Over 75 items were donated including mattresses, furniture, kitchen supplies and children’s items. Mike and Susie are thankful to those who provided so many items and will continue to help the Salvation Army with similar assistance to other families. This situation was a beautiful example of God’s people coming together in Milwaukee to meet needs and is a perfect representation of the Haydens’ vision for their ministry: to directly and personally connect those in need to those who have enough to share.
"And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased." Hebrews 13:16
Pastor Alvin Hull was recently on his way back from Detroit and was on the Illinois Toll Road. He was out of money and still had to get through a $5.00 toll. He prayed and felt like God was leading him to pull over at a truck stop. He went in, saw a place where they were selling Christian books.
He noticed a Gospel tract sitting there that someone had left: there was a piece of paper sticking out of it. He opened it and saw that the piece of paper was hiding a $5 bill!! God answered Alvin’s prayer quickly and in a miraculous way!
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
Several years ago, before I answered God’s call to ministry, I prayed the prayer of Jabez. This is found in I Chronicles 4:10 and reads:
"And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying,
Recently, as I was traveling to one of the prisons to make pastoral visits, it struck me how He has answered that prayer. Instead of having influence for the Lord only at home, Bible study and in the church, I now have a “territory” that covers most of the state of Wisconsin! In addition to the high school Bible studies conducted in Milwaukee, I preach in and/or make pastoral visits to DOC institutions from Racine in the southeast to Green Bay in the northeast, to Stanley in the northwest and to Prairie du Chien in the southwest, with many points in between. I counted 24 facilities to date and growing!
Have there been results? With volunteering in High school ministry in the early 1980s, it took about twenty years to receive that kind of feedback from the students now matured, raising their own families and serving their churches. Thus, it’s probably a bit early in that realm to know.
However, in the prison ministry arena there have been some truly encouraging signs! Two convicts were led to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. A third inmate who was an avowed agnostic when we met is now reading through the entire Bible, believing in God as the Creator and worker of miracles in the life of the nation of Israel. Also, he is clearly being changed by the Holy Word in a way that makes me believe that he WILL accept Jesus in the months to come, as he gets into New Testament study! Finally, many others are using new tools to dive deeper in the Word, meditate on it and apply it to their lives. To God be the glory!
Minister to Milwaukee George Papachristou, who also serves as the chaplain for the District 2 Milwaukee Police Department, held an event to honor those who serve with free food for police officers.
"We honor the fallen but we also thought it was very important to take this time to honor those who do serve for us day in and day out," said Milwaukee Police District 2 Chaplain, George Papachristou.
Read more here.
Since I have been given the position of Chaplain at the Milwaukee County Jail, my areas of responsibility have increased. One of these responsibilities is the distribution (upon the request from inmates) of published materials that are donated to the jail by various religious organizations. Since the jail is a government facility, I am required to distribute the materials we have without prejudice. If we have it on the shelves in the chaplain's office and it's requested, it must be delivered.
This situation had resulted in an interesting dilemma for me when I was asked to fill the requests for the Muslim community in the jail, i.e. Qurans, prayer towels and other Islamic reading materials. However, God showed me that I could still be a light. As a matter of fact, delivering Islamic materials upon request could actually be a strategic position to be in.
Here's how it happened. Since according to my schedule, I am only required to be at the jail once a week on Thursdays, if someone puts in a request on a Friday, I do not get it for almost a week. If there is a mix up in the mail system and I don't get the request by the next Thursday, two weeks go by. This happened to two Muslims in one of the pods, they both requested Qurans and prayer towels. Because I can't use their names, I'll call them “A” and “B” in this story.
I walked into the pod for another reason two weeks after they had sent in their requests. They both came up to me and “A” was angry! Very loudly so virtually everyone in the pod could hear, he complained that since I was a Christian chaplain I was ignoring their requests. I just smiled and told him that I had not received anything, but I would bring the materials the next time I came, on Thursday. All he said was, “You better!” and “B” said nothing.
