Prison Ministry

Those behind fences and razor wire… they are included in the Great Commission – Mt 28:18-20     (public domain pic)

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us while we were involved with prison ministry this winter. This year the two outreaches in Alabama and South Carolina were back-to-back weeks and there were many answers to prayer. We never tire of seeing God work!

We are thankful to God privilege to be involved and to be able to serve Him together as a family

Week one was in Alabama with WeCare’s ReNew Hope outreach. One especially memorable moment was at a certain facility we sang “Chain Breaker”…and we have found that in a lot of prisons it’s very common for inmates to already know that song and sing it with us…but here it was different. They sang it with all their heart. Although this wasn’t planned, the evangelist that night came up at the end of the song and right then shared the gospel and gave an invitation to respond. God was working as men left their chairs to talk and pray with the ministry volunteers. And as that was going on, we sang the song again, all together. It’s true—we have all experienced chains at some level…but Jesus can break those.

so many people come to serve during ReNew Hope

After Alabama we skipped over to North Carolina for a couple nights.

and enjoyed much laughter with friends

Week two was in South Carolina with Gospel Express.

preparation for the week ahead

The first night of the outreach we were in such a tiny room…with fifteen inmates showing up it was a pretty full house. But it was a wonderful evening. That night one of the men decided to accept Jesus as his Savior. Apparently it was surprising that he had even decided to come, but when he left he poked his head back in the room and said something like, “I found real peace tonight!”

regrouping time of worship and sharing

On the last day, after the service the ministry volunteers were called to the front of the chapel, and one of the inmates prayed over all of us. The church behind the fences has really been an encouragement to us over the years. They love the Lord and are not ashamed. But being a follower of Jesus in prison is not easy, so pray for our brothers and sisters. They are the ones who are in the prisons day and night with the chance to share the message of true freedom. Pray for them to be strong.

“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 NKJV

Operation Christmas Child

For the last several years we have wanted to volunteer at a Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child shoebox processing center. This December we finally did!

so excited to be here!

getting started with our wonderful coach

It was so exciting to dig in and start processing! As the boxes came through the assembly line, some of the jobs were…

sorting…

taping…

putting shoeboxes into cartons…

scanning and heavy lifting.

we had the right amount of people to fill a station

Another splash of fun was added to the mix when we ran into a couple of different people we knew…the most unexpected one being the director of the camp we go to in Iowa!Thousands and thousands of shoeboxes are processed here in one day.And if you think about all those “one days” that are added up, from eight different processing centers in the US, that is a lot of people that will be impacted with the gospel if each box only reaches one person. But in many if not most cases, each box affects more than just the one who received it.

shoeboxes were prayed over a number of times during the day

There was also a prayer wall, full of pictures of children for volunteers to write prayers on the back of.This was the last year of having a processing center in Minnesota before it moves to Chicago.The stories that come from a child hearing about Jesus through a shoebox are amazing. A simple gift like this can be used to bring so many people to Him. Why not plan to pack a shoebox or two for next Christmas? Find out more info here.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:13-15 NKJV