Ahhhhh! After a final night of marathon driving, the bus has once again pulled up to the familiar property we affectionately dub, "Home". While it's good to unpack and resume our daily responsibilities here, we have also been reflecting on the fruitful and blessed days of this past week.
Many, many thanks to those of you who kept us in prayer as we journeyed. It was a joy to see many of you along our route and we were humbled by those of you who drove great distances to fellowship with us. We are grateful for you -- and the way the Lord uses His people to encourage and uplift one another!
As Bethany once again captured some precious moments (love you, sister!), here is a quick glimpse of our past week --
Any chance to be outdoors, our guys hunt for energetic activities -- especially on these wonderful warm days!
Baby goats -- only hours old!
And finally, we had such a blessed prison service in Wisconsin on Friday afternoon. It was a dreary, rainy day as we walked along the razor wire to the far side of the complex. What a joy it was to reflect on the fact that our Hope and Joy isn't dependent on outward circumstances.
We had about 80 men in attendance and they were all in rapt attention during the whole service. Once again, we were only able to enter with those 18 and older, so we were praying through each song and adapting instruments and vocals accordingly. Flexibility, flexibility, flexibility! [smile]
I know many of you have read our testimonies of prison visits multiple times -- and have often heard how we walk away from the guard house with 'singing and dancing'. As we see the Lord answer so many prayers, our hearts are filled with rejoicing. Usually the angels are singing with us as men surrender their lives to Jesus for the first time. As I write this, I don't intend to be redundant... but each visit to a correctional facility is such a faith-builder as we see the Lord stretching us and working through our weaknesses!
And this time He had an additional surprise in store. After the service -- where six men committed their lives to Christ!!! -- the men gave us a standing ovation and surprised us with a precious gift. Through their community service program, they had made each of us a stuffed teddy or colorful afghan! They are all beautiful and unique, and will be a great reminder to keep these men in prayer. We look forward to visiting them again!
"Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD!
Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!"
1 Ch 16:11-12