It was 6:45 am when I left home with Don, heading for the Jail. I had never been to the jail, so was not sure just how things worked there. On our way, we stopped at Acorns Truck Stop and picked up Albert, who had his guitar with Him.
After a good 2 ½ hr drive we arrived at the jail, and with no trouble at all, were escorted by some friendly officers through security and into the gym. We no sooner got the chairs set up, and in came a group of men. The jail has different populations that are never mixed together for good reasons. The men that came in were from one of these populations.
We started the service with Albert playing and singing, with me blowing my train whistle to the tune of Folsom Prison Blues. You could tell the men were enjoying it by the leg movement and the way they all clapped when we finished. In between gospel songs, Albert shared how Jesus had blessed his life.
When Albert finished, Don started sharing about Jesus and His love. It was not long before tears started to show; then I shared and gave a call for prayer. The biggest man in the group got up from his chair and came forward. When I asked him what was on his heart that he needed prayer for, he broke. With tears running down this cheeks, and words that trembled he said, “I miss my wife and children so much”. So I prayed, and you could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, as I prayed for God’s protection over his family and the peace that Jesus left us, to fill his heart. When we were finished, he had a peaceful look on this face, shook my hand, and said thank you with sincerity in his voice.
The first group were taken away. Within minutes, another group came in from the other population and sat down, ready for the service. This was pretty much the same as the first service, except some new words were added here and there. Somehow God moved in a deeper way with this group of men. I am not sure if they were more open to what we were saying, or the Spirit was anointing us all with a stronger presence, because when a call for salvation was given, three men put up their hands. Then when a call for prayer was given, four more came forward. When I asked the man I wanted to pray with, what was on his heart, he broke and began to cry. I waited at least five minutes before he could say, “I want so much to change my life, but drugs have such a hold on me and I can’t seem to break free”. So I prayed with him and the words flowed. At the end of the prayer, God was speaking to him with direction and hope, and I asked him if he received it. His reply was, “Yes”. Both Don and Albert were praying with the other men, and when we were finished the time was up, and they were taken away.
Truly another God-felt day in the Lord. It is a little strange how I can feel God’s love and closeness in a place so full of sin, hate and anger. Do you want to see Jesus? Step out of your comfort zone and look into the eyes of the hurting and hopeless.
Be Blessed in Jesus where REAL hope begins. By Brent Bishop