Friday, January 28, 2011

Let me never forget...


As I’m sitting here in the bus typing, we’re parked only yards away from a tall fence topped with mile upon mile of sharp razor-wire. Driving a steady path around the complex is a security vehicle and nearby a tower surveys the area from all sides. From the outside it seems a colorless, depressing place. But once again this week we’ve seen how the radical, powerful, tender love of Christ can transform even the gloomiest of circumstances.

This week we’ve shared in 5 different prisons in Alabama as part of the We Care Prison Crusade. Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures to share, due to prison regulations. But perhaps I can describe a few of our choicest moments from this week so you can catch a glimpse of God’s work behind bars.

I never want to forget...

...fighting back tears as a beautiful inmate performed sign language for Ray Boltzs’ song, “Thank You” for our family. Her graceful interpretation of the song was breathtaking. But only half as priceless as the tears in her eyes, knowing she meant every word in the song.

...sitting in the bus, praying for Dad, Matthias, and Stephen as they had the rare privilege of spending an hour with several inmates on death row.

...arriving at a Maximum security prison, where only those ages 18+ could enter. Then realizing that Ruth was probably too sick to join us for the service, leaving only Elizabeth, Matthias, Dad, Mom, and I. Also discovering that the evangelist for the evening had to cancel due to not having his ID. With so many changed plans, we were felling terribly inadequate. But then we saw the Lord’s mighty hand. Ruth was well enough to join us for our hour of singing after all. And God gave Dad a special measure of grace to preach the gospel. In spite of our weaknesses, many men responded to the gospel.

...watching ladies literal sob as we shared Daddy’s Song together. Wiping tears as Dad stopped to spend some time praying for their children.

...the joy and smiles on the inmates’ faces as we sang hymns together. Their enthusiastic clapping and cheers.

...playing for our final service and watching 12 men come forward to make first time salvation commitments. Rejoicing in the power of repentance and God’s grace.

But most of all I hope I never forget the matchless, relentless, tender, life-changing, light-giving POWER of the LOVE of God I experienced this week! Am I living in the light of His love?!


"...that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
may be able to comprehend with all the saints
what is the width and length and depth and height—
to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge;
that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."
Eph. 3:17-19


14 comments:

Farmgirl said...

Oh,how wonderful!

What a blessing your family is!


P.S. I'm listening to your newest Cd as I type this and I'm loving it!

Natalya said...

I cried just reading this. God bless you Wissmann family!
Prayers and blessings,
Natalya

Arnie said...

"Bring my soul out of prison, so that I may give thanks to Thy name. The righteous will surround me, for You will deal bountifully with me."
- Psalm 142:7

Thank you for that powerful testimony! I am so grateful for God's work through your ministry!

Marissa said...

Wow, I almost cried just reading that post. Christ's love is indescribable...
He grace and love is enough for everything that comes at us!
~Marissa

The Pauls' Family said...

Wow...God is good! Thank you so much for being faithful to the call that God has placed on your lives. May He bless you as richly as you have blessed others. Rosalie

ps You didn't need pictures, the words you shared were more than adequate!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I am crying reading this. Your testimonies touch my heart and clearly shows that God has answered the prayers prayed for you. Thank you for sharing!

Thank you, God, for giving the Wissmanns this wonderful opportunity to share Your love and touch the hearts of many needy souls.

Anonymous said...

I'm close to tears as I write this. Such a precious post. Praise the Lord! Thank you for sharing! We certainly serve an amazing God. And His love is more than I can imagine. Just think what heaven will be like someday!

~Sarah H.

goatpod2 said...

Many blessings to you and your family!

Amy

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing! Really Powerful!
~God Bless!~

Annie said...

Rachel,
That is SO beautiful; thank you for sharing it with us! The Lord bless you all for shining His light in some of the darkest places! I'm praying for you.
Many prayers and blessings,
Annie

Becca said...

I am praying for your family.
Thank you for sharing this.

Blessings,
Becca

Bethany said...

I was wondering did ya'll happen to meet a family by the name of Franz? They're old friends and they went to the same prison event. Bless ya'll for truly following God's will..

Hannah Shields said...

Rachel,
Thank-you for such a powerful post...it really ministered to me. Your family is allowing God to work in a mighty way thru you all and it is such a blessing to see what He is doing.
Your post also helped to remind me that we don't have to go to a prison (though it is a good thing to do) to see people behind bars and chained up, they are surrounding us everyday...people who need forgiveness and love in their lives, people who are living for Satan, people who are wore down by the power of sin...people we meet everyday that we have the privilege and duty to shine the light of Christ to.
But praise the Lord that if we believe and call on Him we can have freedom from the hand of the devil and live victoriously for His glory.
Thanks again for the post, you wrote it very tastefully.
Many blessings to you and yours,
Hannah Shields

Timothy said...

I didn't actually cry, but I came close - and I'm a guy.

I follow you somewhat erratically, but when there's a post like this I rejoice for the Lord's marvelous working through your family. You provide a blessed witness to the transforming power of God's grace and forgiveness! He truly has "delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son" (Col. 1:13) Praise the name of Jesus Christ!

May God bless your endeavors for His kingdom,

Timothy Bryson