mrs. paulette invited anna katherine and i to join her for a bible study at DJJ. this is a monthly ministry that has been taking place for years within our church. 

we were asked to bring snacks. other than cookies and soda, we had no idea what to expect. 45 minute, paperwork, car search... our first thoughts were how sobering it feels to drive though layers of gates and razor wire only to be greeted by girls that looked way too young to be in prison.

the bible study (which was actually an acteen lesson) was held in the "family room." there were sofas, a table and chairs. we brought candy corn and frosted cookies. mrs. paulette scattered coloring pens and pre stamped postcards on the table. it felt like a regular acteen meeting at fbc. as the girls  filled  the room, their loud talking again felt like acteens at fbc... except three guards accompanied them and there was not a lot of smiling.

anna kathereine took a seat, scooped up coloring pens and participated like she was "just another acteen." the lesson was on fear. i imagined their fears compared to my daughter's.  just that morning, mary claire had been scared to death that she would fail her history test.

 the eight girls told us their names and ages. 14-17. part of the lesson was taking turns sharing things that make us afraid. we learned that several of these children had children. their answers provided more understanding.

the question, "so whatcha in for?" is not allowed.  the chaplain told us that even if we could ask, the answers would most likely not be the truth about what landed them in a prison for children. 

anna katherine and i filled out of volunteer paperwork and signed up for the training. we look forward to coming back next month. we left that night, thankful for people like mrs. paulette. thankful to our gracious God who is there to guide and bless her efforts and all of the volunteers in reaching out to these young souls.

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