The Sing for the King team traveled many miles last week, held many services, and saw many lives changed by Jesus. There’s so much I could write, so much to say…I will try to give a meager attempt at capturing a few of the precious moments that stilled my heart.
Tuesday – we went to City Union Mission’s Family Shelter. We watched as women, children, babies, and more entered the kitchen to gather for the service. I led them in singing praises to the Lord and as James and Johnny spoke to them about their lives having meaning, about them not being forgotten, about God having a purpose and a good plan for their lives…I saw streams of tears running down cheeks. I saw hopelessness turn to hope as women came forward to surrender their lives to Christ. I looked into their faces as those who came to Jesus gave me their names and others asked for prayer for the simplest things…an apartment, an education, to kick a smoking habit, for strength, for the Lord to bless her and her children. As we were packing up an older woman asked Johnny for prayer, she had spent three years in prison and had been living in her car until she ran out of food. She sold her car to buy food and once that ran out she came to the mission. She wept as Johnny prayed for her, James was touched and thought that could be my grandma. That could be someone’s grandma… I didn’t want to be intrusive but I wanted to capture Johnny praying with her.
Thursday – we had two services this day…our weekly service at KCRC and then an evening service at Moberly Correctional Center. At KCRC we are trying to help prepare these men to reenter society as strong Christian men sold out for Jesus Christ. They are afraid, afraid of failing, of not being strong enough. Johnny shared some of his story to offer them some hope that they could leave prison and not return if they leave surrendered to Jesus and walk closely with Him. He told them they had to put their relationship with Jesus above everything else. And then we sang “Anything” and the one line of the bridge gave them peace and hope – Let my faith overcome my fear. Lord, please strengthen their faith.
That night at Moberly, God moved and 16 men gave their lives to Christ, 16 souls saved from the clutches of the enemy and hell! Glory to God! We also took prayer requests and do you know what they pray for? The very things we should be praying for… for more faith and trust in the Lord, to stay focused on God’s purpose for their lives, for salvation for their families, for change.
Friday – Algoa Correctional Center. Tonight was a special night, we brought in a couple to talk to the men about marriage and relationships and how to have a Godly marriage and what they can do even inside the razorwire. It was very moving, many men came forward to pray with our guests over their marriages and relationships. And many men found salvation as well…15…I am in awe at what God allows us to be a part of and to witness. Only He can do this work, only He can move the hearts of men toward Him, and it’s only He that changes lives. What an honor to watch God transform lives before our very eyes.
At the end of services we always ask if anyone is going home so we can pray for them. Somehow along the way I got nominated to be the “going home prayer”…it’s a nomination I gladly accept. I always ask them if they know Jesus before I begin to pray, they won’t succeed on the outside without Him. Tonight we had two gentlemen, one that received Christ that night and another older gentleman that already knew the Lord but he was struggling and it broke my heart. I don’t usually cry in prison, I weep when praying for their requests at home but when I am there amongst them I rarely shed a tear..I don’t know why it’s just how it is, I think I simply treasure up every moment in my heart. But this man touched me, he was sobbing, he was afraid, he was afraid of facing the outside world, he was afraid of failing. I began to cry and then sucked it up so I could pray for them. In my prayer for them I reminded them that God will never leave them nor forsake them, that He keeps His promises and that He has a purpose and a plan for their lives and that He loves them. I hope they hold onto how much God loves them. Church, please wrap your arms around these who enter your doors, your communities. Hold them close, walk alongside them, encourage them, love them…please, please love them. And Lord, help their faith overcome their fear.
Sing for the King,
P.S. A friend told me recently to guard my heart…I’m not doing a very good job at this.