Praise the Lord for open doors for Journey to the Heart to return to three prisons in March! The last time a Journey was held in prisons was February of 2020—right before COVID lockdowns made it impossible for volunteer groups to enter the prison facilities. The Journeys this time were still limited by continued COVID restrictions in the numbers of staff and volunteers who were allowed to participate, but, praise the Lord, a total 13 volunteers were in 3 facilities, and there were roughly 50 inmates total who attended. The Journey team sensed the Lord guiding them to honor and serve the prisons with the restrictions they are under, and to trust the Lord to open the doors to as many or as few as He desired. While being much smaller than usual, it was encouraging to see the Lord doing His work in the lives of those who attended.
The following are a few testimonies from the week:
Faith* changed before the volunteers’ eyes. She walked through a lot of forgiveness. She kept saying how free she was. After she chose the path of forgiveness, she slept for the first time in years. She smiled as she told the team that she was grateful she was not released from her prison sentence two weeks earlier. (She was scheduled to be released before the Journey came, and her release was delayed until after the Journey!) She said she wasn’t ready before, but now she is. One of the volunteers was able to spend a lot of one-on-one time discipling Faith, which was a blessing for her to have such concentrated time of seeking the Lord before leaving prison. Pray she will continue to seek the Lord, get into a good church fellowship, and stay strong.
Noble* was encouraged by Faith’s change and was willing to be vulnerable with her past. She prayed with another one of the women volunteers. After she walked through forgiveness, she rejoiced that she felt so much lighter, like a heavy weight was lifted off her. She experienced the joy of obedience. Pray Noble will stay the course and continue to walk in obedience and forgiveness.
In the men’s prison, Tom* was very quiet during the week, but he really participated in the Journey. As the week went on, he began to ask deep questions revealing pain and hurt in his life. He ended up sharing that he had been experiencing nightmares. His Journey leaders took him aside and prayed over him and he was able to bring things to the light, take back ground he had surrendered to the enemy and receive the Lord’s forgiveness in his life. It was thrilling to see him soften toward the Lord and really grab hold of getting in the Word of God through memorization and meditation.
Please continue to pray for God’s work in the hearts of each inmate who attended the Journey. Lord willing, additional teams will be able to go into additional prisons in the future, touching the lives of more and more inmates.
*Names have been changed