Florida Ministry Trip

Posted by on Nov 13, 2012 in Family Updates, Featured, Ministry Reports, Photo Galleries | 8 comments

When Representative Charles Van Zant and His wife attended the Regional Conference this year, they heard a powerful message by David Gibbs on How to Do the Impossible. After Representative Van Zant took office, God opened the door for him to be appointed as chairman to  the board of Corrections and he has 144 prisons under his care. God had also laid a burden on them for the spiritual well being of each of the inmates. In July, Chaplin Bob Holyfield conducted a Basic Seminar in the Lowell Reception Center near Ocala, Florida. Nearly 100 ladies attended with outstanding responses. Word began to spread in the prison and when a baptism service was offered several weeks later over 150 ladies asked to be baptized.

On October 21, we began the first ever Prison Journey to the Heart for those inmates who had gone through the Basic Seminar. Of the 70 ladies who remained, 62 of the ladies committed to go through the Journey. Trained staff from IBLP came from all over the US and even Mexico to share the love of Christ as they went through the powerful resources typically used in a Journey to the Heart. As the team proceeded through the seven 12-14 hour days, we saw God change lives. Sharing the true message of salvation several for the first time committed their lives to Jesus Christ. Almost night and day differences could be seen in their countenances and many of the officers even remarked at the difference.

A couple ladies seemed especially hard and distant, but after one of our staff shared a riveting testimony on the power of forgiveness, the walls came down and both of them in tears received Christ as their Savior.

A beautiful spirit of one accord developed in the teams as each one surrendered their competing affections and committed to love God with all their heart soul mind and strength. One morning, one of the inmates had a real burden on their heart for one of the ladies in their dorm that she had been witnessing to. However, she came running up saying she had just learned that her young daughter had been missing for three days and police did not have much more they could do to find her. She asked if we could cry out for her to be found. We explained about the power of crying out and then led the whole group in prayer. That evening the ladies were ecstatic when we relayed that her daughter had been found.

By the end of the Journey the ladies hearts were full and running over. We announced a special meeting that would include a Gospel Chalk Art presentation featuring the Gospel. The buzz of excitement spread and nearly a third of the entire prison population of 600 came out to listen. The following day we took time to address the ladies and answer many of the questions. Then we did a second chalk talk. Realizing the difference in quality if we did not find a way to turn down the standard prison lights, we worked with the prison staff to find a way, but nothing we tried really worked. However, just as we began to show the final drawing with the different color lights, the lights in the room miraculously turned off. Thus, when it was time to see the blacklight image, it reflected brilliantly. God answers prayer!

As we shared with each of these ladies, I realized that through the truths of God’s Word, these ladies could be the freest people on the face of the earth. The barbed wire would not be to hold them in, but to keep the world out. These ladies, though still physically incarcerated could be the freest people mentally, emotionally and spiritually. What a blessing to see these ladies become just that–Free!

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).
 

Florida Fun With Family!!

We also made sure we had a little time for some fun with Priscilla’s Family. The day we left to return to Chicago we took a little time to enjoy some tennis.

8 Comments

  1. What a mighty blessing it must have been to visit women incarcerated and explain the awesome power of Jesus (and see them respond). What a blessing it was to read your blog this evening!!

  2. My husband’s cousin is incarcerated and will be until 2030. We write once a month and in his letters, he talks about the ministry at the prison as being the only source of light and hope that he has. He said that he had to go to prison before he was open to hearing God’s word and accepting Jesus as his savior. By his own admission, he had become unlovable. It was in prison that he found out just how loved he was. I think it is awesome that God is using you in this way!

  3. Queridos hermanos en Cristo: les escribimos desde Buenos Aires, Argentina y les saludamos con la paz de nuestro señor y salvador Jesus. Que impresionante, que gran bendiciòn ha sido este ministerio que han llevado a las carceles, es increible lo que nuestro padre celestial puede hacer, el solo el con su gran poder puede transformar a las personas, y darles una nueva vision para su vida, ustedes son instrumentos en las manos de Dios y los usa de una manera digna de admirar. Sigan en èste ministerio, sigan ayudando a tantas personas que estan privadas de su libertad, si antes alguien les habrìa hablado del evangelio de salvacion, seguramente que muchas no estarian encerradas. Por favor sientanse libres de escribirnos, somos una gran familia cristiana que sirve al señor, dando acogida y haciendonos cargo de niños huerfanos con necesidades especiales, algo que el señor puso en nuestro corazòn. Reciban bendiciones desde nuesotro pais.

  4. This is such a great ministry you have! what a blessing it is you are able to do this! 🙂 If you don’t mind me asking….I was wondering what Church do you all go to? 🙂

  5. Hello! I really enjoy your updates on your blog! I was wondering if it would be alright with you David, would you allow Priscilla to vlog (video-blog) like document her life as a young Christian woman and Mother to be? I think it would be very encouraging to here from her. She is very inspiring and I think it would be nice to here her talk about life experiences and how to cope with different challenges in life and using the word as her guide to help encourage women. I’m sure a lot of people would benefit from it, I know I would!!! Just a random idea! Thanks for all you guys do your awesome people! May God bless, -Tina

    • Dear Tina, as the Lord allows time and gives us grace we will continue to post what God is teaching us! Thanks for your encouragement! I do like the idea of video.

  6. Hi Priscilla and David my name is Denise and lately I’ve been having trouble with christianity. I mean to me it all just seems sexist, you see I’m a feminist and all the bible seems to say about women is how they need to submit to their husbands and how their just needed for cooking cleaning and babysitting I dont mean to be rude but thats how it seems and how every time they mentioned a womans name it was in a negative aspect I just personal think that the bible seems to cator more to men than women and that men are more important in the bible than women it wasnt until I’ve read your story about how it made no difference to your parents which role their children played when it came to cooking or housework and I really did appreciate that but I also know that it isnt like that in all christian homes nor in the bible I dont know I just really need help and I realize that my grammar/punctuation isnt the best right now so sorry about that

    • Dear Denise, thank you for sharing thank you also for the compliment. I so glad that our parents raised each of us kids to have a healthy appreciation for the roles of both man and women. If the Bible teaches anything on the subject of the role of a woman, it definately teaches a woman is to be honored. After all, she is the greatest creation because God saved the best for last. Second, the servant of all is the greatest of all and every person in the world has been served by a woman. Third, a woman is greatest because in marraige she often has far more influence on her husband who has the position of authority for the family. In heaven there is no more male or female and in God’s eyes both have equal standing. After all, he is not concerned about religion, but about a personal relationship through His Son, Jesus Christ. May God bless!

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