Monday, January 26, 2015

Preparing my Heart for Prison Ministry

{worship time @ the rally}

Yesterday was the crusade rally. It was perfect, as always. I always look forward to that day so much as a fueling jumpstart for the following four days of intense prison ministry. God spoke to my heart so strongly through the incredible times of corporate worship + sharing of the Word. It was once again a time to just lay aside everything else-the things that are hard + painful + consuming in my life right now-and focus on this specific eternal work that we are beginning for the next four days. It is also just pretty amazing to be able to work with this group of volunteers + family bands + evangelists who come together from all over the USA, and from every type of background + denomination. Being in the trenches of ministry as a group like this brings about a unity that is so special so to experience.

Coming off of three weeks of almost non-stop ministry with my family, and before that two months of ministry at home + with my church, it is easy to sometimes go from one thing to the next without stopping to refocus + redirect onto the current ministry opportunity. I've been involved with my family in prison ministry for ten years now, and it is one of the most emotionally exhausting, but spiritually rewarding, things that I've done. It isn't exhausting so much because of the physical labor, or time, because that really isn't even that much. But rather it is all of the spiritual warfare, the forces of darkness that I can acutely feel working against us. This is manifested in different ways-weather challenges, difficult guards at the prisons, and schedule mixups, just to name a few.

And that's not to mention the family issues, relationship challenges, and personal struggles that invariably come up during these four days. Sometimes I feel like, seriously...why do we have to deal with all this right now? And then I remember, ah, yes...we're not fighting against flesh + blood. (i.e. all our issues =)) We're fighting against principalities and spiritual wickedness in high places! (Ephesians 6:12)
No wonder satan is doing everything he can to attack + discourage us! Every time we enter one of these prisons we are waring against His kingdom of darkness. 

Getting lost on the way to our first prison service, and arriving there way late, and being extremely frustrated with a family conflict, and feeling a very big lack of quality quiet time in my life right now, and wanting so badly to figure out how to mend some broken relationships...all these things are just the surface of the deeper spiritual warfare that surrounds us as we prepare to go into these prisons + spread the light of the gospel into the darkness.

So thankful that we can know that our labor is not in vain in the Lord, and that in His strength + might we have the victory every single time!


{note: if you would like to stay updated on what is happening + up-to-date prayer requests/praises here @ the crusade this week, please visit the WeCare Program Facebook page here}

Love you all! Thank-you for your prayers!
-Chels

8 comments:

  1. yes, the struggles of Christian warfare come in so many different sizes..praying for y'all and cling to Jesus. He is all we need.

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  2. Oh, Chels...I am praying for you and your family! Keep clinging to Jesus, and know that He WILL carry you through this time of ministry!
    Blessings, friend!

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    1. Happy Birthday Chels!!! Keep shining for Jesus-He WILL give you the strength that you need! blessings, and praying for ya'll!

      love,
      Rachael

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  3. Ah, yes, the devil will fight hard to stop us from doing ministry, especially when he sees how important and vital our ministry is! I guess when we are fighting hard against spiritual warfare it is just reinforcing that we are doing what's right! It sure can be hard though... and it really seems like "Why do all these bad/hard things have to come right now, of all times!?" But God knows best! It's usually during these times that we grow the most! :-) Keep on serving the Lord in the place of ministry He has you! I am praying for you and your family! May God use your time at the prisons mightily!

    Praying for you,
    Sarah F.

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  4. Ephesians 6:10-18 - Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
    Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
    For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
    Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
    Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
    And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
    Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
    And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
    Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

    PhiIippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

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  5. Praying that God will open your eyes to see the great hosts of angels that are fighting for you! Those who are with you are more than those who are against you. May you be equipped with the full armor of God so when evil comes, you may stand firm.
    Thank you to you and your family for being willing to stand in the trenches. :)

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  6. Praying for ya'll.
    ~Priscilla

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  7. There's always something else to blame,always an excuse for when something goes wrong.

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