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Somerest County Jail

Mar 24 2016

On Palm Sunday, which was last weekend, I was privileged to do the chapel service at Maine's Somerset County Jail.  This is one of my favorite venues for several reasons.  First, it is the nicest prison chapel I have ever seen.  It is new, well lit, and the first room you encounter after leaving the lobby and entering the lock up area.  the high ceilings are ideal for juggling, and their are eight paintings on the walls designed to look like stained glass ( not a good idea to have actual stained glass windows in a jail, I suppose.) best of all, the initials of the jail are in the tiles on the floor right where I stand when I perform, and it just so happens Somerset Count Jail and Supreme Court Jesters have the same initials. It's like it was made for me!

as for this most recent show, we had a good turn out of both men and women.  Although the show was almost an hour late, there were no real time pressures on my end, so I used the spare time to warm up.  I suppose that the jail authorities feel the females are a lesser threat, because they left them with me prior to the show while the guards went to escort the men.  After the show, they did it the same way in reverse, escorting the men out first and leaving the women in the chapel.  This allowed me to have time to talk with the women; one said she had never gone to church in her life until then.  How cool to be there on the her first church service ever.  Another told me she had only been to church two or three times before.  But the coolest conversation was with a young woman who was engaged.  Since our daughter, Naomi, is also engaged we had this in common to chat about.  She told me that their original plan was to marry in the jail chapel, but now she would be out on bail in time to get married on the outside.

As for the show, it went really well.  I ended with my thief on the cross story / illusion.  I haven't done this one much lately, but it used to be a regular closing routine for the show.  It was the perfect routine for the Easter season, and it had a huge impact on the congregation.  We prayed together at the end of the service and it was really sweet.

this was also the first time I was able to leave a cy of my new book, "A Piece of Bosco" for a jail library.  My intention is to leave them at all the various institutions where we minister throughout the year.

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The presentation was fun and encouraging... The gospel message was clear and encouraging. I purchased your book and just finished it. Your scope is broad and again encouraging. May God continue to bless your ministry. I will encourage others to read your book. -Parishioner of a local church

"Hey, I  wanted to say that was a great message in chapel today! It touched something:) thanks for doing it!" -High School Student  

"We are so grateful that you brought your amazing ministry back to our church this year... The Gospel message you bring applies to all!  It is such a positive, valuable work that you do."  -Coordinator of Christian Ed. UCC Church

"There's no questioning it. This is powerful stuff. It's extremely touching at times, never less than entertaining, and I see a lot of sincere love for Jesus in you guys."  -Dwight Lilies, song writer

The Lord has given you a wonderful window through which to present the Gospel!   - Field Director of Alliance Missions to Paraguay

"What a wonderful ministry to both children and adults.  In past years it has been a struggle to arrange programing that would hold the attention of all ages, but also challenge each heart with God's gift of Salvation.  Thank you for sharing your ministry."  -Sunday School Sup't.

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