Sunday, June 24, 2007

Going to Jail – Part II

Back in April I wrote a post about going to jail to minister to some intimates. Click here to read. At that time we made arrangements to teach one our extended courses called the 101 – The Art of Hearing God. Instead we taught 104 -Reaching Your Destiny in God. We thought the lessons would be more valuable to them. The manuals were donated by the author.

These men are in a special program. They have to apply for it and usually have three months or less on their sentence. They have special privileges, they learn about God and work on dealing on their issues that landed them in jail.

This course we taught deals with issues of strongholds in our lives and how to be free from them. It covers submission verses obedience – how God calls us to be submissive to Him and the authorities He places in our lives. Forgiveness is explained. How important it is to extend forgiveness as well ask for it. It was a powerful for these men.

We have spent Friday night (6:30 pm – 10:00 pm), Saturday (8:00 pm – 9:00 pm) with breaks for lunch and dinner and Sunday after church (from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm). We learned that weekends are the only time they get to watch movies and it’s a treat for them. Something they look forward to. This course was not mandatory. They could have chosen to stay in their cell and watched movies at any point. Instead they came and listened, asked questions and allowed us to minister to them.

God was good and gave us some powerful words of encouragement. It touched them and some had tears in their eyes. They thanked us for coming, but we were the ones who were blessed. We were honored that God used us in any fashion to minister love and hope of the Father to these men.

We watched how they encouraged one another. They asked questions because they wanted to understand. The chaplain who arranged for this class told us when she went to get the men after a break, one of them was resting in his bunk almost asleep. One of the other guys woke him up and said, “Come on it’s time to go.” She reminded him that the class was not mandatory. His response was for them it was. He valued what he was learning and wanted his bunkmate to value it also. One inmate shared that since he gave his life to Christ six months ago in jail he feels more free now then when he was on the outside. He said he will never land in prison again. Isn't God good. Freedom in Him is powerful.

© Nadine Z. 2007

25 comments:

Penless Thoughts said...

Good testimony of God at work.
Susan

Tammy said...

This is wonderful...
My parents were in the prison ministry for about ten years. In fact, I just wrote about my dad this weekend, and how after he came back to the Lord became a minister. They did pastor a tiny church for awhile, but mainly their hearts were with inmates.

Also, a few months ago we had a powerful testimony come to our large church and talk about how he came back to the Lord through prison ministry.

It's wonderful to see God changing lives where there was hopelessness! Blessings to you in this!

Dedee said...

I'm so very impressed at the work you do. I love that you are reaching out to these people. I pray that your words that blessed them so much those days will stay with them in the difficult times ahead!

Stace said...

What an example you are of living out Matthew 25... not all of us are cut out for prison ministry, but you are an inspiration.

Shionge said...

Most encouraging to see that Nadine.

Just want to share that we have enjoyed Jensen's baptism last Saturday :)

palmtreefanatic said...

This is so great Nadine! What a powerful testimony all in itself!
I truly believe these inmates can have a major change of heart even if it has to take "this" sort of thing to happen, all part Of Gods plan! You and Tom are definitely doing the Lords work! this is something to be quite proud of Nadine! Inspiring all the way!
Beautiful!!!!

Art said...

Inspiring and beautiful is this ministry you perform! Keep up this work and may God bless you in it!

Abraham Lincoln said...

You are doing a service and a good one at that.

Abraham Lincoln
Brookville Daily Photo

eph2810 said...

Nadine - that is beautiful. How neat that you were allowed to minister to these men inside. I hope that the life outside will be totally different for them.

Thank you so much for sharing.

Blessings on your Monday and always.

Karolee said...

This is so great - I pray that there is someone like you working with my brother.

Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

This is such a powerful thing you are doing, Nadine. God is good.

Diane said...

What a beautiful ministry. I have just finished reading Carol Kent's most recent book, A New Kind of Normal, "Hope-filled choices when life turns Upside Down"

It is a follow-up to her book, "Laying my Isaac Down" which is the story of their only son's journey to a life sentence without benefit of parole for the abusive father of his wife's children. It is an amazing testimony of Carol and Gene Kent's journey through an unimaginable test of faith.

They have begun a Ministry out of their struggle--Speak Up For Hope. You can read more about it at www.SpeakUpforHope.org

A New Kind of Normal is such an amazing witness....to the freedom and peace we can find in God...even under the most unthinkable and unexpected circumstances. You are bringing such hope to these men....God Bless you!

Diane

Mrs.Martin said...

May God work through you to accomplish hope Nadine. Love your spirit.

Sandy said...

I love to read how his power works in lives and freedom is birthed.
Thank you for sharing, Nadine!
Sandy
For Reluctant Entertainers

Keshi said...

God does have a plan! It's just that no one believes in it.

Keshi.

Pinks & Blues Girls said...

What a wonderful post. You have such a gift. It takes a beautiful person to do what you do. I love reading your blog....
- Audrey
Pinks & Blues Girls

John Kaiser said...

"He said he will never land in prison again. Isn't God good. Freedom in Him is powerful."

I pray that such remains the case.

PromiseKeepersDaughter said...

Awsome! I love thse God stories, I was moved when you said that one inmate shared that since he gave his life to Christ six months ago in jail he feels more free now then when he was on the outside. That sentance is a very powerful example of your sowing and reaping. You two are so inspiring.

cheeky said...

That last sentence is everything, amen.
What a blessing to minister to those in jail. It reminds me that God loves us all, unconditionally, and no sin is too big for Him. It sometimes is hard to remember, especially for those who have lost hope. There is hope and He gives us that. Thanks for being a faithful servant to Our Lord.

Louise said...

WOW that is SO awesome!
God is SO GOOD!

Elle*Bee said...

It is so important for these men (and women) to learn that there is something greater out there than what this Earth holds.

Equally important is the concept that submissiveness/obedience does *not* equal weakness, but rather, equals freedom. The ones that embrace that are the ones who have a real shot at making it on the "outside".

There are so many challenges facing them when they are released (temptations, bias, education, job training) - does your program offer support to them at that time as well? Just wondering...

marykathryn said...

Forgiveness is so powerful and the ability to learn to use this tool is truly a gift from God...The Lord is so merciful isn't he??

Cheri said...

Awesome. It reminds me of Matthew 9:37...The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.

PinksandBluesGirls said...

Wow, that is so wonderful of you, Nadine. I really think you will make such a positive impact on the lives of those inmates. What great work.

Jane, P&B Girls

Trina said...

As I have said before, I think its pretty neat that you have felt to do this work. Im sure that the Lord will bless you abundantly for it!