Suspended Face to Face Visits

Since February 2020, face to face visits have been suspended indefinitely owing to the COVID-19 pandemic; The state prisons and jails have not allowed volunteers into their facilities. The spike in COVID-19 cases especially in the state prisons have been serious and on the rise since July 2020. MCF – Stillwater reports that 1 in 3 inmates has COVID-19 –

See Facility Specific COVID-19 Responses –

Since the end of July 2020, MCF-St Cloud will temporarily cease being the intake facility for the state prisons – MCF- Lino Lakes to assume this responsibility for now.

Since September there have also been spikes in COVID-19 cases at Sandstone and Waseca (Federal facilities)-

There is no indication that volunteers will be returning to the state prisons any time soon. Let us continue to pray for these facilities – the inmates/offenders and employees.

Baptisms at MCF-Moose Lake

In 2016, one of the incarcerated men at MCF-Moose Lake ,  was convinced that the Lord wanted him to provide a baptistery in this facility.  Other men contributed to the cause as well. We became involved in the transaction and with the blessing of the facility was allowed to facilitate the purchase of the portable baptistery. The purchased was finalized in April 2016 and the baptistery delivered.

Shortly after, one offender requested to be baptized as a Seventh-day Adventist. We did not have an available pastor to visit so the MN Conference authorized  Elder Andrew, our Vice President (of MAPM) to visit and conduct baptisms in the Department of Corrections  prisons.

Elder Andrew  and his associate Bro Errol visited the baptismal candidate ( let us call him John) over a six month period and John finally decided to be baptized. After consulting with the Chaplain, the date was set for Wednesday, March 15, 2017. This would be our very first baptism.

Five of us attended the baptism from MAPM; Debbie, our president, Frank, Janis, Stewart, and I. The chaplain had an additional 6 candidates for baptism. I was in charge of the service which included a sermonette as the candidates were reminded what baptism is, its significance, and what is meant for them. To our amazement one of the six candidates insisted that he wanted to be baptized as a Seventh-day Adventist; he wanted to be baptized just once. Hence I baptized not one but 2 candidates. Praise the Lord!

It was absolutely a jubilant time for us as we rejoiced as the men entered the watery grave of baptism and arose as new men ready to serve the Lord. We voted our two baptized members into fellowship and furnished them with their baptismal certificates. They were very happy as they took their stance for Jesus. I will follow them up with periodical visits, continue to encourage them to attend our worship services on the 2nd and 3rd Sabbaths, and ensure they are still enrolled in Bible correspondence.

It was surely a high day for us and we hope that this will be just  the tip of the iceberg, setting the stage for other baptisms to occur throughout the system.  Please continue to pray for our new Brothers-in-Christ and for MAPM as we forge ahead in Jesus’ name.