1000 Bibles for MSDF!
At any given point in time there are typically 25,000 people incarcerated in the state of Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF) is a medium security high-rise correctional facility in downtown Milwaukee with a capacity of 1,100 offenders. Each year approximately 15,000-inmates pass through this facility as convicted felons. It functions as the first and last stop for inmates who are on their way into the system and on their way back out.
This facility is known as the hardest place in all of Wisconsin to do time. One reason is, that there are actually no-windows in this facility. The inmates do not see the light of day or the stars at night. Neither do they experience the weather outside or see the seasons change around them. They never hear the birds sing, nor do they gaze upon the trees blowing in the wind. They are enclosed and completely cut off from the outside world. Therefore the men and women who are incarcerated at MSDF are at the lowest point of their life. However, at that low point they are very open to the light of the Word of God. People who would normally never go to church find themselves going to a Bible Study or opening a Bible.
There is a tremendous amount of openness at MSDF in particular.
Recently a 50-year old inmate, who’s been in the system for 20 years in various prisons around Wisconsin, told MSDF Chaplain Jerry Hegeman, that he feels the presence of the Lord stronger at MSDF than any other prison or jail; it’s the easiest place to seek the Lord.
When inmates first arrive at MSDF, they go to a certain pod before the general population. The new inmates are always asking for Bibles, and it’s difficult to keep up with the demand. After speaking with the Chaplain about the need and the opportunity there, BASICS put out an appeal to raise funds to provide 1,000 Bibles for MSDF. God graciously provided the funds through the generosity of our partners and supporters, and the Bibles have been delivered. We are excited about the opportunity to get the Word of God into the hands of so many people in need of an encounter with the love of God.
But there are ways to serve MSDF even beyond providing Bibles for the inmates. They are looking for people to come in and lead Bible Studies, lead worship, visit inmates and write letters.
When seeking volunteers, finding people who are characterized by the love of God is paramount – you don’t need to be a Bible expert. Chaplain Hegeman says “We’re not looking for know-it-alls, if you love, you will have an impact. The moment an inmate senses you care, they open up.”
At MSDF, the fields are ripe for harvest. Chaplain Hegeman said “In prison intensified receptivity happens. There is no greater opportunity to win souls than in prison”
To find out more information about volunteering at MSDF, please email Chaplain Jerry Hegeman.
“I was in prison and you came to visit me… Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:36, 40
Chaplain Hegeman with the shipment of 1000 Bibles