Thursday, June 7, 2018

Jed, Jer, and Jason Do Prison Ministry

For those wondering what the unmarried Duggar adults have been doing, we have an update to share. Last week, Jedidiah Duggar (19), Jeremiah Duggar (19), and Jason Duggar (18) took part in prison ministry, alongside several other men. They partnered with the staff from Journey to the Heart.

If you are a longtime reader of the blog, you have probably heard us mention Journey to the Heart. It is a spiritual retreat, initially created for young people but now available for older adults, in which many of the Duggar kids have participated. The goal is to focus, for several days, on the Lord and to discover his Love in a deeper way.

Jedidiah Duggar with Josiah Duggar and Jim Bob Duggar
Jedidiah Duggar (right) with Josiah Duggar and Jim Bob Duggar

Jeremiah Duggar 
Jeremiah Duggar

Jason Duggar
Jason Duggar

Photos courtesy duggarfamily.com

60 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for posting about these young adult men. So nice to get an update on something that they are doing. The Duggar kids are getting so grown up!

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  2. It's hard to believe how old these guys are getting! If the twins are on the same path as their oldest brother, then they will be getting married in about a year from now. Josh was 20 1/2 when he got married, and they will be 20 1/2 next June!

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    1. Or they could be on the same path as their 2nd oldest brother (and HIS twin sister) and not marry for many more years, or ever. As last I checked the Duggars don't actually practice arranged marriage. There's no guarantee Jed and Jer will marry at a certain age.

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  3. I'm glad they visited the prison. I gather the photos weren't taken while they were there.

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    1. No, they wouldn't be allowed to take in possessions. My husband worked in a prison for a few years as a Psychologist long ago and he wasn't allowed to take in his lunch or phone. It was a pretty intense job

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    2. Some of these are from their trip to Australia?

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    3. Nope, these are the picks from Australia

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  4. Is their prison ministry just one time in connection with Journey, or are they training to do it on a regular basis, to offer on-going ministry, follow up, and continuity?

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    1. I hope that it is ongoing. The prisoners need the gospel the most.

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    2. It sounded like they attended some sort of conference and the prison visit was part of the conference. Perhaps the visit will inspire them to become involved in a regular ministry.

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    3. What can a 18 year old really tell a criminal?

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    4. Here we go again. No good deed goes unpunished.

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    5. I've worked in a jail. What you can share is your Gospel and JUST SHOWING UP..most are not hardened criminals, most have had horrific childhoods, and it's therefore no surprise they find "adulting" difficult-no one taught them how to be a grownup. Just a human being showing up to say, hey, here is a better way, or hey, your God has not forgotten you and He doesn't hate you---means the world to most of these prisoners. Try volunteering, and you will see what I mean!

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    6. Very good point, 4:44.

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  5. Talk about a captive audience.

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  6. Hi Ellie, would you please explain a little bit more about Journey to the Heart. I thought it was a residential program. I remembering reading about how Jana attended Journey to the Heart and was a group leader. It seemed like such a great experience for her. When Jinger did prison ministry was it also associated with the Journey to the Heart ministry?

    Thanks for the update on the Jed, Jer, and Jason.

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    1. Look it up on the ILBP website. It's one of their programs.

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  7. In the top picture I'm pretty sure the one in the red shirt is Josiah...

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  8. Wow! Good for them! My husband worked in a prison for a few years. He's a Psychologist and he heard many a sad story while counseling with the inmates. They had a prison chaplain come every now and then. It was a high maximum security prison because many of the inmates were there to hopefully be rehabilitated.

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  9. MAY THE LORD BLESS , THESE YOUNG MEN . THERE PARENTS MUST BE PROUD OF THEM , JIM BOB AND MICHELLE DONE SUCH A GOOD JOB RAISE ALL OF ,THERE CHILDREN

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  10. I think a prison ministry is a good thing. Will the Duggars be continuing with it or is this a "one and done" for them?

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  11. Good to hear this!

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  12. I’m not a troll or hater, but I sincerely wonder what these young men could possibly do to “minister” to prison inmates.

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    1. It's a good question! There are some who request a chaplain for prayer or have a Bible study. My husband worked in a prison and witnessed many inmates respond well to ministry. They have a lot of time to think about what they've done and many want to repent.

