Sunday, March 20, 2011

Prison Ministry

Sentema Prison Uganda

Today we went to the prision to minister to the inmates. This is not something that I stressed to my family that we were even doing. I watched a movie years ago (Out of Alcatraz?) where people went into a prision and there was an uprising so they were stuck. I have never been into a prision, only the county jail (not because I was an inmate :0) ). SO, I was a little worried that we would be in the middle of some type of uprising, and not be able to get out of the prision. I do know that God loves the prisioners, and wants them to be ministered to.

Imagine this: beautiful land. Grass growing outside. 8 ft walls. Prisioners walking around outside the walls going to and from getting water. When entering you must give them (the lady at the front desk) your cell phone. You can take a bag, or whatever else you want inside. We took in a huge bag of bread, a box full of soap, and feminine hygine products. After entering the front door, you go through 1 gated door (not even sure if it was locked). You then enter into a courtyard. Across the courtyard are the wards. They are in 1 building. 6 rooms. Each room is 16ftX16ft. Each room has no furniture, no beds, nothing. 28 men share each room. On the porch of this ward were sitting the inmates in their bright yellow uniforms (which they just got recently, before that they had no clothes). The men were sitting perfectly still. The women (about 10) were on the side of the building sitting on the grass.

We were invited to go to minister to the prisioners by the Bethel Church. They go once a month. Over 10 of them rode in the back of a suzuki(?) tiny pickup. The ride there was extremly bumpy and took over 45 min.

When inside, the Bethel church sang a song for them, and then us Muzungus (white people) sang "Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord". Then Charlie spoke. God really spoke through him. He very powerfully gave the gospel message. 180 of the 200 people accepted Jesus into their heart!!!!! Talk about a revival in that prision!!! Charlie asked the warden privately and he said yes, so Charlie was able to give his Bible to a man who was obviously moved by the message. He could not believe it! Josh Varga gave the follow up message. He spoke about how Jesus is the bread of life. He encouraged them to seek God's word. That it didn't just stop with giving your life to Christ, but how you let him work through you. What a revial!!!

After the messages, all of us were leaving and one of the missionaries said that they needed 2 of us Muzungus to help pass out the bread to the prisioners. I kinda wanted to help and I thought that Charlie was a good fit because he had just given the message. I realized after reading his blog that he only stayed because he didn't want to leave me in there alone. AWWW, so sweet! But Mom, we clearly were not alone. The warden was in there (so what if he was only 5'7 and weighed only 140 pounds), 5 Ugandans from the church we came with, Alisa (the missionary), and Charlie and I, Oh, and the Biggest God, and the most protective God on the planet. So we were fine. They were so excited to get the bread. They got 3 pieces!

It was very humbling today. God loves these prisioners just as much as He loves you and me. He died for these prisioners, just as he died for you and me! It was a privledge to serve God today.
Matthew 25:35-46 Jesus Speaking
"For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prision, and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? and when did we see you a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?' The King will answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'
"Then He will also say to those on His left,' Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison and you did not visit Me.' Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked , or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You? Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me'. These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Love ya lots!


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