Inmates ministering to inmates

by adustyframe ~ October 16th, 2007

When I posted about the marriage seminar, I alluded to some neat things I wanted to share with you.

3 weeks later, and 1 1/2 days til October’s Marriage Seminar, and I’m JUST now getting to this!

At lunch time, we were dismissed to the tables for a delightful lunch.

Lee and I didn’t seek anyone out to join but just sat down at an open table.

An older couple came and sat with us. Just a side note, there are many older couples dealing with incarceration. Inmates of course span many decades.

This couple sat down and began chatting with us right away. We could tell they were believers immediately.

We chatted for awhile about insignificant things. Mostly this couple and I. Lee usually just pays attention to his food during meals.

Then the husband said,

“I’m just going to be bold here. I’m sensing Lee that you’re still dealing with anger and unforgiveness and that you’re still beating yourself up about this.”

I sat back in amazement. God most definitely sent them to our table.

This man spoke about how he used to be in ministry before he committed his crime. He said that God has allowed  him to minister again to men in his unit. He told how he got his life right and recommitted his life to Christ.

He told Lee that God gives us our testimony by testing us. If we quit moaning, then he can use us.

He nudged Lee and said, “Get it tests and moanies” I thought that was a cute way to explain how  God transforms our trials and sins into something that can be used for his glory.

Throughout the lunch, Lee was very quiet. As I mentioned before, he rarely converses during a meal anyway. He’s also a thinker. He takes information and processes it to act on later.

This man used the entire lunch to pour his life into Lee. They aren’t in the same unit, so they can’t do Bible studies together. This lunch was all the time he had. He sat next to my husband pouring blessings over him the entire lunch. He spoke of God’s forgiveness and willingness to use Lee. He reminded Lee how very much he is loved and that God greatly desires to use him.

My heart was so full. I prayed as he spoke and asked God to crack down the last bits in Lee’s heart that still hold the anger and unforgiveness.  He’s been very hard on himself and even more so as the time passes.

Yes! He did wrong and he has put us in this very hard situation. If he’s going to be used by God though, he  has to accept my forgiveness and God’s forgiveness. He needs to pour out that same forgiveness on those who have hurt him and done wrong to him.

He’s still struggling. You can uphold him in your prayers. It’s not all the time, but when things are bleak and so hard he struggles greatly in this area.

I thanked the Lord for this man’s willingness to pour love and blessing over my husband’s head. I know they have been praying for Lee too. I wonder how things will go on Thursday?  I know we will see them and hopefully Lee will be ready to talk to him.

**YEP! Marriage seminar is this Thursday again. WOO HOO!

Lizzie

3 Thoughts Shared to Inmates ministering to inmates

  1. Elizabeth B

    I would eventually like to start teaching my phonics lessons to the 70% of prisoners who read at the lowest 2 literacy levels, but with 2 small children and no family in the area, it will be a few years yet. Thanks for the reminder of small things like that that I can do that will make a difference in the meantime.

    Also, your blog helps me see the relational issues involved and to see the people involved, not just the whole of prison ministry in the abstract, I think that’s something God wanted me to see.

    Thank you Elizabeth for letting me know you’re reading. Yes these “little things” are huge to inmates and to their families too.
    Angel Tree, & helping a chaplain’s office are two very easy ways to make huge impacts.

  2. Revka

    Thank you for sharing how God is working in Lee’s life. Our God is so awesome to work out this meeting with that couple. I hope you have a great time on Thursday.

    Thanks:) I hope so too!

  3. Marie

    Lizzie,

    That’s awesome – truly a blessing! I can imagine in Lee’s shoes doing what this man described is very, very hard (forgiving those who have hurt him, and not beating himself up any more.) It is too bad that he and the other man can’t meet together (like to disciple him), but ultimately he needs to press in hard to God. Hope tomorrow’s goes just as well. Keep us updated!

    Thanks Marie.

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