Thursday, August 07, 2014

Behind Wisconsin Bars

The door clattered to a close behind us. Ahead of us lay the long cinder-block hallway leading to the recreational room. We've been down this hallway before.

Carrying our instruments and hauling our cart of equipment, we followed the chaplain. Since everything is carefully timed in prison (except the occasional delays), we've arrived through security with minimal time to set up and sound check.

There were smiles on each face. A prayer in each heart.

One of the awesome privileges of working for the Lord is knowing that we don't walk alone. We recognize that in ourselves, we can do nothing. But we also know the Lord's presence is here. And we know we're covered with the earnest prayers of you, our dear family in Christ. That confidence excites us as we anticipate what the Lord will do through our one evening here.

The list of names was at maximum capacity. They filed in, some with wide, excited grins. Some downcast.

We especially noticed the chaplain's intentional concern for each man. He goes out of his way to build relationships and its obvious the men greatly appreciate him. It reminds us of the many men and women who serve in this seemingly unnoticed way, day-in and day-out. There are hundreds of chaplains and volunteers who serve nation-wide. If you're reading this, we say 'thank you'!

Standing in front of the men, we seemed a very small band of singers with only six of us able to make the age-limit. We re-arranged and improvised on many of our songs to make up for the lacking parts.

But the men didn't seem to notice the impromptu adjustments. "Amen!" "Hallelujah!" they'd shout as we sang. Enthusiastic clapping echoed their agreement with the message of the songs. The chaplain had shared with us that there are several men who are excitedly growing in their walk with Christ. They have a heart for evangelism and spreading Christ's love to their fellow inmates. What a joy to encourage the church behind those walls!

As Dad opened the Word and began to teach, three men responded to the Gospel. The angels in heaven rejoice and we join them! It is a beautiful thing to stand there, recognizing our own desperate need for Christ, and witness others coming to that realization, too.

Thank you, again, for upholding us before the throne. It was such an awesome privilege to see the Lord actively working, pursuing, and showing Himself faithful once again.

We're alway looking forward to next time!

"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, 
whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 
For you were bought at a price; 
therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, 
which are God’s."
1 Cor 6:19-20


Lexi said...

I'm so glad everything went well yesterday! I will pray for ya all with ya alls ministry.
In Christ,

Jessica said...

Amen! Praise the Lord for your testimony!

Anonymous said...

Praise the Lord!

Cryslyn said...

What a glorious experience! I am so happy things went well for you all! :)
Let the Lord be praised!