FCJM Blog-Cathy Ryan

I believe that Lancaster Ohio is blessed with many people that care about their community and its’ residents.  I am a member of Cornerstone New Testament Church.  Through that association I have met several people who have a heart for ministering to those who have for one reason or another been incarcerated at our local jail and prison facilities.  Pastor Tom has shared his vision with those who attend Cornerstone and we have been blessed to be a part of that vision.  That is, to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ, one by one, to give hope to these men and women.  Due to the message of hope that they have received from the various churches in our community I have been privileged to meet many of these men who have come to our services.  We have had the opportunity to hear their stories that have led them to drug addiction.  We have heard the wonderful songs and poetry they have written expressing their lives, hopes and dreams.  Some of the men have continued to attend and are moving on with their lives.  Some men have stumbled and had to go back to jail, but when they get out they have returned knowing that spiritual help is what they need.  We all want to be there for them with an encouraging word from the Lord, an ear to listen, a circle of men and women surrounding them with prayer.  There is not one of us who does not need encouragement in some area of our lives.  They have just chosen a harder way to deal with their problems and some of the choices have brought great devastation their way.  They have lost wives and children, jobs and homes due to their addictions and need a helping hand and the Lord’s encouragement through each of us, to get them not only through the hard times but up and over the top.

I will say we use a lot of boxes of tissue at our services.  When we hear how God has moved on behalf of these men who have been reunited with family and friends, who have received a job and one man a supervisory position in a matter of weeks we all thank God for His love and favor upon  them.  They are learning to live by faith in God and His love. 

We recently had a picnic at Rising Park for our members, families and friends.  I thought it was so wonderful because this was an avenue we could provide for these men to bring their families to have good quality time and fellowship.   Several men had their little boys there to play at the play ground and to have a picnic with that day. They may not have permanent homes with their children, but they can come to Cornerstone with them to fellowship and hear the Word.  We all love and need God in the same way.  I enjoy the fact that they feel comfortable to come and go without condemnation and know how much God loves them.

I do not minister personally to the men or women in jail but I have been offered the opportunity to assist through prayer, giving, writing encouraging letters to the men and of course through our fellowship at church.  It may be one man’s life touched and turned around in 25 or 50, but in turn that one man’s wife, children, parents, and friends lives have been relieved of much worry and pain that is associated with drug addiction and any other form of problem that causes the incarceration of a man or a woman.  God has a plan for each one of our lives and how blessed are the feet of those who bring the GOOD NEWS!!!!!!!

Hallelujah!!!  We at Cornerstone, as well as many other churches in Lancaster, have been believing and praying for many years for a breakthrough where peoples’ lives are changed and renewed by the Word of God and the face of this city will be changed because of it!