Freed to Serve Ministries
While most people are wanting to avoid prison or get out of it, I have been trying for some time to get in. Well, last night was my first service at Easterling Correctional Facility in Clio, AL. I am grateful for the Lords leading and am thankful to have the opportunity to share the Word of God with them.
As I got out of my car I could hear music and singing coming from the direction of the chapel. I looked at my watch and thought either I was late or someone else showed up instead. I found out from the corrections officer that they start 30 minutes earlier than when the ministers arrive. I was escorted to the chapel and there were about 60 or 70 men in there and worship was going full throttle. There were a lot of hands raised and shouts of joy every now and then. The man on the electric guitar definitely wasn't holding back. I laughed to myself at the thought that I had of bringing my acoustic guitar, which I have only been playing for a little over a month. That would have been embarrassing, to say the least. There was some talent in that place!
One of the men came back to where I was and asked when I wanted it handed over to me. We decided on one more song. It was a good time of worship. I would like to come for the whole thing next time. I started by giving some background of myself, but found out at the end I didn't give my name (which I promptly did then). I spoke about the passage where Jesus asked the disciples "Who do you say that I am?" I spoke about the importance of us "knowing" personally who Jesus is and then went into talking about the spirit of the anit-christ. There were very responsive and attentive.
One young man came forward to surrender his life to Jesus and I asked some of the men there to lead him to the Lord. Afterwards, I got to talk to several of the guys and shared with them my desire to eventually get into the dorms with them. I met two guys that I already knew. One was an inmate in the local jail when I first went in 8 months ago and the other has written to letters to me on recomendation of Pure Life Ministry out of Kentucky.
I spoke with another gentlemen that asked if I would be interested in leading a class some day on sexual addiction. I told him that if the door opens that I would, but just to pray for now.
Overall it was an awesome night. Like I tell my wife though: It doesn't get more exciting than the first night. We both were floating on a cloud the first night the each of us went into the local jail.
I am excited for this new opportunity and can't wait to see what God has in store.
P.S. I missed my guys in the jail last night though.
Praise the Lord!!! After a couple months the door has finally opened. I will be preaching and teaching the a service each month at Easterling. Praying for God to touch men and lead me every step of the way.
It is so exciting to see what God is doing. We have our first two guys in Freedom House!!! Archie came into the house on Monday the 16th and Avery joined us that Friday. We are believing God to move in a mighty way in these young mens lives. We are still waiting and praying for our third member, Anthony, whose court date is July 8th. We know that getting him will definately be a work of God, so we pray and wait. They are so excited to be here. They have both commented on how strong the presence of God has been in the building. We pray and hope that this environment will help them to find healing, growth, trust, and love.
What an honor it is to be here at the very beginning of something that is truly born from the heart of God. I am grateful and humbled that God is allowing me to be a part of pouring into these mens lives and witnessing His hand at work. I see so many doors being opened and my heart is just overflowing with joy and thanksgiving.
The journey has begun!!! And I believe God wants to take this thing further than anything that we can even fathom. My vision is to see this ministry grow to the point of establishing a larger place with multiple buildings so that we can create a community for those being released from prison/jail so that they will have a positive, godly, loving and challenging atmosphere to grow and flourish.