Monday, February 16, 2009

Prison Re-cap

How mighty is our God! How tender and compassionate!

We saw this in a special way this week as we shared in the Gospel Express Prison Crusades. Each of the services had its own testimonies as we once again caught a glimpse of God's love towards those behind bars.

One such testimony happened to Ruth this past Saturday. She wrote out the details to share with you...

Photo courtesy of We Care Ministries

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding,
in all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He shall direct your paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6

During chapel this week we were challenged seek the Lord's pleasure and allow Him to direct our steps. Our family has had many opportunities to sing and preach in prisons over the past 5 years, but Saturday was the first time we girls had the privilege to spend a day with the lady inmates.

As we walked past the prison walls, it was my prayer that the Lord would direct my steps and glorify His name.

The day's activity was volleyball! We were organized into 4 rotating teams and encouraged to mingle and visit with inmates when not needed on the court. After finding an empty chair, I started visiting with Charlotte*, the lady on my right. She had just finished the "Bondage to Freedom" seminar that morning, and had found victory in Christ over some areas in her life. Family was very important to her and she shared her deep love for her 4 grandchildren and her daughter, who was incarcerated in the same prison. We visited for over an hour before the volleyball games were over.

The story kept unfolding during the evening service when 30 ladies came forward during the alter call. Due to the large response, Mom, my sisters and I went with the volunteers to pray with them. As we went forward, the leader motioned me over to an area where 6 ladies were kneeling. I hesitated a bit, wondering and asking the Lord which one I should pray with.

At that instant, I heard an inmate behind me say, "Pray with that one, please, pray with that one;" while pointing to the lady right in front of me. So kneeling down, I began to pray with her.

The next few minutes uncovered the fact that she was very discouraged because she hadn't heard from family in a long time. Her children weren't able to visit her, and she wasn't allowed to communicate with with her mother -- even though they were in the same prison.

Something *clicked* in me as I remembered my conversation earlier that day. I asked her mother's name and was amazed by her reply -- "Charlotte". Overwhelmed by God's kindness, I realized that this lady was the very daughter of the one whom I'd spent the afternoon conversing with! I was able to share with her the great love that her mother had conveyed to me just hours earlier.

I'm so thankful that our God cares about the little details of our lives! I was told there are 735 ladies in that prison, yet among the 5 ladies I met that day - 2 were the mother & daughter. What a blessing to see the Lord's mighty hand at work on the behalf of a young believer!

*Names have been changed to protect privacy.

Photo of Gospel Express Orientation

"Praise the LORD!
Praise, O servants of the LORD,
Praise the name of the LORD!
Blessed be the name of the LORD.
From this time forth and forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its going down.
The LORD’s name is to be praised.
The LORD is high above all nations,
His glory above the heavens.
Who is like the LORD our God?"
Psalm 113:1-5


Under Southern Skies said...

That is such an amazing story! Praise God! Thank you for sharing.

Stephanie said...

Praise God! He really does work in mysterious ways.

Kay said...

Ruth-- that made me cry, seeing God's love for these women. How awesome to be used by Him in this. Thank you for sharing it. Hugs~

Doc from Lincoln said...

Amazing. Our pastor preached on Sunday about the Samaritan woman. He said with God there are no incidental get-togethers but that they are divine appointments. Ruth, you had divine appointments. God bless the results.

~Desiree~ said...

That is amazing! It is wonderful what God can do.

Josiah and Abi Wissmann said...

Oh Ruth! What a precious testimony of God's lovingkindeness, and your being surrendered to His Spirit! Praise be to the LORD JESUS!! We love ya, sis!

Anonymous said...

Ruth, thank you for sharing that testimony. God shows us so much when we leave ourselves open to the Holy Spirit's call. What a blessing you were to both these ladies.

Linda G - ND

Anonymous said...

neat He is amazing!!love the pic of Cold Spring Church..I grew up in Abbeville

Julie said...

I truly believe that when we ask God to guide our steps, He does so in an amazing fashion!

What a great story - definitely an inspiration to step outside one's comfort zone and see what the Lord would have us to do.

Arnie said...

Well done, Ruth.

The Pollock Family said...

God truly does care about the little things, doesn't He? What an encouraging testimony of what God can do, if we'll listen to His Still Small Voice! What an impact that must've made on that daughter (and her mother). May the Lord continue to bless your ministry as you have given yourselves to be used by Him.

In Christ's Love,
The Pollocks

FiveGreers said...

What a neat story, Ruth! Thanks for sharing it with us! One never knows how God will use situations and/or people for His purposes!

Anonymous said...

Once again God amazingly uses people and circumstances! Thanks for sharing, Ruth. God bless you! ~me