An old fable tells of a man walking alone through the desert when suddenly he heard a voice say, "Fill your pockets with pebbles and tomorrow you will be both glad and sad."

Curiously the man began to pick up pebbles and put them into his pockets. As soon as he awoke the next morning, the man reached into his pockets to find the pebbles had turned into diamonds, rubies and emeralds. Just as he had been told, the man was both glad and sad. He was glad for the jewels he now had but sad that he had not collected more pebbles.

As believers we are to gather souls for the Kingdom of God. Every soul is of great importance; for each one is precious in the sight of God. Though we may see lost souls as pebbles, God sees them as precious jewels.

It is true! Those of us working in jail ministry really do believe every soul is precious to God. Our hearts beat to pick up every pebble we can possibly reach.

Since we began in early spring of 2001 we have been able to minister to literally thousands of inmates in the Wapello County Jail. Many seeds have been planted and many lives are growing in God, including our own Pastor Richard Schlotter! They and their families are being discipled in the Wednesday night "Once Lost Now Found" group, other classes, and our Children's Ministries.

We want to thank all of you who have supported us with your prayers and finances, especially those who have so generously supplied our need for Bibles. We have been able to freely give new copies of the "Free On the Inside Bible" to each new person in the jail. This book includes testimonies written by other prisoners who have found their freedom in Jesus Christ as well as great study helps and an explanation of the plan of salvation. We welcome helpers! Just being a pen pal or furnishing rides to church could be a wonderful blessing.

"23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23 -- King James Version (KJV)

The Glad & Sad Jail Ministry is coordinated by Pastor Linda Fears.  She can be reached at  You may also contact this ministry through the church office.