Monday, May 12, 2008

I can't stay out of jail!

Pastor asked me to pray about the jail ministry late 05/early 06. I agreed to do so, but then things happened and I actually forgot about it until about a year later. It was then that the Lord started working on my heart about going into the ministry. To be totally honest, it was something that I did not want to do. It took me a while to even approach pastor about it, and when I did I was totally upfront that it was something that I personally didn’t want to do but if the Lord wanted me there than that was what I would do. At that time, Amy and Anna were already working the jail, so I would just be a sub or maybe rotate with one of them. I began training with Amy and it wasn’t too long until the Lord presented the opportunity to teach on my own. I’ve been doing so ever since and I love it. I will admit there are times when I don’t feel like going, but once I’m there with those ladies it all changes. When you’re doing something the Lord wants you to do, He gives you a heart for it.
Since being in this ministry there are a few things that the Lord has taught me.

#1 – Sometimes it’s the things you don’t want to do that the Lord uses you the most.
Like I said before, this ministry was something I didn’t initially want to do…I was scared. But, I went into it and then Lord really opened my eyes to the needs of these ladies. He gave me a love for them. I wanted to see results in this part of the ministry. We’ve always heard about men in the jail getting saved…I wanted to be able to rejoice in hearing of women getting saved.

#2 – Apply yourself, and the Lord will work through you.
In any ministry it can’t be a job. It has to be a ministry. Not something you have to do, but something you get to do! It’s not the easiest mindset to have…I’m still working on it! Really, it’s all about dying to ourselves and letting the Lord work through us. Since I’ve been working in the jail ministry, I’ve been able to see 5 professions of faith! I haven’t done anything special, I’ve just been teaching God’s Word. It’s the Lord that does the work in the hearts of people, He just needs a vessel through which he can pour out His love.

#3 – We can do more than we think we can.
Sometimes we don’t think ourselves capable to do things or even speak about certain subjects, whether they be doctrine or even the Gospel. It’s amazing what the Lord does when those circumstances come. There have been times where questions have been asked and initially I don’t know what to say, but the Lord is faithful and He directs to Scripture and gives me the words to say. There have been times where things that I believe have been questioned. It’s great to be able to go to God’s Word as backup for why you believe the way you do. We don’t have to come up with any other reason other than this is what God says. I can think of one experience in particular where I had to stand up for what I believed in. I had a lady pretty much yelling at me and telling me that because of my age I didn’t know what I was talking about. (Praise God, He doesn’t put an age limit on His Word!) She left the Bible Study mad with another lady trailing behind her. I went home and cried. I had never had anything happen like that before, but in the end I knew that I stood up for what I believed in and nothing she said was going to change that.

#4 – Your ministry must be bathed in prayer.
Just like in any ministry, I’ve found that the more prayer we put into it the more results we see. When we give our ministry to the Lord, He gives the increase. Prayer is so important in many aspects of the Jail Ministry.
~ Praying for the ladies (salvation, spiritual growth)
~ Praying for the Bible Study
~ Praying for wisdom in difficult situations

It’s been so exciting to see what the Lord is doing in the lives of these women. I just pray that He continues to work in them, as well as work in and through me.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Getting Started #2

I think I've finally got this thing figured out. I'll be posting as I feel like it. :) Please don't hesitate to comment...I'd love to hear what you think!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Getting Started I thought I'd give this whole blog thing a try. There's always so much going on in my life, why not write about it? With this first entry I'm going to add a few odd and end things just testing it out.

Well, that's all for now. See you next time...and thanks for visiting "The Island"!
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