Dan & I have been so blessed over the years! We moved down here (FL) to work in prison ministry almost 5 years ago. When we first moved, we were working solely on a voluntary basis and had to raise our own support. The first year went well. We had pretty good support!
Into the second year Dan had the opportunity to be hired full time as a assistant to the regional chaplain. This position, while it had no benefits and minimum pay, gave him more freedom and more opportunities to be able to minister without having to have another chaplain with him. This way he wasn't tying someone else down when he went about his work in a day. (Volunteer chaplains are just like any other volunteer, and need to be assisted anywhere they go on the compound!)
A couple months into it, because of state funding issues, he got laid off and once again we had to raise support, or find something else to do. He continued to work as a volunteer even though support was tight. Our faith grew a lot over that next year!! But God always saw us through and provided for our needs. And, I want to say that through it all, we have had 2 families who continued to support us and do to this day! They have been such a blessing to us!! :) Thanks Martin's and Sauder's!
Dan ended up getting his job back a few months later and is still working in this position.
And just so you know....he does get paid for 40 hours a week (no more, even if he works longer. That's just the job stipulations). He doesn't get any benefits, ie. paid vacation, insurance, etc.
So while we are grateful for the chance he has to work in the prison, it is a tough position to be in. It is very hard to get ahead. We are praying that God will continue to show us the way He wants us to go, whether it be staying in the prison ministry or moving on to something different!
I added a Paypal Donate button to our blog. If God lays on your heart to help support our family, you will bless us immensely! The money Dan brings home from his job is sufficient to pay the monthly bills and buy groceries and gas, but we don't have extra for doctor and dentist appts., car repairs and all those other little needs that come up..... and I don't want to beg. I know there are many people out there who are far worse off than we are! We really are blessed! :)
If you have any questions or want to know any more about what we do, please feel free to ask! :) I am going to try to do monthly updates on the work in the prison, to try to keep you up on what God is doing through the ministry at Gulf C.I.!! :) :)