The Gospel Express Prison Crusade started Sunday afternoon (a week ago) with several hours of orientation.
On Saturday (day before) we picked up our friend, Brother Bob, from the Atlanta airport, and took him with us to the crusade.
(Bro Bob goes to our church back home in Iowa. He has an incredible testimony-after spending 45 years in prison serving a life sentence, he was miraculously released. Several years after release...he was attending a service with his granddaughter at our church, and he got saved-released spiritually! We've gotten to know him in the last year as we started attending the same church he goes to. He has been such a blessing to us-just to see how God has totally transformed his life, and how he now has such a love for the Lord and a desire to follow HIM, is amazing!
About a week before the prison crusade, my father got to thinking about how awesome it would be if Bob could come down to SC and volunteer in the prison crusade.
He made a phone call, and within 48 hours Bob was approved by the state prison system to go in a s a volunteer!
This was pretty miraculous-our family has been attending the crusade for years and still we have to send in all our info and have our background checks done, weeks and weeks before the actual crusade.
So the fact that Bob, who on top of the short notice was an ex-inmate, got approved within 48 hours was totally a God-thing.
God was definitely in the whole thing. Bob got to share his testimony 5 times over the weekend to crowds of from 40-400 people each time!
On Sunday morning he was with us at the church we sang at and spoke to the children that came in on the churches bus ministry.
He connected with them SO amazingly well and seven came forward to get saved following his testimony.
The rest of the week was typical crusade time-devotions/worship with the group of volunteers/singers/evangelists in the morning, then (for our family) daily activities, school, music, life throughout the day, and then usually around 3pm we would head to the prison we would be singing at that night.
It was a difficult week as in that there was a lot of spiritual warfare going on in the prisons...LOTS of darkness and oppression that we could just feel as we went in, more so than usual.
And yet, in spite of it, God as always moved and worked in mighty ways and we were again thankful for the opportunity. In reflecting back, it truly is just amazing that the prisons allow us to come in as a whole family, even with the little ones, and minister in these maximum security prisons. What a privilege it is to have this window of time to penetrate the darkness and shine God's light!