FIRST PRISON BSF IN THE WORLD!

I am proud and honored to train and serve shoulder to shoulder with these wonderful women. This is the first ever BSF Prison Ministry in the world. God has reached these inmates in a powerful way through the book of Revelation. Please pray BSF would spread in prisons around the world.

Posted on May 25, 2016 .

PRISON PRAYER: "I'M ADDICTED TO PROSTITUTION"

prayer.jpg

Dear Prayer Friends,

I have to say last time in prison was perhaps one of my favorite ever! Not only was it a FULL HOUSE - but we talked about God's power being unleashed against the impossible. I taught from Roman 4; 

"Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed..."
"Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed..."

Anonymously, I shared a Shakopee prison prayer card, where a woman wanted to be freed from her "addiction" to prostitution, her evil boyfriends and that God wouldn't give up on her. We openly talked about what would cause someone to be addicted to prostitution?  The answers they shared why were eye-opening. IMPOSSIBLE? We summarized that one sin is no different than any other sin, we all need a Savior! 

My God works in the IMPOSSIBLE... I concluded by sharing about my current healing. (Please see my earlier blog post for reference.) I wish you could have heard it... There were shouts, cheers and a genuine celebration for God, that he heals today. I then led them ALL in their own healing prayer... WOW - POWERFUL!

Part II: "UNLEASHING GOD'S POWER WHEN FACING THE IMPOSSIBLE!"  I will be teaching from Romans 5:1-11 and personally addressing the two remaining seemingly "IMPOSSIBLE" topics from the original prayer card:

  1. How can I Be Freed From Evil people in my life?

  2. How to deal with reoccurring "signature" sins?

Whew! All of us are going to need your prayers.

  • Please pray that there will not be any disturbances or lockdowns!

  • God will handpick the inmates to attend (Fill' r up Lord!)

  • They will understand how to deal with bad influences in their lives "God's Way!"

  • They will have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • God will develop in and through each of them "perseverance, character and hope!"

  • At just the right time...God's power will be unleashed (through Jesus Christ) and break the reoccurring sins in their lives once and for all! 

Finally, please pray I will speak through the power of the Holy Spirit and that Christ is glorified!

"IT JUST DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS!"

Hallelujah!


Shug

Posted on October 19, 2015 .

IT'S A MIRACLE - I AM HEALED FROM PSC and UC!

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I AM HEALED FROM PSC!
 

Some have heard, some have not. I was diagnosed several years ago with an auto-immune, liver disease called PSC or Primary Schlerosing Cholangitis. This very rare disease causes my body to attack it's own liver. I was diagnosed between stages 3 & 4 of liver failure. There is no cause for this disease and there is no medical cure.

I had been going to the Mayo Clinic for observation and testing, they said I had probably had this for 15-20 years without knowing until it's later stages. Then last year they diagnosed me with a second auto-immune disease called UC-Ulcerative Colitis. For some, PSC goes hand in hand along with UC and liver cancer.

I felt like JOB from the Bible. The enemy attacked every area of Job's life... then finally Satan attacked his health. Being on the battle front for Christ in prisons, over the years Satan has attacked the same areas in my life as well. I was oddly excited about my diagnosis, whatever the reason, God found me worthy to glorify him through this disease.

Last week, we went returned to the Mayo Clinic for more testing and monitoring. After two days of testing the Doctor came in very sober and serious. "Shug, what have you been doing different?" I had no idea what that meant so I said' "Mmmmm, nothing... OH, but lots of prayer!"

The Mayo Doctor explained there is no other reason, because of prayer my body had reversed itself and my PSC liver disease is GONE! OVER 1500 DIFFERENT MEDICAL SCANS OF MY LIVER WERE DONE AND IT IS GONE! Not only that but my UC Ulcerative Colitis is also... GONE! 

We all wept, including the doctor, and we ALL immediately prayed. We prayed for Mayo's other patients who are suffering and daily dying as well. The Doctor said they NEVER get to deliver this good news, this is an incurable disease. "Ahhhhh, the power of prayer. Thank you Jesus." Imagine, if this was a pill I took, it would be on the front page of every medical journal... but prayer?... Nothing.

People often ask me HOW did I pray? It's simple... I gave it over to Christ. "Lord, no matter what happens I want you will be glorified. You have allowed this disease to enter my life. I want to glorify you in the hospital, or liver conferences, anywhere that you send me...if it is your will."  "OR...I will glorify you if you decide to miraculously heal me. I will SHOUT IT FROM THE MOUNTAINTOPS... MY GOD HEALS IN THE POWER OF JESUS CHRIST'S NAME!" 

"Father, whatever you decide... I trust you, that this will be used either way for your glory."

Painfully, I don't know why God heals some and does not others. It is now only my job not to wonder why, but to bring hope and tell others... (I am forever available to tell any group or person who needs to hear...

"WE HAVE HOPE... GOD STILL HEALS TODAY!  HALLELUJAH!"

