Lives Changed, Prayers Answered
We just got home after a full day in/out of prison, but I just had to share what God is doing, even if that means going to bed late. ;)
The Journey to the Heart retreat has been going full force all week and it’s so exciting to hear the testimonies and to personally see God’s hand at work in the lives of so many. Tonight I was able to sit in on the evening session of the Journey and was blessed to see such bright countenances and hear numerous ladies tell me about how God is changing their lives.
I was asking the Lord to show me where I should sit during the session and felt Him leading me toward a table with many girls from the JOY dorm. As David Waller began sharing his message about grace, I noticed a couple girls behind me making some sarcastic comments. Ruthie has been praying for these girls specifically, that God would humble them and soften their hearts. I sat there and silently asked God to convict them about their pride. Soon enough the message turned from the grace of God to the pride of man. Thank you, Lord!! To say the least, it got really quiet behind me, and one of the two girls starting taking notes. :) Instantly God heard my prayer (Ruthie was also praying from across the room), and arranged exactly what these girls needed to hear.
God wants so desperately to meet our needs, fill our desires, and transform lives in front of our faces. But we can’t see what we aren’t looking for! “You do not have because you do not ask” -James 4:2b God is so honored and pleased when His children acknowledge Him at all times, pray about everything, and expect Him to answer! What father wouldn’t want that kind of relationship with his child?
Another girl, Dana*, came up to me before the evening session, completely overjoyed at how God has freed her from co-dependancy on her boyfriend, and how He is everything she needs and He’s everything she wants. She shared how she doesn’t know where she’ll go when she gets released, but she completely trusts the Lord and wants to give her all to Him. Dana is so grateful for what God’s doing in her life that she wants to share it with anyone and everyone. The inmates I have encountered who have really given their lives to the Lord see so clearly that it was His grace that brought them to prison. His grace kept them from dying from drug overdose, or gang involvement, or simply from a life of sin. These are people who spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in a room with 80 other people, have zero personal space or freedoms, and may never get to see their families and they are praising God for it! Why? Because they would rather lose the whole world than forfeit their souls.
“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26
I have been praying fervently for a girl named Alison* who is attending the Journey this week. I don’t know a lot about her background, but I do know she has struggled with homosexuality and is kind of “on the fence” right now, not knowing if she can fully surrender her life and choices to the Lord. Please join me in prayer for Alison! I know that God has begun a good work in her by bringing her to prison and to the Journey. I just feel a burden to pray that God would convict her and that He would win back her heart and the ground that she has given to the enemy. Satan hates losing sinners to the Lord, so there’s a serious battle going on for Alison’s heart right now.
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” -1 John 5:4
One lady was so transformed this week, that she came up to me tonight holding up her Journey book and said, “This changed my life”. And then she walked away because she was so emotional she couldn’t say anything else.
Update on Stella*: I’ve seen a new light in her eyes and she’s starting to respond to the Holy Spirit’s convictions. Usually one of the inmates takes attendance during class and reports anyone that doesn’t show up. Today Stella skipped one of the sessions, but somehow the attendance clerk didn’t catch it. So Stella responded to the Spirit and proceeded to report herself, take full responsibility for missing the class, accept the consequences, and plan what to do differently next time.
Update on H1 dorm becoming a JOY dorm: Last week all of us in the JOY program did a cry out to the Lord, pleading for Him to open the doors so clearly to expand the borders of JOY and allow for the ladies on the JOY program waiting list to live in the dorm next door (H1) and have daily Bible studies etc. as they prepare for the program. So we cried out to God as a group (all 80 of us). Less than an hour later, one of the assistant wardens came by the dorm to check up on things and do a light inspection. He was talking to Ruthie about some projects they were working on in the dorm and suddenly he shifted the conversation and said that H1 should become a JOY dorm again (H1 was at one point used for JOY purposes but has been occupied by non-JOY inmates for a while). Can you connect the dots?? Less than one hour later and God started turning the wheels and answering our cry.
God is moving. Keep praying!
I’m so glad that Ruthie, Sophia and I are not a team who prays, but we’re a praying team. There’s a difference.
I love you all!!
*names have been changed