June 29, 2008
Sunday, 4:00 p.m.
Letter #40: A Visit from Pastor Romig!
“In Christ Alone” is playing on KLOVE radio as I begin this, thanks to the generous donations of some Christian brothers. One guy is lending me headphones, one the radio/CD player, and another one the batteries + recharger! Funny that my family wasn’t able to order me a CD player, since they were out of stock when Michael placed my order. Praise God—He had other plans for me to get one. 🙂 His ways are higher than out ways! Amen!
“In every victory, let it be said of me:
My source of strength, my source of hope,
Is Christ alone!”
I was blessed by a very uplifting church service today. God moved in so many of the guys. Thank you for praying for the ministry here. By your prayers, you are truly a part. I had fun at the piano with “To God Be the Glory,” a bunch of Spanish songs, and “This Little Light of Mine,” which the music director asked for me to play with a jazz feel. SWEET!
The guys really get into the music, and we’re growing. Today, several guys had to sit in the small aisles, and some stood. A couple of guys I play basketball with came for the first time today! Praise God! Thank you for praying for me!
One guy, “Twin,” whose identical twin is also here, was really enjoying the message. God sow your Word deep in His life!
The pastor, who comes here only one Sunday a month (usually the 4th Sunday) poked his head into the crowded room just after the worship time. His eyes got HUGE as he looked at me. Then he shot right up to the front, his excitement bubbling out. Grabbing my shoulder, he bent over and asked in my ear, “What’s your name?”
“Brother!! I’ve been looking for you. I know your brothers. We need to talk!”
Wow. Funny thing is, I’d heard his name from some of the inmates, and I’d recognized it, but I didn’t know from where. We fairly attacked each other after the service and got caught up. Yes, he attends Shoreline, where Brian and Michael worked. Yes, he went to the same chiropractor as Michael, and he’d gotten the whole story from Michael even before I was sentenced.
However, when he said, “Do you know Pastor Mekala from India?” Bingo. Wow. I’d actually brought Pastor Mekala to Jim Romig during the summer I traveled with the Mekalas. That’s where I knew him from! (Pastor Mekala called him even yesterday!)
I asked him what was he doing at my house?!? “Just visiting.”
Wow, this is gonna be great. God is good! Please pray. Jim Romig is president of Hidden Treasures Ministries and has asked me to write to him. It was nice to get a hug from a great man of God who loves me and my family. 🙂
As the sermon drew to a close, he challenged the guys to get with Jesus, saying that the prison industry is not going to change from the outside, but the inside. He asked who wanted to be part of that change. Throughout his message, the guys clapped spontaneously or shouted out: “That’s right! Amen!” He had their attention, and the Spirit had their heads. Many stood for rededication, and around six guys came into the Kingdom today!
It reminded me of what my Christian brother at Delano, Michael Guerra, pointed out to me once: that one of Christ’s final acts of redemption, just before He died on the Cross, was to set a prisoner free. No, not Barabbas—but the thief on the cross next to Him. I saw today that Christ Jesus is still in the business of setting prisoners free! Praise Him! Please continue to pray for us. God touched my heart today! Pray that He continues to send us men who will boldly proclaim the Word of God, touching many hearts.
Pray for Scott, a guy I usually eat breakfast and dinner with. God has given me several opportunities to minister to him. Scott plays Dungeons and Dragons on the yard every day and practices witchcraft, attending Wiccan services here. Scott lives three doors down from me and leaves for a Level II facility on Wednesday. Pray that the words I speak to him boldly will sink in—deep.
I love you all. Hugs all around!
His prisoner set free,