Saturday, February 02, 2008

With Him

This morning I was struck by a verse we read in family devotions --

"And when they had come to Jerusalem...they reported all things that God had done with them." Acts 15:4

Not what He had done for them, but with them. Walking in a relationship together. What a glorious thing it is to labor for the Gospel of Christ -- knowing it is His Spirit that gives the empowering and blessing to our empty vessels. He walks with us.

Such is the testimony of our week sharing in the prisons with We Care. We saw so many precious answers to prayer --most especially when we felt empty and inadequate.

The first two nights we were able to take all the children in with us, excepting Charissa. Especially at the women's prison the younger children seemed to have a big impact. The inmates were very attentive and hungry for the love of Christ and we had a few responses to the salvation message each night.

Then Wednesday came and we were told only those 18 and older could enter the prison. This stretches us tremendously as we greatly rely on Matthias and Stephen for most of our songs.

That afternoon the ministry leader decided to appeal the decision to the warden. Would he perhaps let a 14 and 16 year old join our team? As we arrived and started to set up the equipment, we still hadn't heard the verdict. The boys were dressed and ready to go sitting in the bus. Waiting...praying!

Only ten minutes before our service was to begin, the visitation doors opened and our guys walked into the room! You can imagine our claps and cheers. [smile] But we weren't the only ones rejoicing that night -- less than two hours later, the angels were singing in heaven as a couple more men came forward to surrender their lives to Christ. The Lord was truly with us!

Then came the final night -- and greatest challenge. Only those over 18 were welcomed and we felt very inadequate to the task. We had a short time beforehand to practice adjusting the instrumentation and vocals to our new 'group'. Finally we decided we'd better just stop and pray!!! Honestly, it's moments like that when we gratefully remember so many of you who support us with your prayers. It's really not about us, anyway!

And we shouldn't be surprised when God's strength is more than adequate for our weaknesses! The Spirit of the Lord filled the room in such a sweet way -- and though we noticed a few missing notes in the music, His grace overshadowed. At the invitation around nine men came forward to make first-time commitments to Christ and over a dozen re-committed their lives to Him.

We walked away from the prison bars that evening rejoicing that HE was indeed with us. That He chose to use us. And that He again gave us a tiny glimpse of His AMAZING GRACE!

Note: Photos taken during last night's concert in Boaz, Alabama. Prisons do not allow photos....nor do they have such nice facilities!


Melanie said...

Wow! What a wonderful testimony to the loving goodness of our Savior! Praise His name!

Thinking about you all there and wishing we were there too!

Love you lots!

~Tori~ said...

What amazing stories! It's wonderful to hear how the Lord is using you in these prisons - and the stories of prisoners coming to know the Lord - how incredible!! How amazing God's grace is! Thank you for this encouraging update!

Sara N. Smith said...

Praising the Lord with you all! What a magnificent report!

sofia said...

Praise the Lord. Keep up the good work for Him. We are praying for you

Anonymous said...

Praise the Lord! I know several people in prison, and pray that the Lord would send someone like y'all to share the gospel with them. It's so wonderful to hear about new salvations! God is good!

rehm family said...

Praise be to our matchless Savior! Truly He does exceeding, abundantly above ALL that we ask or think! We rejoice with you in the Lord's lovingkindness. Praying for you all! :) We miss you lots!

Love to all,
The Rehm's

..."Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to Him for righteousness." Rom.4:3

Stephanie said...

Praise God! I got shivers as I read your post. God works in ways and amounts we can never expect. Praising God with you

Follow In His Steps said...

Thank you for sharing, Rachel! What an answer to prayer.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the update! You are definitely in our prayers!
JConner Psalms 71:16

Anonymous said...

Praise the Lord!
May He also continue to bless you for your obedience to Him. I pray God's continued blessing on your family. ~DB : )

A child of the King said...

We thank God with you for what He has done! We rejoice with you that He chose to speak through you! We pray with you that our Lord would be glorified and lifted up as you sing and speak! John 14:16-17 He is truly with you.

DUSTYNNE said...

What a blessing! Thanks for sharing!