Last Thursday night Jill Smith and I drove down the Gulf CI (where our husband's work) for the volunteer appreciation banquet.
Chaplain Stavenau does a great job of decorating simply but colorfully! :)
The food was as delicious as last year! Steak, cooked to perfection, baked potato, salad, rolls and dessert!
Just a few of the volunteers....
Chaplain Taylor from a neighboring prison was the speaker for the evening.
James Caswell (center) was awarded Volunteer of the Year by Warden Blackwood (left) and Chaplain Ring (right)
Dan, Warden Blackwood, Colonel Shaw, AWP Roddenberry, Major Brown, and Classification Supervisor, Mrs. McCollough waiting to thank the volunteers on their way out!
Chaplain & Mrs. David Smith
Chaplain and Mrs. Me! :)
The 4 chaplains that serve at Gulf Correctional Main Unit and Annex.
Chaplain Smith, Chaplain Stavenau, Chaplain Henry and Regional Chaplain Ring.
Each volunteer group took turns sharing a little about their ministry. My favorite was the Storybook Ministry. They take children's books into the prison. The inmates can chose a book and then the ministry will record them reading that story.They will then send that inmates child the book and the CD recording of their daddy reading the book, so they can listen to it whenever they want. I just think that is so awesome!!!
Props to those who are willing to minister in our prisons! Many people (sadly, Christians are not exempt) feel that inmates are the scum of the earth and don't deserve humane treatment! :( But that is so wrong. What better place to minister than to those who are down and lonely!!
Matthew 25:34“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Saturday was a long anticipated day for me! It was my first official 5K! I had signed up for this about 3 months prior and the closer it got, I had mixed feelings. One day I'd be like "why did I ever do this??" and the next day I'd be excited for the challenge!
The night before I dreamed I showed up to the race in flip flops and convinced Dan to run home for my shoes, while I held off the race! :D Then I dreamed I needed to use the restroom and the room I went into was so small I could hardly get in it. So I was happy to wake up and know they were just dreams and know that nothing that crazy was going to happen! :)
Picking up our running bibs, shirts and other paraphernalia.
There were quite a few people in the race that we knew, either from church, or from our running group, A Case of the Runs. :)
Ashley Wesselhoeft, Caleb, Christine and Abby Ayers.
Dan, Danny and myself all signed up to run. Tamara was our photographer! :)
A good friend from church, Ruth Drawbond.
Ruth and her daughter Beth.
There were 130+ runners registered....it doesn't look like that many, but I think you just can't see the people in the back!
Some finishing pics of our family and some of our friends....
Eric Miller, white shirt, is the one who got us started with running by using the C25K program. He lost a significant amount of weight in the last year and a half!
Eric set a new PR of 25:42!! He also won 3rd place in his age category!
(Just so you know, the time showing on the screen is the time elapsed since the horn blew. It took the back of the pack a little time to get to the start line because of the amount of people. So that's why the numbers are a little off! :) Every runner had a chip mounted on their bib that registered when they crossed the start and then the finish line!)
Beth Drawbond did it is 28:16!! She won 3rd place in her age category!
Dan also set a new PR of 28:53!! :) He came in 7th in his age category.
Danny had a time of 30:09. He's done better but his ankle was giving him trouble. :( He DID win 2nd in his age category, though, but because of a glitch in the system, they only discovered it later in the day, so he was not recognized and will only get his medal tonight!
Danny received his medal tonight when the group ran the Trammel Bridge.
He is thrilled! :)
Ruth's time was 38:31. This was also her 1st race! She won 2nd place in her age category!!! :)
And here comes I! :) The man in the yellow shirt was near me the whole time, and toward the end, I thought I was going to beat him. At the last minute he sprinted by me. Later he came to me and said "I just couldn't let you beat me"!! :)
My time was 42:00!!! I was super happy! I have only run 3.1 miles 2 other times in my life (both in the last month) The first time Dan was running with me and encouraging me....that time I made it around 45 minutes. The 2nd time, I ran alone and it was hot and humid. That time it took me 48 mins.
My goal was to make it under 45, so I was super happy!! :)
I did it!!
I came in 10th in my age category! :)
After the last runner came in, they had a 1 Mile Fun Run for the little kids. Some of them had older family members run with them. :)
Carmen Miller (age 11), Eric's daughter came in first!! :)
So, the 2013 race is over, now I need to work at improving my time to see what kind of record I can set next year!!!! :)
A HUGE thanks to my Hubby and my kids for encouraging me and cheering me on through this long, hard journey!
Also thanks to my church, facebook and A Case of the Runs friends for the encouragement as well!!
I don't think I would have had the motivation without all that support!! And if I can do it, ANYONE can do it!! Trust me! :)
Dan has been a prison chaplain here in Florida for the past 11 years.
We would appreciate your prayers as we serve in this ministry!
If God lays it on your heart to help support our family financially, you can donate by Paypal below or message us for our address! God knows our needs!
Praying God will bless you for partnering with us!!