Volunteering in the prison system


Nancy Thomas

On Saturday, November 11, the New Life Church’s Ladies’ and Men’s Lunch Bunch groups combined to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. Our hosts were Carol and Jim Hansen who opened their beautiful home to 47 of us. We feasted on turkey, ham, and all the trimmings – which included Jois Ross’ southern cornbread dressing and Ruth Klein’s northern bread dressing. There has been a long-running debate on which is better! Looking at how much was eaten, it was evident that both are wonderful.

Our program was given by Chaplain Phil Yoder and a former inmate from the Chaplain’s Prison Ministry. The focus of his and his wife’s testimony was on the volunteers who minister to the inmates. Under the guidance of Chaplain Yoder and volunteer, Pam Randall, the inmates are trained on Life Restoration projects that will prepare them for life outside the prison. Giving the men useful life skills has proven to keep many from being repeat offenders. Words from this couple and Chaplain Yoder inspired many of us to become involved. We all left with full tummies and a deep appreciation for the work of prison volunteers.