For those who were interested in learning about prison ministry, or learning more, the One Day Lunch this past October in Tulsa Oklahoma provided a great opportunity. Given the limited time for lunch during a One Day, it nevertheless succeeded in presenting the aspects of taking Celebrate Recovery into prisons and jails with status reports, testimonials, photo and video presentations, and goals for the future.
There were 160 seated while another 30 or so stood around the perimeter of the room designated for the lunch. “This is everything we hoped for, considering there are empty tables in the next room” said Cyndi Clark, CR Inside Team Leader, who organized and emceed the lunch. After welcoming the attendees, Cyndi introduced Hector Lozano, National Director, who in turn introduced Oklahoma State Reps, and briefly addressed the group; wanting instead to give time to those who are “in the trenches”, volunteers who are giving back after incarceration, and those inside who are helping to carry the message of hope and healing through Celebrate Recovery and a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
The first two mini-testimonies were delivered by Debra and Lea Ann, two inmates (yes, inmates!) who received special permission to attend. They are both at a work-release facility, which allows them to be picked up, along with other women, to attend CR at Southern Hills Baptist Church (SHBC) and First United Methodist Church (FUMC), both in Tulsa. Lea Ann and Debra attend regularly, have completed a step study at their facility, and are demonstrating growth by taking part in leadership modules and monthly leadership trainings at SHBC. Lea Ann leads a step study inside, and open share at FUMC, while Debra will be leading the next step study.