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    2. I thought the same thing!

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    3. They could sing or answer bible questions.. encourage and just talk..

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    4. Usually a prison ministry means you go to a prison and share Christ with the inmates. I'm not sure that going there once is exactly a ministry though

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    5. It is a good ministry. It gives the inmates something to think about. Many of them request prayer

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  13. 3:02, clever, but not really funny. Prison is a horrible place and you are making light of it.

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  14. God bless for going into the prison and being with/sharing the love of Christ with the men. My husband and I both are a part of Keryx Prison Ministry here in Michigan and it's an amazing ministry. I can honestly say that there is nothing better than seeing hearts changed during the 3 1/2 day week-end. Blessings to you all. Mary

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    1. That is great! My husband worked at a prison in Mich as a Psychologist.

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    2. Where I live, our local Prison Ministry utilize a program called Kairos, a 3-day short-course in Christianity (http://www.kairosprisonministry.org/kairos-inside-prison-ministry.php) . The inmates who've accepted Jesus are discipled, trained, and mentored by committed teams of volunteers going "in" each week. The inmates actually lead their services from worship to an altar call, with the team more overseeing and supporting (sort of acting in the Deacon/Elder role). It's really no longer the volunteers leading men and women to Christ, it's the inmates themselves. They're living it day to day, witnessing and winning their fellow prisoners themselves. The Prison Ministry belongs to a worldwide prison ministry outreach-COPE (Coalition of Prison Evangelists http://www.copeconnections.org/). Both are tremendous programs with measurable success rates.

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    3. Anon 8:31. That sounds like a great program. Do you have information on how it affects inmates after they're released from prison and re-enter society? Does it decrease recidivism?

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    4. KAIROS is a really good program.

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    5. Anonymous @2:08- If you visit their websites (in my post at 8:31), you can see Kairos recidivism rates with their program. Many of the preceding posters above know whereof they speak-ironically many inmates are more open and receptive to the Gospel than "free" people "on the outside". Some prison ministries also have concurrent ministry outreaches to spouses/significant others and children of inmates ("Breaking the Chains", so to speak, in an effort to stop the dysfunction before it gets passed to the next generation). There are even special publishers that produce little booklets for the children of inmates to help them deal with a parent being in jail-the children carry shame, embarrassment, fear, anxiety, and often anger (at the missing parent/the system for taking their parent away).

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  15. Although this is good news - they are nice young men - I just wish they could get 9 - 5 jobs with bosses other than their father.
    The Duggar children never got to watch "typical" (for lack of a better definition) work day jobs which I think will do them good.
    Be accountable for being at a certain place at a certain time for a period of time. NO "late" Duggar time zone.
    My opinion - I know I will get feed back. . . . just think
    about a steady pay check and the good of that.

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    1. I don't know if this qualifies as "feedback" but I agree with you. If the video with Josiah was any example, they seemed to spend most of their time riding around in a truck with their siblings and occasionally doing some yard work.

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    2. My son works from home via telecommuting. A job is a job, work is work. All of it is valid. I am sure it would be fascinating to watch someone work all day. I believe they all have jobs. Maybe their employers do not want their workplaces filmed, ever think of that?

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    3. This gives them good experience. They may decide to work as a chaplain in a prison or do other work in a similar field

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    4. Not sure about other areas, but in my area most (if not all) prison chaplains are strictly volunteers and the inmate must request in writing to see a chaplain. The chaplains fill out a huge application (I believe it's 40 pages, complete with numerous personal references, background checks, etc.). Once approved, they go on a list, then the inmate may request to see one. The visit may be revoked for behavioral issues or if the prison goes on lock down for any reason (no one goes in or out-if you're visiting, you're stuck).

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    5. I would love for them to experience putting together a resume (not that they have much to put on one), hunting for and applying for jobs, interviewing, and then learn to work with a variety of people, despite different perspectives. That's real life! It's challenging and scary sometimes, but the resulting growth is worth it.

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  16. I have volunteered in a prison, with a group that was allowed in to share and teach a hobby. I stopped going when I became disillusioned with what our group was doing. I really had to question if we were helping or enabling more deceit and manipulative behaviors in the inmates.

