Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I’ve been meticulously working on a design to replace the fence in my back yard. Being cost-conscious, I plan to build it myself so I’m working out every angle and every measurement ahead of time. I want to create the most efficient design to allow me to purchase the minimum amount of materials. This planning, designing, and preparation takes time and intentionality, and reminds me of our Christian faith.
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15)
Peter reminds us that in order to fulfill our primary purpose as Christians (to spread the Gospel and grow the kingdom of God), we must be intentional and take the time to prepare. Paul charges Timothy (and I believe all of us as well) to actually do it.
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)
Preparation is key. We must know what we believe and why we believe it. And to follow the Great Commission given to us by Jesus himself, we must be able to articulate our personal story and the Gospel message to others. Our prison chaplains Heinrich and Rhonda have opportunities like that every time they are in Chester County Prison. God blesses the male and female inmates through them, and we are grateful they have remained “on duty” throughout the pandemic. Their effectiveness is also a reflection of your support through prayer and other means. Thank you for lifting them up in prayer each week, along with the inmate prayer requests they pass along. God bless your week.
Grace and Peace,
Prayer Requests from Chaplain Rhonda:
(Letting the women speak for themselves this week: Each request is a direct quote from Inmate Request slips from the women.)
J. Y. – “I’m enjoying the Life Recovery Bible very much. Thank you for your generosity. I’m reading the Bible every day now & it is giving me hope. Thank you.”
B. M. – “I can’t thank you enough; God has been a part of my life in the past, but I have put Him on the bench for a long time when I obviously needed Him most…. Especially now, I need it just as much as a person needs oxygen.”
L. K. – “Yes, I will like to partake in the letters from volunteers. I also want to bring God into my life. I would like a Bible if that’s possible.”
J. K. – “Please say a prayer that my brother and his girlfriend [will] let my daughter have my letters and the bracelet and ring I made her. She misses me.”
H. Z. – “Are we gonna have church soon? I miss it.”
C. P. – ” I am in need of guidance, council, prayer, literature, support…”
B. K. – “Could I please receive the Life Recovery Bible and Life Recovery workbook? I’m locked in Medical and these books really help me.”
Prayers from Onesimus Ministries
Perseverance of Chaplain Rhonda and Chaplain Heinrich as they “go it alone” without any of the volunteer help in place before covid. May God continue to bless them with strength, endurance, compassion, and wisdom as they minister to inmates, staff, and family members connected to the prison.
For God to remove all barriers to volunteers once again ministering in-person to inmates. And restore the ability for inmates to gather for sharing, study, and worship.
For peace among the prison population, and healing mercies for those suffering from physical, mental, or social disorders within the prison.
For the prison aftercare programs that take inmates released from Chester County Prison and mentor them as disciples of Christ. May these ministries flourish with volunteers whose hearts are set on seeing former inmates successfully re-integrate back into society as productive citizens.
Want to know more about being a mentor, 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 www.onesimusministries.org