Friday, August 23, 2013

Behind Bars

Traveling in ministry has its moments:

Happy moments of family memories made together. 
Tired moments from full schedules. 
Cramped moments of trying to cook, manage school, and music practice within the confines of the bus. 
Excited moments of catching up with friends and meeting new people. 
Awe-filled moments of watching the Spirit of the Lord move in mighty ways. 

Yesterday was one of those awesome moments. 

We were scheduled to share a prison service in Wisconsin. The chaplain contacted us in advance, letting us know that only 100 men were permitted to attend the service, but 174 men were already signed up for the event. After talking together, we decided to appeal to the chaplain and warden. Would they permit us to present two back-to-back services, enabling more men to attend? 

Upon arrival, we discovered that they would, indeed, allow us to share twice. We were thrilled! We passed through security and set up our sound equipment. The men filed in, dressed in matching prison garb. Some faces eager and excited. Some downcast with pain-filled eyes. Dad, Matthias, and Stephen greeting them, engaging them in conversations while we girls provided background music. 

Each service was almost filled to capacity. We shared 20 minutes of music, followed by Dad teaching from God's Word and a time of invitation and prayer. How do you capture in words the awesome moving of God's Spirit? The hardened eyes, softening; hungering. The realization that there is HOPE in Jesus. 

We stood there, singing; earnestly praying. Marveling as God's hand reached down and touched the hearts of these men. Eighteen men responded to the gospel during the two services. What a joy it was to see the light in their faces as they responded! The chaplain has such a heart to minister to these men. Please join us in prayer over these coming days as he seeks to disciple these new believers?! Pray for the men there who already know Christ, that they might be rooted and grounded in God's Word. 

And finally, thank you for partnering with us as we share God's powerful Word. We're in awe of His goodness and mighty acts. Praise His Name! 

"As long as I see any thing to be done for God, life is worth having; 
but O how vain and unworthy it is to live for any lower end!"
David Brainerd


Anonymous said...

"How do you capture in words the awesome moving of God's Spirit?" I honestly don't know! I've tried to before; I always come up short. :)

I am thrilled that God gave you all such a precious opportunity to share with these men. Will be praying for them!

Thank you for sharing a truly AWEsome update!

Sarah said...

What a thrilling update. It is truly inspiring to me to hear of your family's work in a world that is lost. We will be praying for those you ministered to, what a wonderful opportunity. Thank you for sharing, that was such a thought provoking and amazing post.
May God bless your family!

(I did wonder if you guys ever got tired of traveling sometimes! :) I will pray for strength for those times!)

Amanda said...

Wow...what a blessing! That's wonderful that you can show those men the hope of new life through Jesus Christ, even in a prison. May those new believers be steadfast in their new-found faith!

Anonymous said...

That's so amazing!!!!!!
In Christ,

Talitha said...

Wow. Beautiful. Thank you for reminding us once again of the greatness and goodness of our God! There truly are no words to describe the working of God's spirit. His ways are so far beyond the limits of our human understanding. What a joy and privilege to witness God at work!

Brianna said...

Praise the Lord!! What an awesome testimony!! I will be praying for all of those men, and for your family as you continue to go out and share the Gospel with others.

Kaitlyn said...

Hannah­čśä You are one gorgeous girl! (As is all the rest of the sisters)