Instead of waiting until Thursday of the following week, I decided to make a special trip to the jail on Monday specifically to give the men their materials. When I gave the materials to them, “A” said, “It's about time”, grabbed the stuff and walked away. “B” said, “Hey, man, you made a special trip to deliver this to us, thanks! By the way, you lead a Bible study in this pod every Thursday. Can anyone come? Can I come?” “B” saw something that he didn't find in his religion: love.
So now whenever I get a request for materials that are false and filled with deception, I ask the Holy Spirit to give me the words to say and the actions that might open a heart and mind to His truth.
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
It is an evil that some people STILL perpetrate on other people. In the slave trade of the 1700’s and 1800’s, it is estimated that 13 million people were enslaved. Today, it is called Human Trafficking (HT) and there are approximately 27 MILLION people enslaved worldwide.
According to International authorities, every eight seconds someone is bought, sold or taken into slavery and every 20 seconds it is a child. It is the fastest growing criminal endeavor in the world, and in dollar volume, second only to drug trafficking. More people are enslaved today than at any time in human history.
Also in the days of the slave trade, a slave cost the owners an average of $40,000 (in inflation adjusted dollars) each. Today, the average cost is $40 to $90 per slave, depending on the source. This disparity in cost is largely because most of the enslaved today are grabbed off the street, beaten severely to keep them compliant, and then put out to turn tricks as prostitutes and hand over every cent to their “owner.”
Almost every country in the world has slaves today. In the United States there are slaves all across the country in cities, suburbs and rural areas. 600,000 to 800,000 slaves are taken across national boundaries each year. 14,500 to 17,500 foreign slaves end up in the U. S. every year. About 20% of the slaves re forced to work in various ways, but most often in sweatshops, farm fields, restaurant kitchens and as hotel cleaning staff. Approximately 80% of the slaves are being sexually exploited as prostitutes, strippers, and pornography “models”, thus the vast majority are female. Fifty percent are children.!! As many as 300,000 American young women and girls are enslaved In the United States every year.
In Milwaukee today, there are dozens of cases pending in the federal court against traffickers. The police that I work with told me a story of a man who used his son to recruit 13 and 14-year old girls as prostitutes, took nude photos of them and then posted them on Craigslist. This recruiting took place in one of the high schools where I have now presented on HT. Both father and son were recently convicted, as seen in a Journal Sentinel article in March. Todd “King Tut” Carter, 40, the Milwaukee man who admitted prostituting at least a half-dozen teenage girls in Wisconsin and other states was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in federal prison, the first person convicted in Wisconsin under a tough federal law aimed at the sex trafficking of children.
At Brothers And Sisters In Christ Serving (BASICS), a Christian mission agency in Milwaukee, we have teamed up with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to increase awareness of human trafficking to people in Milwaukee and southeast Wisconsin. We see this as part of a call to action of Christians everywhere to be part of the solution, and in some cases to stop being part of the problem. “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.” (Proverbs 24:11)
The government has a 24/7 national hotline for trafficking victims and those attempting to help them: 1-888-3737-888. Professionals working there will take all the information a concerned citizen has and then call the Human Trafficking Task Force in the area from which the call came. Southeast Wisconsin has a task force located in Milwaukee. It is this professional team of law enforcement officers who make the investigation into HT reports and make or aid in making arrests.
Included on this team are two FBI agents and a Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) detective who work with us in this awareness endeavor. They not only consult with BASICS, but they also collaborate with us by introducing us to MPD district commanders, who put us in touch with the school squad police officers. They in turn introduce us to the principals and other decision makers at Milwaukee Public School (MPS) high schools. In the past few months, after receiving permission from MPS central administrators, I have made over sixty HT awareness presentations, mostly in high schools, but also in churches.
Our goals are: first to increase the awareness of slavery occurring today.
Second, I pray that, due to this increased awareness, people who attend the presentations will recognize people who are in trouble, make the call to the national human trafficking 24/7 hot line, and more victims will be rescued from slavery.
Third, we hope that those rescued will be restored to a normal life and that ministries such as ours will be a part of that process.
Finally, because it happens so easily, we hope to warn our young people, and their parents, in a way that will make them much more vigilant so as not to allow this horror to happen to them.