“Tell everyone in the cell the back up singers are coming to sing for you next week, you won’t want to miss it, so invite everyone to church next week,” said Joyce Zander last Thursday. All 40 women showed up and boy, were they excited! Not only were they excited but thirteen ministers showed up as well. I can’t remember when that many from the outside wanted to come to jail, but most importantly, Jesus was there and He made Himself known in a wonderful way. He used Moma-Cleon Dewey, Cindy Larson, her sister, Suzie Young, their friend, Cheryl Iquinta, Edith Reed, Liz Dial, Gena Henson, Margo Leneave, Carla Henderson, Billy Jo Matthis, Terry Hancock, Joanna Mack, me and Joyce Zander, of course. It was amazing to see the faces of the girls seeing and feeling how much Jesus loves them through the power of music and the message they brought. I am so thankful and blessed that God includes us in these moments that are precious and life-changing. These inmates will never be the same after this night of worship. This one inmate asked me to pray with her, she said she was tired of being out there in the world. Tears streaming down her face as she spoke caused tears to come to my eyes. She confessed to me she wants a different life for herself, as she wiped her tear off my hand with her tissue. We prayed, and as I walked away from her I thought of the power of the Holy Spirit in that room who was drawing them into a relationship with Him and how it feels so good to be loved by Him.
After the service, which by the way, we never wanted to end, there were several ladies who wanted to talk. One in particular was the one who cried on my hand; she wanted to ask more questions of how to get a God-centered life. She made a few decisions like, not calling the people she always calls, and making church and bible reading a regular part of her life. Liz Dial shared in the talk with her and told her, she would continue to pray for her long after tonight.
The next girl I listened to filled in some blanks from her story the week before. I know it sounds weird to us because we know how this all works, but see, she left out the whole truth last week when we talked. It bothered her that she lied to me; the Holy Spirit wouldn’t leave her alone until she cleared up a few things. Later she told me she always wondered what people meant by, “God spoke to me.” She doesn’t have to wonder anymore. I left that visit knowing that this girls’ life has changed for the better already. She is free to hear from God and her relationship with Him is sweeter.
The final lady who wanted to talk was one whom I have not spoken with before, but wanted to hear her story. Before she came to jail, she was a successful business woman according to the world. Her life was a mess according to God, because she had been in a relationship with a woman for 19 years. Recently, the woman moved out, sold all her belongings and kept the money. She has nothing left, everything is gone. She became sick with shingles and had to be put in isolation, and she was miserable inside. God put her in a place where He can speak to her and she listened. I don’t know what is going on with her sexual preferences, but I do know that God will take care of that too. He saves all of us, not just the church going part. Isn’t that great?
I didn’t leave the jail until after midnight, but I wouldn’t trade one second of what God was doing in these people’s life. He is amazing and I get to watch Him and be a part of His Glory.
Written by Tracey