Fall WIEA Update
The new Freshman class has completed their first term as of October 7. They have done well in their time of transition to Waupun (well over half of the class is from a medium security prison!) and are slowly finding their way around the institution. They all have shared how privileged they feel, knowing they are the men that Trinity has chosen to be part of Cohort #5! Many of the graduates from the class of 2022 have been transferred to medium security prisons around the state. Our Dean of Students, Robin Knoll, has started his second round of visits to the graduates after receiving approval from the Department of Corrections earlier this year.
Two graduates who remain at Waupun (one from the class of 2021, and one from the class of 2022) have recently completed their training as Certified Peer Specialists. As CPS, they are on call 24-hours a day to assist in the care of other men who are experiencing a crisis and need immediate care. This is a relatively new program in the DOC, so it will be interesting to see how it unfolds. Nonetheless, God is continuing to place graduates in positions of influence throughout the prison system.
On September 22 we held our annual WIEA Fall Gala at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center in Brookfield. We had a wonderful evening filled with food and fellowship with many of the WIEA’s generous supporters as we celebrated God’s work being done at Waupun. We heard from a number of key staff both from Trinity and the WIEA who are involved at Waupun, and Keynote Speaker Chip Bernhard delivered a powerful message. We hope you’ll join us in 2023!
Lastly, we have been grieving the loss of our dear friend and Co-Founder of WIEA, Mike Murphy, who went home to be with the Lord on September 11 th following a 14-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Mike loved Jesus and served Him faithfully, not only with us at WIEA but through countless other ministries and organizations throughout his lifetime. Mike was an extraordinary force for the Kingdom in Milwaukee and beyond and we will miss him greatly. In a letter to WIEA supporters announcing Mike’s passing, WIEA President Steve Mayer wrote: “During his last board meeting with us, Mike was able to witness his son Andrew be installed as our newest board member. Andrew is an exceptional young man. His experience and enthusiasm will contribute tremendously as we continue to pursue our mission of Operation Transformation in Wisconsin’s prison.” Please pray for Mike’s wife, Elizabeth, and the entire Murphy family as the journey through this difficult season.
Robin Knoll, Dean of Students, makes regular visits to program graduates who have been relocated to various institutions throughout the state. Our “Alumni Highlight” is meant to showcase the ongoing work and progress of the men post-graduation.
Robin recently made a visit to Redgranite Correctional Institute to check-in on a 2021 Trinity graduate. This graduate is currently working on creating a Gospel Presentation booklet that can be distributed to others he comes in contact with throughout the prison. He shared that he’s nearly done with his first draft, and that his father is assisting with running copies of the booklet. He also shared that he has been able to step into roles of pastoral care in his pod many times and regularly counsels men in areas of faith, family and grief.