As we enter the last week of the semester, the HWPEP students at Muskegon Correctional Facility are hard at work writing end-of-term papers and preparing for their final exam in Professor David Stubbs’ Faith Seeking Understanding course. A COVID outbreak in the students’ living unit forced us to deliver the course in a distanced manner for six weeks. Two weeks ago we were able to go back into the facility to work with the students in a face-to-face manner. And being in the classroom with the men, talking with them, discussing their schoolwork, and listening to the ways they are processing their college experience is a gift for us.

A gift for us? But isn’t it our professors and teaching assistants who are doing something for these men? During this Advent season, perhaps we should consider how “being with” is often a greater service than “doing for.” As we prepare for the Incarnation at Christmas let’s consider how visiting the prisoner is good for us too.

You make it possible for Hope and WTS to “be with” our HWPEP students. You make it possible for Hope and WTS to be a faithful presence in their lives. Thank you.

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