April 8, 2010
Thursday, 9:00 p.m.
Letter #130: Laboring in the Fields That Are White unto Harvest
Greetings! Thank you for all your prayers for me! Wow! God confirms to my spirit how blessed I am to have you supporting me in prayer. I need the constant flow of God’s grace in my life here if I truly want to be available for Him to use me at any moment to minister to those around me.
With all that happens in my crazy world, I feel as if I have to sift through the blessings and just choose a couple to share that would encourage you today. I’ve said many times before how you are an investor in this “ministry” facet of my incarceration, and as such, a partaker in the eternal rewards being generated here. Through your prayers, God has not only transformed me into someone who genuinely cares about lost men (not exactly my top target-demographic in days gone by) 😉 but also somehow has gifted me with opportunities to bless those around me for Him. Thank you for your ongoing support of His work here!
Here’s some recent news:
Sammy paroled on Saturday, April 3rd, and was surprised to have my amazing parents pick him up at the prison! Spending the day with him included good food, a shower, meeting with his new accountability partner (who bought him an entire set of new clothes!), lots of counseling, an Easter Pageant, an introduction to the business opportunity he’ll be running from home, and spending the night (!) at the home of my dear friend, Ed Soria.
Sammy had referred to his last 10 days in prison as his “worst day of my life”—spent in “the hole,” due to a death threat on him. At the end of a day in which he was loved on, cared for, provided for, prayed with, and crying-induced (that is, he was cried on and he cried), he told my parents that “this day made up for all the years I’ve been incarcerated.” Praise God!
Now, living at home near Eureka, California, with his parents, we need to pray that Sammy continues to make good choices. Old friends could be a huge stumbling block. He will be looking for a church—a new activity for him—and try not to violate parole. For the third (?) time. He wants to live differently, but oh, how sweet that world can look.
Please keep Sammy in your prayers. I will update you regularly.
At prayer service yesterday, I could hear everyone else pouring their hearts out, crying out to God. I asked God to “break me for the lost … that I would have a compassion for souls.” God brought to mind Bernard—who died and was brought back again and will be attending church this Sunday—and also Tony—the guy who wanted to go to Mule Creek Prison, and since he saw God work on his behalf, will be attending church this Sunday.
I told God I wanted more. Just then, an inmate who handles prayer requests handed me a few to pray for from men who had submitted them to the chapel. (I’d never seen these before.) The first two were health-related, and I prayed for them. The last one simply said, “Pray for my salvation.”
Thoughts overwhelmed me as a realization of what God had just done hit me. I put my head in my hands and cried. God is too good. Here I was, holding a piece of ministry gold. It was the equivalent of getting a hot lead about a potential client, and God had gifted me with it!
I immediately thought about all of you who pray for me. You have no idea how grateful I am! I thought how, in the “free world,” we just don’t get opportunities like these all-too-common ones I receive. God, give me eyes to see them and a heart that is willing! Thanks for making this one obvious!
I jotted down the inmate’s name (Whalin) and housing information (he’s not in my building) and prayed for him. It is amazing what prison can do to drive self-assured, cocky, self-absorbed, prideful, headstrong men to pursue eternal answers to life. We sit in the middle of a vast field white unto harvest! (Please do not ask the Lord of the Harvest to send workers here, 🙂 but rather to raise up workers from here to minister here and be sent out to reach their world.)
I wrote Mr. Whalin a two-page letter, accompanied by a copy of The Purpose-Driven Life, and had someone deliver it to him in his building. I asked him to introduce himself to me on Sunday at the piano. I hope to be able to lead him to Christ on Sunday.
Thank you for praying for this man and others to be sent my way—bring it on! I’m available! Here am I, Lord! Send me! Blessings on you and your family as you seek out those God has put in your path today.