By: Rev. Justin Krupsky, Senior Pastor
For years now God has blessed me with the opportunity to respond to Jesus' words from Matthew 26 to go and visit those in prison. I have been able to simply do this through the game of softball. I do not know if you know this about me, but I truly love the game of baseball. It was during summer baseball when I was playing in Venezuela when God put it on my heart to write Ephesians 5:16 under the bill of my cap which says, “Make the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.” It was at that time when I realized that God was using me and could use me to make the most of the game of baseball which ultimately inspired me to start going to the Macomb Correctional Facility back in 2001.
This past summer men from Trinity have coming with me once again and I would like to share a testimony that I pray will encourage you to make the most of your life. His testimony is entitled Hope.
“As I reflected on my experience playing prison softball, this world kept echoing in my mind. Such a simple, four letter word with so much power and emotion.
Each week as we head to the prison, thoughts of hope twirl through my mind. I hope I bat better. I hope I don’t make too many errors. I hope no one gets injured. I hope we win for once.
As we walk into to the yard and onto the field, you feel the power of hope. Just walking in raises faces…eyes…smiles. “Good to see you” and “Thanks for coming in” from the inmates are more than just words. They are sincere statements of gratitude for fulfilling their need for hope – hope that someone, anyone, still cares for them.
Every week we start with “the main thing” (because it is) and prayer. It is a message of hope that has been fulfilled for all of us. The forgiveness of all of our sins bought through the blood of Christ. Each week you see the understanding deepen as the words break through and the Spirit works on the hearts and minds we visit.
After playing a few games, we end with small groups where the Trinity men pray over the inmates. This is where the hope in Christ resonates the deepest. Every year that I’ve played, individuals have shared that their requests for prayer have been answered: a daughter finding a safe, loving home; a grandmother getting directed to the right specialist; faith growing from nothing. Hope in prayer grows.
As I walk out to my car and drive home, I hope that the Lord continues to use me to build his kingdom. I hope to leverage the opportunities that present themselves during the week when I state that I played softball in prison. Lastly, I hope that my reflection encourages you to take the risk to share the hope and faith in salvation with those around you.”