Annual Chaplains’ Report 2017 San Antonio

TEXAS STATE COMMITTEE CHAPLAINS’ REPORT FOR ON OCTOBER 7, 2017

 

Bexar County Juvenile Detention Center: Mark Posson visited the center 8 times where I conducted 8 Bible classes to 22 youngsters and gave away 2 Bibles and 1 copy of Science and Health.

Applewhite Treatment Center: I visited the center 42 times where I conducted 38 Bible classes to 165 attendees and gave away 20 Bibles and 15 copies of Science and Health, The following is one of the highlights of the past year: ”I am writing this to share what I have learned about forgiveness and how it has profoundly changed my life. At age 8 I got involved with drugs and at 19 I became a father to my first child.  Although I loved my daughter and her mother I was not a perfect father and was often abusive toward both fueled by alcohol and drugs. The mother left me when the girl was 6 months and after 10 years of drugs and alcohol I got $20,000 behind in child support. I was arrested in 2016 on a drug charge and while in jail found out that my first love in high school had been murdered by a friend of mine who had stabbed her to death in front of her 2 sons while pregnant with another son. I was consumed with rage and wanted to kill him myself. I finally concluded that killing him would not bring my loved one back and would hurt those who loved me and depended on me. I tried to understand what had caused him to kill her and recalled my rage and fights with my mother. I prayed many days and nights and thought how Christ asked God to forgive those who were crucifying him and began considering forgiving him and realized I was only hurting myself by holding on to those ill feelings. I wrote him a letter forgiving him which I never sent but which comforted me. At this point I received a summons to court exactly 1 year after the murder of my first love for the 10 years of child support I owed. I prayed to God to help me get a job so I could “man up” and pay the $20,000 I owed which would take me 15 years. I saw my child’s mother just before the court and told her of my addiction and how I planned to start paying as soon as I got out and got a job.  Waiting in court I was later approached by the Attorney General who told me the mother had forgiven me the $20,000 and had faith I would stay on the road to recovery saying “that’s what we’re here for” and “to help someone else out”.  I never dreamed of this outcome and realized that just as it was God who put it in my heart to forgive the man who had murdered my first love, I was forgiven.

Wounded Warrior Section of the Laurel Ridge Treatment Center: I visited the center 40 times where I conducted 38 Bible classes to 59 attendees and gave away 4 Bibles.

University Hospital Center Festival of Faith on June 29th: My wife, Sandy, and I represented Third Church at this event where we explained and answered questions about Christian Science for 40 hospital staff and Army chaplains and gave away 13 copies of Science and Health.  Other religions represented were Jehovah’s Witnesses, American Humanism—good without God, Roman Catholic, American Orthodoxy, Church of the Latter Day Saints, Muslim, Mandaean, and Judaism. We explained Christian Science as primitive Christianity with its lost element of healing founded by Mary Baker Eddy where sin and disease were healed by the understanding of God much like math problems are healed by the understanding of mathematics. We also explained Christian Science provides for resort to other temporary methods when healing is not achieved. While most of those we spoke with had never heard of Christian Science, all were interested with one woman asking for prayers for her husband who was ill. We left exhausted but happy at the end of the day talking non-stop for 4 1/2 hours about the subject we love most.

 

Hal Shrewsbury   

 

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