by Katie Brucker, Missionary-Athlete, NE Lady Saints
This is my second season playing volleyball with The Saints, but last month’s trip to Edna Mahan CF in North Jersey was a different experience for me. This visit was the first time I felt comfortable in prison.
Being “comfortable in prison” may seem like a strange statement to make, but nonetheless that’s how I felt. I went into the day feeling nervous and a little anxious since it had been over a year since I visited a prison, but I just kept praying that God would use me despite myself.
I was asked to share my testimony before the Gospel was presented, so all the way there I was distracted in trying to make sure I was prepared. When we got there, I realized that this was actually the most recent prison I had visited with The Saints, and that gave me confidence. I was surprised to find out that I recognized many of the women, and they remembered me.
When it came time to share testimonies and the Gospel with the inmates, a room that was loud and noisy just moments before became absolutely silent. God answered my prayer and gave me the perfect opportunity without distraction to share the story of how Jesus changed me. What caught me off guard was how interested the women were to hear what I had to say. When I made the decision to allow God to use me even though I was afraid, God gave me the ability to have real conversations with the women after the testimony time. I had confidence to go up to a couple of them and ask them how I could pray for them. They saw the love of Christ in each member of our team, and they responded. They were so open to share with us their struggles and eagerly allowed us to pray with them.
It’s amazing how God uses his people through volleyball to minister to the least of these. The Saints Prison Ministry gives me the opportunity to show Christ to those who so desperately need Him, and has changed me in the process!