God places shepherds where the sheep are. It does not make much sense to have a shepherd without sheep. It also does not make much sense to have sheep without providing them a shepherd. With this in mind I want to discuss the prison ministry of Chaplain Rick Sharkey.
A full article is here. http://www.bpnews.net/45459/angola-prison-ministry-celebrates-20-yrs-new-facility
Sharkey is the supervising chaplain and head of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary ‘s Extension Center inside Angola prison in Louisiana. Within this role, Sharkey has seen 274 prisoners of the infamous prison graduate with B.A.’s in Christian Ministry since the program began two decades ago. Amazingly these prisoners have gone as pastors, tutors, vocational instructors and mentors both inside the prison system and out. Prisoners graduating from the extension center are moved throughout Louisiana’s prison system as shepherds to other inmates within the walls of prisons.
Being how America has only 5% of the worlds population and 20% of the worlds prisoners, God is doing His part to prepare, develop, and bring shepherds behind the chain link fences and razor wire to bring light into the darkest of places. Southern Baptists are busy doing much of the heavy lifting in the world regarding the sharing of the Gospel.
When I saw this story I could not leave it alone because it moved me. I had to write something because it shows the greatness of God. Those prison walls cannot keep God out, but the human heart will. So God enters the prisons and stands outside the cells of each person saying, “I am here, invite me in, and be free.”