“Exceedingly, Abundantly More….” Ephesians 3:20 – Rhonda Soland

Sometimes God surprises us with how extravagantly
and abundantly He meets a need. It stops us in our tracks
and leaves us wide-eyed in wonder and amazement. But
why should it surprise us, when we serve a God who can
do the impossible?

We have been using the Life Recovery Bible as the
main Bible at Chester County Prison for the past few
years. At times, it has been a bit of a struggle to keep
them in stock and there have been times, when we did
not have any at all, and we had to generate a “wait list”
for the residents who requested them, with a promise
to send them a Bible once we received more. The
Life Recovery Bible is particularly well-suited for use
in the prison environment, as the majority of inmates
struggle with substance abuse issues. It uses a very easy
to understand translation, and includes notes to help
the reader understand how to apply the Word to their
lives, so it has been very popular among the men and
women. Therefore, the Bibles would fly off our shelves
very quickly and we would have to stretch to meet the

A few months ago, Prison Fellowship contacted us
with an offer of free Bibles. They were offering up to
220 Bibles for free (in English or Spanish), including
free shipping! And the Bible they were offering? The
Life Recovery Bible! We marveled at God’s provision,
rejoiced, and jumped on the opportunity.

A few weeks later, unexpectedly, I received a call
from the officer at the guard-station at the entrance of
the prison, informing me that a delivery had arrived for
me. I thought there must be some mistake. All the book
deliveries for the chaplain’s office come in through the
mailroom and are either delivered to our offices or we
pick them up from the mailroom. So I was confused. He
told me that a large truck was there with a delivery for
me, and that it was Bibles. Then I remembered. He said
he would send the truck through and I could come out
and meet the driver at the second guardhouse.

By the time I got outside to the guard-station, they
had the driver out of the truck, questioning him, the back
of the truck was open, and officers were in the truck
inspecting the pallet of Bibles. I was completely taken
aback. I had not considered how heavy 220 Bibles would
be or how they would be delivered. I had not informed
anyone from security or administration that a shipment
would be coming. They had no knowledge of it, were
not expecting it, and were very suspicious of a truck
that showed up out of nowhere with a “delivery” that no one knew about. I
wanted to kick myself. I apologized to the driver, who looked very nervous.

The officers did not want to allow the truck to pass through the gate into
the heart of the prison to get to the loading dock. It was after 3:00, and no
trucks were allowed into the prison after 3:00. There were
many phone calls to higher authorities, and back and forth
conversations, questions, and confusion. I offered to take
the Bibles into the prison myself, if the driver would just be
allowed to open the pallet right there. I could use a cart and,
with multiple trips, carry them into the building. The driver
informed me that there were over 800 lbs of Bibles on the
pallet. I was deflated, but still determined to do it.

There were more back and forth calls and conversations
between the officers and administration, as they determined
how to handle the situation. I apologized to the driver again,
feeling helpless and foolish. Finally, the approval came
through to allow the truck into the prison grounds to unload
the pallet at the loading dock.

I thanked the officers and the driver and went back
inside, relieved, but still feeling embarrassed to have been
the cause of such commotion.

Later, it came to my attention that, when the call had
gone through from the officer at the guard-station to the
administration regarding the Bibles, it was at the time of the
afternoon briefing, when all the Majors, Captains, Directors,
and even the Warden are present. They all were made aware
and involved in the discussion of the 800 pounds of Bibles
arriving in the prison. Suddenly, the Word of God was the
topic in their meeting.

It is said, “God moves in mysterious ways.” He blest
us with an abundant supply of Life Recovery Bibles, and
in doing so, He broke into the consciousness of every
high-ranking official in the prison. But why should we be

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted
among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm

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