God is present and active everywhere – even in prison.
Over the last few years, I’ve been involved with a team that has been ministering to women incarcerated in prison.
When we first started out, we had no idea of the adventure God would take each of us on. We learned very quickly that ministering in this environment would have great heart costs. Each lady becomes special so quickly, and we have a hard time saying goodbye each week.
We have learned so much from these women, both about their circumstances, and also about our own worldview. Friendships have been made, and serious discussions of faith have taken place.
Many women have chosen to follow Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior through these weekly groups, and as volunteers, God has shown and brought us to deeper levels of compassion and love for others.
Every week, the volunteers engage in spiritual conversation inwardly even as they’re ministering to the inmates outwardly, waiting on the Holy Spirit to lead and direct the dialogue. We realize that unless God provides the way, the wisdom, and the counsel, we have nothing to offer.
On one particular week last month, two volunteers were meeting with a group of inmates, when God suddenly directed the conversation in a surprising and very specific way.
On this particular day, we had had to substitute a volunteer at the last minute, due to illness on the team. This new volunteer came with us for the first time.
As the conversation began to flow, one of the inmates nervously shared a deep hurt that had been hanging over her for many years — one she had been unable to gain healing from. It just so happened (or rather, God had so orchestrated it) that the new volunteer had dealt with the exact same struggle.
As this volunteer, led by the Holy Spirit, began to share her testimony, the huge barrier in this inmate began to crumble, and a watershed of walled-up pain came rushing out.
God used this situation as a catalyst to bring deep fellowship and community to the five inmates on that unit, as they experienced God’s dramatic touch on this woman through the testimony of the volunteer. Her fellow inmates were able to come around the wounded inmate together in prayer and comfort as she began her road to healing.
It was not a coincidence that this volunteer was there that day, nor was it by chance that this inmate chose that day to share her deepest burden. As the team left the unit that day, all five women were still huddled together on the couch, ministering and blessing one another as a deeper sense of God’s touch met them all.
Each week we are so privileged to see God’s heart for women. God is transforming our hearts and minds in the process, taking us into deeper depths with him. We are more dependent on Him than ever before, as we listen for His guidance to show us how to walk alongside the women. We are seeing how able He is, we are believing Him for big things, and together we are stepping into the biggest adventure we have ever been on.
Is God calling you to share Him with your world? Step into His invitation — we can tell you it is the most incredible privilege and joy you will ever experience!