Thank you for reading about what God is doing. We've received several inquiries about how the ministry has been affected by national unrest. In response, we are posting answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ).
If you have questions that are not answered, please post them in the comments or send an email to email@example.com.
Q: Do you still want to continue in the midst of racial tensions?
A: Yes. Continuing the work of the chaplaincy is a response to call. Until prayer and discernment lead us in a different direction, we will continue to knock on the doors of the police station in Jesus' name.
Q: What are officers saying?
A: Conversations with officers have included a version of the same thought, "I've never seen anything like this in my law enforcement (LE) career." National and regional demands on officers are described as "unprecedented". Ferguson and Los Angeles are referenced as moments of increased tension but many officers are saying, "This is different."
Q: What is it like for you to watch the protests as an African American male?
A: Our work grew out of a fear of the police. We chose to respond to racial fear with faith that the Gospel would bring about change. I am also hopeful that protests, demands and community organizing bring change. Invitations from community groups for panel discussions and interviews have increased. Conversations on race, with black and white colleagues, have increased. In this season, I want to be the best spiritually healthy, vision-driven and fully funded African-American male I can be. I am committed to using the Gospel to serve cops and the community at the intersection of faith and public health.
Q: Can you give an update on your fundraising progress?
As of July 2, 82% of the support goal has been received. We are trusting God while gathering the remaining $14,400 by July 28 to reach 100% for the year.
Q: What are you learning in outreach to first responders?
A: Some officers are taking deep looks within themselves to assess needed change. Others ask not to be judged on the actions on a few. Whatever was going on before George Floyd's death seems to be accelerating. If a LE couple was reconciling, trouble at work has brought them together more quickly. If an officer was feeling isolated or depressed, symptoms have intensified. If there were frustrations, or satisfactions, with the department, they've intensified.
Q: In light of national unrest, how has your ministry changed?
A: We were doing three visits to the station per week. Since May 25, we have been doing six visits per week. Confessions, lamentations, complaints, vindications and life stories are surfacing more readily. A listening ear, and open ended questions, leave space for cops to process. They're saying things they don't get a chance to ever say. Praying silently, while they process difficulties, is a recent change. Being quiet, and non-anxious, is a helpful skill I need to continue developing. Scheduling events too closely to station visits has declined because conversations take unexpected turns. Investing time, food and attention have taken me to coffee pot / water cooler conversations previously unknown / unavailable. Being present, rather than trying to "do something" is helping to guide ministry efforts.
Q: How can we pray for you?
Please pray for mental health of the chaplain corps, resilience for road officers, safety in neighborhoods and endurance for community groups demanding change.