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accommodations has allowed Thomas to
cross paths with inmates and minister to them.
Apart from regular meetings with inmates,
such as pre-COVID weekly Bible studies in
her office, much of Thomas' time is " inmatedriven, "
she said. She is available for biblical
counseling, finding resources and handling
any problems that might come up. In all this,
she approaches counseling from a biblical
perspective with the gospel as the most
important point for forgiveness and healing.
People know Thomas will speak from a
Christian perspective and are willing to hear
from her because they need help and know
her office is a safe place. Thomas has walked
alongside four Muslim women who have
placed their faith in Christ, and many women
through the years have given their lives to
Jesus after hearing the truth of the gospel.
" York County Prison is the largest immigration
holding facility on the East Coast, " Thomas
said. " We've had 142 different nations at the
prison at the same time. I have 85 different
languages of Bibles in my office and 11
different languages of Daily Breads. The
mission field has come to us. "
Thomas is a missionary with Good News Jail
& Prison Ministry, which is 100% supported
by churches, businesses and individuals. And
even though prison ministry wasn't part of
Thomas' original plan, being a chaplain has
changed her life.
" The gravity of those who are lost and in the
dark has become a burden on my heart, "
she said. She also stresses how important
her time at LBC | Capital was in helping her
prepare for this ministry. Earning her degree
at LBC | Capital gave her the opportunity to be
poured into for three years, which has further
helped her love those who are hurting.
Even at the end of a tough day, Thomas
loves her job and says her work at the prison
doesn't feel like work at all.
" I always feel very humbled and honored that
I'm allowed to go somewhere where people
are hurting and confused and give them
the truth without wavering, " she said. " I get a
front-row seat in my office on a regular basis
to see how God is changing lives. "
Nick Songster ('22) gets to witness some of
that life change as well. The Pastoral Ministry
major has been volunteering with prison
ministry since being introduced to Push
The Rock, a sports ministry that goes into
state prisons to play basketball with inmates.
During halftime, volunteers share the gospel
and their personal testimony. Post-game
conversations help build the relationship
Songster began volunteering during his senior
year of high school and has loved it ever
since. Until COVID-19 limited interactions, he
had visited prisons weekly to play basketball
and minister to the inmates in many
prisons around Pennsylvania-such as State
Correctional Institutes Camp Hill, Phoenix,
Mahanoy, Frackville, Dallas, Retreat, Rockview,
Waymart, Benner Township, Coal Township
and Graterford, which closed in 2018-as well
as Federal Correctional Institute Fairton in
New Jersey. Today, Nick remains in contact
with friends at these prisons even though
visitation opportunities have stopped during
the pandemic.
Songster never felt uncomfortable going into
the prisons and was even able to relate to
the men and what they were going through.
" I grew up in a household where family and
friends were in and out of jail a lot and in the
system, " he explained. " That world was always
very familiar to me. The realities of drugs,
crime-that culture was something I grew
up around. It was almost natural for me to
interact with the guys in there. "
Prison ministry is important to Songster
because he knows the struggles inmates
face but also because of the way prisons are
generally viewed by those on the outside. " In
American culture, prisons are looked down
upon. People in prison are forgotten and
pushed to the side, especially in the Church, "
he said. " People are very unwilling to engage
with the idea of prison ministry. "
Songster emphasizes the blessings of
serving in prison ministry that are
often missed by those who feel
too uncomfortable to give it a
try. " Through my experience,
I've been so blessed to meet
incredible people that are
really just like you and
me-in need of the
gospel. "
God has given
Songster a
passion to be
used by Him to
provide light
and hope
in a dark
He has encountered faithful believers who
influence his faith, as well as those in need of
the gospel who provide opportunities for him
to have meaningful conversations where he
is able to share his faith and answer people's
tough questions.
Songster considers it a joy to be used by God
to be there for the inmates, even when he
suffers along with them in their struggles. And
he hopes people will see those in prison as
people created in the image of God.
" We are all just one mistake away from
finding ourselves on the other side of those
bars, " Songster said. " If we're able to view
these men and women as meaningful beings
created in the image of God, then we're able
to break down some barriers and begin the
process of relating to one another and really
loving one another. "
(To learn more about LBC | Capital's Pastoral
Ministry major, visit

Echo Spring 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Echo Spring 2021

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