Volleyball at Carole Young Unit
Having never been inside a prison, let alone played a full day of volleyball with women who are incarcerated, I had no frame of reference for the life-changing event that took place on Saturday, July 10th with C.H.A.R.M.!
C.H.A.R.M. Volunteers - Thank You Ladies!
It was a bit sobering to see the prison in the distance as we were pulling up, especially after lighthearted car conversations that we just came from during the hour long drive to the Carole Young Unit in Dickinson. The reality of this broken world can hit like a ton of bricks. Yet after walking past guards, getting signed in, entering the gates and hearing the loud clang behind me, I heard music! Loud praise music!
As we walked up to the court these women threw their arms out ready to hug each of us with a huge smile. I have rarely been so instantly accepted! We praised God together, we joked around, we made conversation about our lives.
When we started playing volleyball, the true genius of this ministry struck me. Sports are an instant ice breaker; and team sports foster encouragement as well as an instant connection beyond words. We were connecting with these ladies because we were sweating and working hard together. The common denominator of sports started to supersede any insecurity of our differences all players might have been feeling, so that when we were done sweating and praising God through volleyball, the connection remained for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be shared!
Touching Future Generations
Three people that I know of came to salvation in Christ that day after a time of worship and hearing the testimonies of people from C.H.A.R.M.
Being able to play volleyball and connect with women who are living in a reminder of the consequences of a broken world was life-changing enough, but being able to then pray with women who accepted Christ that day was a forever shift in my spirit. I will always pray for the women I met that day.
Meagan Stillwell, Volunteer
I cannot wait to go back as soon and as often as I can to play more volleyball and share Christ's love!
Thank you C.H.A.R.M. for being a vessel of God's pure love!
- Meagan Stilwell, Volunteer