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Do we visit those who are in prison?

For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.

One of the missions that Christ gives us in the Gospel is to visit those who are in prison. Specifically in Matthew 25, Jesus, in telling the parable of the Sheep and the Goats, said that one of the ways we identify someone as of the Kingdom of God is-- do we visit those who are in prison?

Although South Main has no ministry outreach to prisoners, two of our church's faithful members not only do this regularly, but operate a ministry to prisoners. Raul and Maria Andrade quietly but regularly visit those who are imprisoned within the Texas Criminal Justice system. Raul and Maria make trips from Huntsville to Gatesville and places in between to visit, hold services, and provide supplies, encouragement, and hope to incarcerated Native Americans. The chaplaincy department within the department recently wrote the note below directed to South Main, thanking Raul and Maria for their commitment and work which I wanted to share with the church.
As you see in the letter, the chaplain poignantly states that "the mission work of Raul and Maria to the men in TDCJ is precious, powerful, and priceless. Only in eternity will we know how they have impacted lives with their genuine love, considerable care, and continuous compassion as they present and represent Jesus as missionaries to those who are in prison."

Thank you, Raul and Maria, for your faithful lives, your graceful work, and the beauty of your passion to follow Christ and serve in a way that few of us do to those who are not only imprisoned, but so often forgotten.

Reverend Funderburk and our Dear Friends in Christ:

I am writing to express our sincere appreciation for the Native American Ministry conducted by Raul and Maria Andrade at various units of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Your support of the mission work of Raul and Maria allows them to provide a visible, tangible touch of the love of Christ to incarcerated men who need encouragement and a blessing from God.

Words cannot describe how grateful and appreciative we are for the valuable contribution that Raul and Maria make to the mission work to those incarcerated in TDCJ. They faithfully and effectively lead worship services, conduct studies, and spend much time in one-on-one ministry at various units. They have also handed out material items, that is gifts, to the incarcerated men of Native American Community which builds relationships and opens the door for further future ministry. Something as basic as a tee shirt, a pair of socks, or hygiene items may not seem like much to us in the free world, but are essential and vital for men who have little or nothing in the way of material goods.

Once again, the mission work of Raul and Maria to the men in TDCJ is precious, powerful, and priceless. Only in eternity will we know how they have impacted lives with their genuine love, considerable care, and continuous compassion as they present and represent Jesus as missionaries to those who are in prison.

With the Utmost of Gratitude,

Tom Brouwer
Assistant Director of Chaplaincy
Huntsville, Texas


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