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Imagine being arrested on a summer evening wearing only shorts and a t-shirt. Months later, you are released from a county jail one minute after midnight on a cold January morning. You are dressed in the same shorts and t-shirt. You may have no money to buy a meal or pay for bus fare. Release from jail is wonderful but returning to free society weighs heavily on your shoulders.
This scenario is reality for thousands men and women who are released yearly from incarceration in Milwaukee County. But for the last number of months, physical and spiritual help is available through a WELS volunteer ministry called Midnight Ministry.
Midnight Ministry is focused on sharing the Bread of Life with returning citizens as well as meeting some of their basic needs (food, water, and warm clothing) as they are released. Each returning citizen is offered a New Testament, a copy of Meditations, and information about local WELS congregations and WELS support groups for ex-offenders. Sometimes, Midnight Ministry is also able to offer bus tickets to those who need them.
Fortunately, since Midnight Ministry was organized a number of months ago, the Milwaukee County authorities are now releasing inmates at 9 a.m. in downtown Milwaukee, no longer at midnight. But the Midnight Ministry title remains, and a growing number of volunteers are involved on a daily basis (yes, returning citizens are released every day of the year in Milwaukee County).
Midnight Ministry is administered by Wisconsin Lutheran Institutional Ministries (WLIM) which has been conducting institutional ministry for over 110 years in the upper Midwest. WLIM brings the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who are currently or formerly institutionalized and their families.
For more information about Midnight Ministry, please contact Staff Minister Mart Rosewicz at 414-232-6285 or call WLIM at 414-259-4370. You may also learn more on the Midnight Ministry web page.
Thank you for your prayers, interest and support. May God’s blessings rest on this new ministry, the many new mission prospects it is serving and the ex-offenders and their families who are being brought into contact with the saving Gospel. What a joy and privilege to share with them the new born Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!
Learn more about WELS Special Ministry's Prison Ministry program.
Read the story of one inmate who was reached by WELS Prison Ministries.