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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Prison Ministry is Personal!

For me, prison ministry is very "personal". When I started volunteering, I learned that I am not suppose to get too attached to those I minister to. Well, it is too late for that! I have been "too attached" to them, from even before I started going into the prison! The Lord Jesus Christ called me into prison ministry as a teen. He has given me His passion for prisoners! That passion grows deeper and deeper every day! Some people have asked me, "when are you going to stop this prison stuff?". I can't stop! Nor do I want to. Prison ministry is down deep into my soul. I 
have a strong passionate feeling about it. Stop?! No, I don't want to stop!
The blessings and miracles I have seen, transformation of lives, being able to witness Jesus moving into a heart and watching Him work! Amazing! My life has been changed as well. In so many ways. One Scripture the Lord gave me when I first started, was Ezekiel 2:15 "Then I came to the captives, at Tel Abib, who dwelt by the River Chebar; and I SAT WHERE THEY SAT and remained there ASTONISHED among them for 7 days." Of course, this verse was to Israel, but the Lord used it to tell me to just "go", into the prison, and sit with them, and remain there, and be astonished by what Jesus will be doing there. Believe me, when I say, these 10 years that I have been sitting where they sit, I have been astonished and amazed many, many times!
Was it because of anything I did or did not do, no, it was that I have been available to go, and just show up and be consistent and faithful to be there. Jesus has done the mentoring and He has mentored me most of all. 
Jesus always has a plan and purpose, from the very first day I walked into the prison til now, Jesus has given me favor, and directed my steps. The first woman I met as mentor, we had so much in common, we became fast friends, sisters in Christ. We met faithfully for over 7 years bonded together, why? because Jesus knew that once she got released, that I personally 
would need her help in my own life. My elderly mother, had to come live with me, which left her home empty and unattended. After a little while, my prison sister, with my mom's blessings, came to live in my childhood home. She cared for the home as if it was her own. We worked together cleaning, scrubbing, repairing, painting, etc. During that time, as mom got weaker and weaker,
my friend, jumped right in, and did even more of the work, that I really should have been doing.
Then as time passed, mom went to be with Jesus. And now my prison sister, has a home of her own. Lord, knew we needed each other. I wasn't just the mentor, I was also being mentored too.
Don't let anyone tell you, that in prison, it's "those people" vs "the rest of us". Prisoners are just like the rest of us. They were created in the image of God also. They are sinners just like the rest of us, we all need redemption. We all need Jesus. All of us need forgiveness, mercy and grace. Not one of us has been sin free in life. We must understand that those in prison are members of families. They are fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, aunts, uncles,
cousins. They belong to someone. They are not monsters. Yes, in some cases, some have done monsterous things, but no one has gone past the grace & mercy of Jesus. 
People say that prisoners can't be changed, or rehabilitated. Yes, they can, given the right opportunities. I have witnessed the changed lives myself over and over again.
With me, prison ministry is personal, and it is too late for me to stop caring. Because the Lord Jesus has placed this passion for prison ministry, down deeper in my soul and it gets deeper everyday and the burden gets stronger everyday. I am thankful that Jesus has allowed me to see Him work inside prison and allow me to join Him in His work. 
I am passionate about prison ministry!!!! What are you passionate about?

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