for our Central Office staff that keep things running and for our Regional Supervising Chaplains (and our Religious Advisor) that support and guide our Chaplains. I thank God for the many correctional staff members and administrators that protect the Chaplains and make it possible for them to do their important work in the prisons. And what would we do without our amazing religious volunteers??? Hundreds of you take time out of your busy schedules to come in and help our Chaplains minister to their “flock” behind the fences, walls and bars. And I would certainly be remiss if I didn’t put up a “Hallelujah!” for our financial supporters/donors: denominations, churches, foundations, businesses and especially caring individuals that give regularly, generously and sacrificially to help our Chaplains take Jesus’ light, hope and love into some very dark places.
And this month in particular, I want to do a special shout-out and say a special thanks to God for our many fellow charities, non-profits and faith-based ministries in Virginia and in Richmond and the Central Virginia area. They are AMAZING people, and they do AMAZING work with the many folks that Jesus called “the least of these.” Some feed the hungry. Some provide clothing and/or shelter. Others help neglected, abused or abandoned children. Some provide love and care for the elderly. I hope that you will get to know who some of these faith-based ministries are and about the amazing things they do, and that you will support some of them as God leads and provides. On September 20th-22nd, 2022 (noon to noon), we will join with them in an online giving celebration and challenge called “The Amazing Praise” (TAP). With YOU as His PARTNERS, God is going to do some amazing and miraculous things right here in our midst. Read our post about this 48-hour fundraiser and visit the official website at www.theamazingpraise.org to learn more about this exciting event.