As we go for our lunch it is important to relax and just enjoy each others company and the food. Ministry exacts a certain energy drain that is not comparable to anything in a secular job. We have to be prayed up before we go and sometimes need to pray en route just for the task ahead. God has always met our needs as we pray, keeping us ever mindful of His presence in our midst, ever mindful that we cannot do this without His help.
Now back to our second phase, this one is double pronged. We split up our team and one half ministers in the prison infirmary, while the other conducts a church meeting. Today we are greeted by the Prison Music Team, man do we love them. We also have one of our own musical minstrels with us, who will also contribute to the blessing of this time.
One of the chaplains opens us up in prayer and we begin. Tonight we have a good sized turnout and the guys are very attentive and you can sense excitement in the air. With this ministry we never really know exactly what we will be doing until we do it. God is a God of infinite variety.
We have a monthly teaching, this month it is ‘Breaking the Cycle’, however our Heavenly Father often switches it up. This evening is no exception, as Bill announces Prison Christian Ministries he calls up a member of the team who was not expecting to speak. Our team members are well rounded and when called upon unexpectedly will accommodate. This is a valuable ministry quality, and indicative of the Holy Spirit’s presence and call.
Trudy S obliges and shares what she has on her heart. Quiet by nature and anointed for personal evangelism she delivers a sensitive and gentle testimony of God’s caring about our most personal requests no matter how small they may seem. We continue with words from the remainder of the team.
Next Sherry M comes, her matter of fact style of testifying never leaves one with a doubt about what she is saying. She owns what she talks about, it has been said that a person with an experience is not at the mercy of a person with an argument. Sherry has the experience and shares so others may benefit from her mistakes. While getting ready to call another team member our program was interrupted when a Chaplin announced, “someone here wants to share an experience they just had as a result of Trudy’s testimony”.
These things occur when God is in the house so we make way for his important contribution. The man said Trudy’s story of how God answered her smallest wish inspired him to do the same. He had been deeply sorrowful about a broken family relationship situation requiring a very specific answer. He had resorted to many methods of obtaining his answer but there was something in the ‘way’ she shared that convinced him to take his need to God right then and there. So profound was his immediate answer he said trembling, “I am convinced God is real this evening and will turn my life over to him.”
Such are the answers and moves of God in the church behind bars! We never tire of this evidence of the concern God has for his creation. Then Bill shares the lesson on ‘Breaking the Cycle” he tells of his past battle with drugs, alcohol, and rage. He encourages the men to never give up, “you are never a looser if you don’t quit”. There is always hope and God cares. He wants a relationship with His creation because God is relational in His very nature. Therefore, He pursues His creation in a very personal and intimate manner by using average, honest, caring people, who are also seeking freedom from life controlling issues.
Together God delivers truth through His Spirit and through our friends. That is how He works, He uses relationship as His primary vehicle of healing. And so it was with Bill that God placed a man in his life who built a relationship, and through that relationship bridge, brought freedom via truth.
Gods Holy Word declares “Sanctify them by your truth, your word is truth” John 17:17. Then it says “I sent my word and healed them and delivered them from their destructions”; Psalm 107:20, then it says “They shall know the truth and the truth will set them free” John 8:32. Do you or someone you know have life controlling issues? The truth will set you free. There are many who can help. Pursue the truth and allow God to direct you. He has been setting people free since the time of His birth and continues to do so to this day. The meeting was concluded with music from Becka and a prison guitarist, a fitting note to end on, figuratively and literally, before heading home. All in all a profitable day in the Lord. Blessings Bill McLaughlin.
Feel free to contact this ministry through our web site PrisonChristianMinistries.com or via our mailing address and phone numbers, Prison Christian Ministries P.O. Box 3211 Fredericton B, Fredericton, NB E3A 5G9 Brent: (506) 461-7528 Rosemary: (506) 461-8456