Category Archives: prison ministry

Prison Ministry 2020

A report from our prison ministry opportunities earlier this year!

In Alabama, two of the prisons we went to were ones we’d never been to before. For one of those, we were paired up with the same evangelist we went with into our very first prison ever (which was a women’s prison).  For the other, we went in with the evangelist who had gone with us into our very first men’s prison.  It brought back sweet memories from the past.  This year we also got to go back to a women’s prison and a women’s home we’ve been to in the past.

It’s always encouraging to see how God is working every night during the services, whether that is shown by tears, smiles, people joyfully singing along, or responding to an invitation. No two nights are the same.

lunch outdoors in January…we can’t do this at home!

Something that is always neat to experience is when inmates gather together with us and the other volunteers to pray before the service. What a testimony of the power of Jesus Christ…He changes people’s lives!  Wish we could show you pictures, but cameras are not allowed.

volunteers gathering for worship, prep and prayer

One day in SC we girls were able to go into a women’s prison earlier in the day with the other volunteers to play volleyball with the inmates. It was the first time we had done anything like this and it was neat to be able to meet and interact with some of the women before the service that evening. We were going to have to go back to the gate when the rest of our family arrived, and by that time it had begun to rain…hard. It was pouring and blowing so intensely while we were unloading the van that one gust of wind blew enough rain into our clothes to be able to wring them out. Normally, protocol at prison is to calmly unload, but under these circumstances we were scrambling, getting everything inside as quickly as possible to save it from the torrents.  (It’s one of those things we found amusing later.) The prison staff were so helpful and gracious, and although they didn’t know if we would be able to hold the service that night due to the severe weather, they gave us a room to wait in. And we prayed. After a while, the rain let up enough for us to make the move to the gym, and the service was able to happen. Many women responded to the message from God’s Word that night. We are so thankful the rain was only a delay!

what was left of our umbrella

After we were finished in South Carolina, we were heading to Mississippi and went out for dinner on our way back through Alabama. We got to talking with the waitress and told her what we had been doing the past couple of weeks, and she couldn’t believe it…she had once been in prison herself, but she had come to know Jesus and is working on starting a ministry for women. Needless to say, we were all encouraged by “running into” each other!

Praise God for all that He is accomplishing inside and outside prison fences.

So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.

1 Corinthians 3:7 NKJV

November-December Blessings

We experienced many blessings as we drew near the end of 2019.  Here are several of them:

Blessing #1: Thanksgiving with family in Tennessee…

and there were more of us during the week, before we took this picture

We are grateful for each time we get to see family, since they all live so far away! There was lots of laughter and fun…and food.

Blessing #2: After that we spent a few days in North Carolina. Dad did some work on a Without Reservation project and we got to spend time with some dear family in the Lord.

…and since we were relatively close to the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters, we made a day of going there to process Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and some of also us took a tour.

one shoebox gift equals at least one gospel opportunity

every step of processing is important!

Blessing #3: Prison ministry in north Florida! This is something we so appreciate being a part of.  People from all over come to reach out with the love of Christ to those behind the fences.The times of volunteers coming together for corporate worship and testimonies of God’s working during the week are amazing. People share stories that only God can orchestrate!

At one prison, which we have been to twice before but not in two years, a man remembered us and told Dad that he prays for us. That is amazing. And it really blessed us. There are so many people in prison who are not the same person they used to be…you can see it on their faces. Jesus has changed their lives.

Thank you for all your prayers!

And, after being in some nice weather in Florida, we had to quickly transition to some bitter winter winds as we got closer to home. But we usually adjust quickly and we always love our winter wonderland!

The last couple months have been extremely busy…updates are coming!

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5 NKJV

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