I first visited Crossroads Correctional Facility in Shelby, MT eight years ago, preaching and introducing the School of Christ for the first time. The Chaplain that was serving at that time has since retired, but the new Chaplain, Jamie Stiffler, still has volunteers in once a week to conduct the School.
We held services at 6:30 both nights in the visitation room. Monday night we had about thirty men show up, many of whom were unsaved. It was a difficult atmosphere, but I preached and shared many testimonies of what God has done through the SOC over the years. After the service, an inmate named Terry, came up to me, and begin to tell me a little of his story. He was out of prison on parole for only one month when suddenly his wife got sick and passed away, leaving him and his fifteen-year old son. He shared how soon after that his father also passed away. He said he went out one night under the strain of it all and got drunk and got into a fight. He was rearrested and put right back into prison. As he told me this story, my heart went out to him, but I could see that he was naturally a live wire. The following night there were sixty-two men in the visitation room. Chaplain Stiffler said that this was the largest number of inmates he had ever had in a service. We testified and preached again. During praise and worship there was one guy out of the whole crowd who stood to his feet. He was on the second row, about three rows in front of Terry and his rowdy buddies. During worship, Terry walked up to this guy standing, and told him that he better sit down because he couldn’t see the words. The guy who was standing simply moved to the back of the room so he could stand and Terry went back to his seat. Considering what he had told me the night before I was not surprised at his actions at all. After preaching I gave the invitation to receive salvation. Terry and his whole row of buddies lifted their hands to accept this great Christ! Praise the Lord! We met another guy after service named Simon. He shared how he was a MMA fighter on the outside with a wife and a young son, but was now doing life with parole for murder. Simon is now living for the Lord.
Please keep these inmates and Chaplain Stiffler in your prayers. We pray that God, through His mighty Word, and the teaching of the School of Christ, will keep these men, and enlarge them in the faith day by day.