Believing on His name is the start of an amazing, everlasting journey that gives us the privilege of being adopted into the family of God. This offer is to all who will receive him and it is our privilege to proclaim this Good News.
Wednesday mornings I host a fellowship drop-in at one of the minimum security institutions. It was during one of these informal times last spring that Brandon came in and as we introduced ourselves, I asked him a few questions - endeavouring to get to know him better.
"Do you have any church connections on the street? Did you ever attend church as a child?" … were just a couple of starter questions that morning as I tried to make some connections.
Brandon answered that his grandpa took him to Sunday school when he was 7-10 years old. "Which church was that and where would it have been?" I asked.
Brandon’s response was that he didn’t think that I would have heard of this church located in the countryside.
"Try me," I encouraged. He answered, “Wallenstein Bible Chapel.”
Wow! What a surprise!
This was the same church where I was raised and attended for many years.
I then asked, “Who was your grandpa?” Another surprising connection… Horst Rilling…a very good friend of my dad, Herman Martin. From then on there has been a special connection with Brandon. He has trusted Jesus Christ as His Saviour and is growing in his understanding and devotion as a Christ follower. He has gained clearance to attend our church each Sunday morning. He and another Christian inmate are writing praise songs together and doing some singing for institutional chapel services. He is also taking advantage of available training during his incarceration to achieve multiple certifications that will benefit him in the workplace when released.
Brandon has a short sentence and his parole eligibility is this coming summer. Pray that he would continue to seek the Lord’s guidance and provision as he works his way through his correctional plan and returns to life outside of prison.
“When I arrived at CBI Minimum I was lost. I knew that I was going down the wrong path. I knew I needed to make a change. Another inmate who knew Robert invited me to come with him to the chapel. When I arrived Robert shook my hand and as we talked I could see and hear his passion for God and my curiosity drew me in. I wanted to learn more. I am truly grateful for the journey God has brought me on to come to know my Heavenly Father. I couldn’t be happier. Now I am almost a year into my new journey. I still struggle some days but I know God has changed my life and will continue to guide me. It’s amazing that our families knew each other all those years ago and God has brought us back together in my time of need.”
Pray for other Christian inmates like Brandon who have come to faith in Christ since coming to prison….some have a much longer sentence ahead of them. Pray they will come to depend on and fully understand how their saving faith must now translate into a life of faith dependent on the indwelling Holy Spirit who can give them success and make all things possible.
Pray for Tom*, that the gospel message will break through the anger, hurt and sadness of his past so he can know the joy of God’s grace and forgiveness.
Pray for a new Bible study series beginning in two institutions.
In a previous newsletter we asked you to pray for Steve*…a senior inmate dying of cancer. Time is closing in and Steve still disregards the Lord Jesus as the only way to the Father. * Names have been changed.
It is our privilege to help inmates find their way to our heavenly Father who loves them. We pray earnestly that many would receive Jesus Christ as their substitute, believe on His name and be given the right to become children of God!
Thank you for your prayers for us! We would love to hear from you as well.
Robert and Susan