When In His Steps began twenty five years ago, it started with two primary ministries–sports and the Jackson Detention Center. As we’ve continued our work in the detention center, God has revealed His desire for us to help incarcerated kids find their purpose in life where they are now and after their time in the detention center. We believe that God has a purpose for each of us as Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” With this heart, we interact with the kids in the detention center to show them that the Lord loves them immensely and has a specific purpose for their lives, to glorify Him and reach the nations, beginning with Canton, Mississippi.
On May 7th, Reverend Bacon visited the detention center and met with some of the young girls and the female officers in charge. He had the opportunity to present the gospel with eleven of them and spoke on how God’s love was for each one of them, and that there isn’t anything we can possibly do that can separate us from that love. He shared Romans 5:8, which tells us that God demonstrated that love for us by sending His only Son to die for each of us while we were still sinners.
To explain salvation more fully, Reverend Bacon told the girls about the time he got the chicken pox at 31. There was a very obvious external issue as the pox bumps broke out all over his skin, but when he went to the doctor, his doctor didn’t give him an external medicine. Instead, he gave Reverend Bacon three pills and told him that in order to heal the outward issues that chicken pox presented, he needed to get rid of the virus on the inside. Looking at the pills on the table, Reverend Bacon acknowledged that they would heal him, and made the decision to take them so he could be rid of his chicken pox.
While this is certainly a lighthearted story, salvation is much the same. Our sin may present itself in an external way and have very obvious consequences to it, but ultimately the issue lies within our hearts. In order to heal ourselves from the inside out we have to first acknowledge that Jesus is the only thing that can offer that healing to us, then act on that knowledge and surrender our lives and our will to Him and let Him be the good Doctor and Healer that Scripture tells us He is. We have to make the choice to take the pills, to allow them to do their work inside of us.
As Reverend Bacon left the detention center, he says “my heart became more burdened for the incarcerated youth in our state.” He was struck with the understanding that Christians have the answer that these kids so desperately need, and God is calling all of us now to go into the detention centers and share that answer with the children who are there. We believe at In His Steps that any time God’s love is extended to His people there is a response in our hearts as the Holy Spirit moves, so we are believing and praying that all eleven of these girls and the officers present will respond in faith to the salvation that is so freely offered.