Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We tried something very interesting (and new to all of us) in the first service at the prison last night. You see, we have 4 or 5 Hispanic inmates who come out to the service each week who do not speak or understand English very well. Another inmate, Angel, offered to translate for them, so we sat them all together and Andy did his best to slow down during the message to give Angel a chance to interpret for these young men.
While it places an extra burden on the volunteer team (slower, more basic messages), impacts the service timing (shortening other areas to give message/interpretation more time), and could be distracting to English-speakers in a room with harsh acoustics, I am reminded of Jesus’ parable of the shepherd leaving behind the 99 to find the one lost sheep. Last night we did what we could to “round up all the sheep”.
Andy’s message broke down John 3:16 phrase-by-phrase, asking questions of the men throughout:
“For God…” – who is He? Many religions in the world, many gods, they can’t all be true – only one true living God.
“so loved” – Bible mentions different kinds of love (eros, storge, philos, agape) – God models selfless, sacrificial love – Agape
“the world” – everyone and everything He created – it was all good at creation. Can also substitute our own name in here.
“that He gave” – God is a giver, all out, not partial or conditional. He holds nothing back from those he loves.
“His only Son” – the most precious gift He could give. Who is Jesus? Who did He claim to be?
“that whoever believes in him” – God invites all, not just some, knowing that many will reject Him. This is condition for salvation- believing Jesus lived, died for us, rose again – He is Lord and personal Savior.
“shall not perish but have eternal life.” – paradise with God forever. Only 2 futures – with God, or lake of fire, choice is ours. Who wouldn’t want heaven? No more tears, sorrow, sin, plus we get glorified body.
Of course it concluded with Andy encouraging any man not sure of his salvation to accept God’s offer and believe Jesus when He said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).
I pray you all had a wonderful thanksgiving last week, and we all remain very thankful for all of you partnering in this ministry through your time, talents, and treasures. Never underestimate the power of prayer, or the importance of what you do to support those in prison. God bless your week.
Grace and peace,
Inmate Prayer Requests from Medium Security (7:00pm service):
- Dave– for my kids (10, 11, 15, 16, and 19), my family, and for all of us in here. For my case- that they figure out by the 12th what to do with me.
- Shaun– for my family and a special prayer of comfort for my uncle who lost his wife. For my brother and my best friend Eric who lost his mother. And please bless all our families through the holidays.
- Ross– thankful for all the guys here and their prayers. Pray for parole department trying to get everything transferred to Florida. Also prayers for all our family members.
- John– for peace in the world, particularly where innocent people are dying in wars in Ukraine, Israel, and other war-torn countries. Prayers for our families, our kids, and our friends. Asking prayers for my vision and upcoming eye surgery. Thankful for answered prayer in my court case, it all worked out and I’m just waiting for release date. Prayers for all those going home to stay connected with God and His Word.
- Joel– for each of us here, bless the volunteers, and for God’s power to help me stop doing bad things and his strength to do good things. Also please protect my Mom back home in Puerto Rico.
- Angel– for my family and my fiancé – she is struggling (drugs involved), prayers she clean things up and that I would be able to hear what’s going on with her, I’m very worried. Also for my parole officer to lift the detainer on me that is preventing my case from moving forward. Prayers for the court system to function properly. Also healing prayers for my brother and father’s health. And for our brother Bernard back on the block in severe back pain and a recently found heart condition.
- Tommy– for friends and family, and for the future of my life.
- Brandt– for all our friends and family to have a happy holiday season. And for the hostages being held by Hamas.
- Ken– for our families and that my daughter had a good holiday – I hope to hear from her soon.
Inmate Prayer Requests from Minimum Security (8:30pm service)
- Martin– for a good outcome of my case and all our cases. For my family and for healing of my relationship with my girlfriend. Asking God to restore me and help me maintain sobriety.
- Clarence– thanks for the volunteers coming out to give us the Word each week, for all of our families, for my court date coming up Thursday and all our court dates. For my father – his legs are going bad. For all the brothers back on the block who aren’t here. For all the CO’s (corrections officers) and the inmates.
- Dan T– For a man struggling with his 18-year-old son’s suicide – he blames himself. Pray that the Lord would let him know He’s forgiven and release that burden.
- Andy L– my nephew recently got out of prison but drugs still in the picture. His sister shut him out from thanksgiving celebration. Prayers for healing of that relationship and his ability to clean up.
Prayers from Onesimus Ministries
Continued prayers of healing for volunteer Erwin, still sick at home.
Prayers of thanks for recent volunteers to this ministry, and may the paperwork and processing go smoothly that they can being ministering alongside us soon.
Please continue to lift up our wonderful chaplains – Rhonda and Heinrich – may God grant them everything they need to continue ministering effectively in His name. And may they be a blessing to the inmates, staff, and families connected to Chester County Prison.
Ongoing prayers for the health, provision, and wellbeing of Chester County aftercare programs and their volunteers and staff. May they be a constant blessing to their clients who are building up their life in Christ as they return to society as responsible citizens.
If you’d like to find out more about mentoring and discipling a man or woman coming out of prison, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These weekly prayer requests are also posted on our website – https://onesimusministries.org/category/weekly-prayer-requests/
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