Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Prison Sights

There's nothing so hard as trying to write a blog post without having a picture to share -- especially when I am so accustomed to having Bethany's great shots to work with.

But for this post there are no pictures. Not because we didn't want to. No. There are so many visual details dancing in my head that I'd like to share with you, but because of prison regulations, we are unable to capture them on film.

The forboding razor wire and fencing. The official guards standing on duty. The x-ray machines with all our equipment running through. The metal detectors.

We walked through the quiet courtyard with blooming flowers that somehow look out of place -- the cheery with the desolate. The beautiful chapel with its high ceilings and marble floors. The chaplain tells us this prison used to be an old Catholic seminary, thus the majestic surroundings.

But most of all, I wish you could see the faces. The eyes. They all walked in single file and were assigned their seats. Four to a row down both sides. All dressed alike wearing olive green. But all different at the same time -- with various backgrounds, hurts, needs, joys and fears. Each one a soul loved by the heart of God.

Sometimes I've wondered what it would be like to see Jesus standing, as it says, "moved with compassion" (Mt 9:26). He wouldn't see a mass of men dressed alike -- but instead, different individuals with the same need.

What a blessing it was to share with them yesterday evening! Though at first several looked sceptical, by half-way into the service they were glued. Everyone watching and on the edge of their seats. All sixty-five of them.

After an hour of music, Dad got out his Bible and started sharing Scriptures. And as the Gospel message was presented there was a hush on the room and 13 men responded. We have been in many services -- even prison services, but rarely have we sensed the power of prayer as we did in those moments. We knew many of you were praying, and it brought such rejoicing!!!

We have been told that this prison has a very strong discipleship program in place with many volenteers coming in to spend one-on-one time with the inmates in Bible study and prayer. And as the chaplian said he'd keep in touch, we look forward to hearing how ministry continues among the inmates.

Again, thank you, THANK YOU, for your prayers. Truely He is able to "do exceedingly abundantly above what we ask or think"! (Eph. 3:20)


BrittLeigh said...

Rachel, that was so well-written, I felt like I was there. What a wonderful opportunity that was. I was praying for you as you ministered there. I'm so grateful to read the report and the work God did in those lives. Thanks for sharing this visual picture. God bless you!

Kourtney Pyle said...

I'm praying for your family. God bless you as you spread The Word.
Kourtney Pyle
Psalms 8:1

Monica said...

Your story gave me goosebumbs. I could see the men sitting there listening to you all. Praise the Lord for the men that responded. They will be in my prayers.

Caleb said...

Rejoicing with you...May God continue to bless your ministry.

Anonymous said...

Praise be to the name of Jesus! What and awesome God we serve! Aren't His works wonderful to behold?!

We will continue to pray for y'all, as well as those at the prison. Trusting His faithful hand to be poured out afresh on you!

With love, and hugs,
??? ???? ??????:)

Praise Him in His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Ps.150:2

Anonymous said...

This past year, I sang with a group that went to a nearby prison. I was so blessed by doing it. I would definitely do it again. I am so happy that your family is able to do that. That you guys are able to impact other people's lives like that.


cori said...

that's so amazing! And so awesome!