Shortly after my conversion, I was given an opportunity to serve as a volunteer teacher for the Dept of Corrections, more specifically to McNeil Island prison in Washington State. There we conducted church services, bible studies, prayer meetings, distributed printed studies and produced audio tapes and Cds for the men.
Our first service for the Department of Correction’s was on Sunday, April 1st, 2001 and continued there until McNeil closed its doors on April 1st, 2011. With the closing of those doors to us – we are now turning to the internet to share our experience, strength, and hope.
We are not a church, and we have no members, only volunteers. Since I am not a computer programmer and cannot afford to hire a professional web designer – I ask your forgiveness for the grammar and spelling errors, broken links, and even worse sound production. It is said to “err is human, but to really screw things up” requires a computer.
Yeshua is not documented in scripture as going into a Prison but He did say to us… “I was in prison and you visited me” as if He expected us to do just that. If you consider that Satan is the “god of this world” and also called “prince of this world” (2 Cor 4v4 and John 12 v 31) is not all ministry really “Prison ministry?” My experience has been one of being far more blessed by the men, than any teaching I had to offer. The experience and the friendships made, are grounded in Yeshua and will be lifelong.
So we go and we tell of that time for each of us, when God alone, was the only answer. We have seen God in our lives, and can now tell all people, there is victory in the morning. God is the God of fairy tales, for we do ride off into the sunset, and people do live happily ever after. God does give us beauty for the ashes of our lives.
We spread the Word of God to bring all to that place where they “call on the Lord!” Rom 10 v 16 So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. We are a resource to urge all men to “call on God.” Rom 10 v 14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? The goal of missions is that they “call on the Lord.”
We believe all this – for we have lived it. We each have a place called “Peniel” and there comes that dark night of the soul.
For like Jacob there always comes that day, when Esau rides with 400 men. That day of trouble does come, and alone at night with no escape, you wrestle, with only fear and doubt as friend. On such a night the only avenue left to you is desperate prayer.
In the alone, it is still, and there God hears. In the dark, you see with honesty, what daylight hid from you. It was not “them,” it was not circumstance, it was I, and I alone will face the morning.
What do you tell God then, that He was not present to see? How do you wrestle with God, when by His grace we breathe? How do you engage omnipotent perfection? What excuse is valid for all your wickedness?
Perhaps we can encourage your meeting God face to face, and you can also hold on until the morning. Wrestle with God that dark night with only one hope and one request… “I will not let go, until You bless me!”
For Jacob had to admit that he was a “Usurper” or “One who undermines.” The blessing he needed was that Greatest Blessing promised to us all as Peter said in Acts 3 v 26 “Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities (wickedness).”
It is in that encounter that we are blessed by Yeshua and we get the new name “Christian” or “Prince of God.” And then celebrate with us, the morning as we are forever changed.