    What I saw were inmates who only wanted contact with the outside world and used it as an opportunity for themselves, without getting any actual help from the program. It wouldn't have mattered if we were there to teach brain surgery or ant farming. There really was no appreciation of what exactly we were presenting. It was "an hour out of the cell" for them. There was constantly the undertow of a group of people who were skilled in playing the prison system game, and our group was another pawn in their game.

    So while the Duggars may think they're doing something wonderful, I hope they're not fooling themselves by thinking that they're working miracles with their volunteer ministry. They're dealing with a group of people with severe social and personal problems. As another poster mentioned above, maybe these people are better off with professionals helping them, not untrained volunteers who mean well.

    I wanted to mention this, because not a lot of people are familiar with volunteer prison programs and what can happen.

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    1. I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but I'm concerned that you seem to be painting all prison inmates with the same brush, as hopelessly mired in sin with no hope of repentance, so we might as well just wash our hands of them unless we are paid professionals hired by the prison system.

      Others have posted here witnessing to more positive experiences with prison ministry. Were they all fooled by the inmates? Or is it possible that there are some inmates who are not hopelessly depraved? Or that some prison ministries are run better than others?

      Though if your point was just that a "one and done" experience would be unlikely to have any lasting effects on the prisoners, I would agree with that.

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    2. Very well said from a voice with experience. Thank you.

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    3. Anonymous @9:58- Having worked with a Prison Ministry, I can relate to your post. Just like "on the outside", prisons also have "takers". Yes, some of the inmates attending services or participating in Bible Studies "inside" are there because it is time out of their cell, they have nothing else/better to do (it's a diversion from their boring routine prison life), they get to interact with someone else, or they're looking/hoping to use the time to try to secretly meet other inmates to exchange information/contraband. It's a microcosm of the larger society-people on the take. There's a few in every crowd, inside or out. It can be disillusioning to people new to working in prison ministry. It's not all sweetness and light, saving souls. It's really good to work with an accredited, long-term, well-established prison ministry with seasoned chaplains and experienced volunteers. It's been my experience that they can usually tell pretty quickly who's on the make and have no problem calling someone out.

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  17. God Bless you for your prison ministry.
    Joan,Marion and Marilyn

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  18. Awful young to council inmates. Hope they were taken seriously despite their youth.

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    1. It is pretty intense!

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    2. I would think they are not counciling....
      Maybe music program with a larger group...etc.

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  19. Awful young to council inmates. Hope they were taken seriously despite their youth.

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  20. Gladys and Fergus BubkatowskiJune 9, 2018 at 12:34 AM

    Wonderful to see. Blessings

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  21. May God use you in mighty ways as you keep your eyes on Him as He takes you into dark places. Keep your eyes on Him and let Him bear much fruit. Thank you for letting Him lead you. Shine bright for a watching world! My prayers are with you

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  22. I've worked in a jail. Inmates are glad to see anyone from the outside-and they don't care about your age. I haven't lived the exact lives my inmates lived, and yet I could still talk to them. We communicate with people every day who grew up differently from us, are we not allowed to speak to others, now? Nonsense. If you want to know about counseling inmates or even just talking to them, there are many prison ministries you can volunteer for. I encourage you to do so.

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    1. May I just add that it's a good idea to check out the prison ministry itself before you commit. Are they a member of a well-known, established, nationally recognized/worldwide prison ministry organization (oversight, accountability, standards, reputation within the prison system, experience, training, equipping, networking, resources)? A well-grounded prison ministry will be plugged in, sharing information, and learning from other network members. They'll also spend a significant amount of time training their volunteers, with experienced mentors who provide ongoing support and teach them how to discern deception and manipulation within the prison population (a necessary skill set). Many people answer the emotional "call" to prison ministry soul-winning, only to burn out quickly from disillusionment because they weren't adequately prepared by the prison ministry itself.

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    2. Thanks to Anon at 1110PM and Anon at 313PM for providing a balanced view of prison ministry. Of course good intentions aren't enough and not every prisoner who participates does so for pure motives.

      But I can think of stories of people who convert to a faith just so they can marry someone of that faith, or to please family members, or for the sake of getting financial assistance, or (understandably but still not a "pure" reason) to avoid persecution.

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  23. Wat kind of birthdaycake is that

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