I love you - thank you for your powerful prayers. Whoop! Whoop!


Shug 

P.S. Please pray for the prisoners, that God would use me to share this great news through His Holy Spirit's Power. Many surrender and receive Christ because of it. 

Posted on October 19, 2015 .

Here I come... to the Prison Trenches of Africa

Dearest Friend,

Power of Prayer! Some Pastor friends of mine could not emphasize enough the importance of the power of prayer when you go into the trenches of Africa prisons. I agree. I have had a front row seat to see God's miracles because of prayer. So, I am counting on you...

Many of you have stepped forward donated your hard earned money, and are expecting God to impact the lives of the poverty-stricken prisoners and training for the prison chaplains/pastors. Basic prison supplies are extremely limited, while voodoo/witch-craft and "works" is the mixed theology in their daily lives.

Thursday morning I am leaving for those trenches in Africa and I need your help. Will you take a moment to follow our call for prayer, and battle for these souls.

  • Like the Apostle Paul, please pray that God would speak boldly through me. I am asking that His perfect words would anoint and flow through me and the team with a freedom from the Holy Spirit.
  • That we would "get the love thing right" and love everyone like Jesus in the dark corners of Africa.
  • Satan and his dominions would be hog-tied and helpless. No satanic forces would hinder this entire mission. No corruption or disruptions.
  • Travel mercies as I am traveling alone much of the time. 
  • June 11-21st HIM Prison Ministries (myself) is partnering with Spring of Hope International Ministries http://www.springhope.org out of Spokane Washington to follow up with the prisons I worked with last year in the Kendu Bay, Homa Bay area of Kenya. To train inmates and church leaders in prison mentorship. I will be going into three prisons to preach the Gospel and train/disciple inmate leaders inside of prison. I am excited to be bringing Bibles donated by you and the MOPS MOMS in Minnesota, along with a letter of encouragement for each inmate receiving the Bibles. "Lord, may I be granted permission by the prisons officials to take photos of the inmate's excited faces."
  • June 21-27 Please pray for safe, timely travel, as I venture back to Nairobi to conduct our (first annual) Prison Leadership Conference in Nairobi. This is much more exciting than I ever imagined. God has flung open the doors for prison ministry in this vast, bustling city. 
  • I am hosting along with SMiMS Charity http://www.smimsafrica.com a prison ministry conference for up to 50+ Prison Chaplains, Pastors and Leaders from around Kenya June 22-24. They are traveling in to collaborate together, encourage one another and be trained in Christian prison mentorship. We will finish up our conference by attending a Nairobi prison together. (This could possibly be the first conference for prison ministry of it's kind in Kenya.) "Father, God, please invite, hand-pick and release the right prison chaplains/leaders for this conference."
  • Wednesday, June 24, We finish up our conference, hand out their awards of completion and then we are tentatively scheduled for an interview on Nairobi's local TV program to heighten awareness in prison ministry.
  • Thursday, June 25, I meet with ex-offenders for a day long conference. "Heavenly Father, may these precious ex-offenders find purpose, encouragement and restoration through our time together."
  • Friday, June 26, debrief meetings and planning for next years conference. I leave Friday for the USA and return home Saturday to sleep!

Please pray for the details of the trip and for my preaching and training. "Merciful Father, put together the perfect message for each and every group?" 

I am leaning into God, depending on His provision and sovereignty for this "exciting and nerve-rackingly, fabulous trip!" 

"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I Lord, Send me!"  Isaiah 6:8

Posted on June 11, 2015 .

MOPS MOMS REACH OUT TO KENYAN PRISONERS

M.O.P.S. (Mothers of Preschoolers) reach out to prisoners in Africa. 

BSFIMG_6239.jpg

M.O.P.S. is partnering with H.I.M. Prison Ministry to raise funds for Bibles. But they don't stop there, they are adding a special touch... they each personally wrote letter of encouragement for each inmate receiving the Bibles.

WHY? Because they want the men in African prisons to rise up and receive Jesus Christ. To begin their life anew. That this is not the end but a new beginning in Christ. Can you imagine, if these men are encouraged to read God's Word, become transformed from the inside - out, the impact they can make in their communities when they are released. All because it started with a prayer, a bible and a letter...

In Kenya, Africa, the prisons are filled with hopelessness and regret. H.I.M. Prison Ministry will be preaching the gospel and distributing these precious Bibles for MOPS in June 2015.

The prisoners who are often forgotten on the fringe of society will receive the love of Jesus through a handwritten letter from a MOPS Mom.
 


Please pray that the prisoners in Kenya will study God's Word with their new Bibles and be encouraged by the letters. May both the giver and the receivers be blessed more than they could ever ask or imagine!


If you would like to support H.I.M. Prison Ministries please contact Shug Bury at:

shugbury@himprisonministry.org

HIM Prison Ministry 
P.O. Box 87
Chanhassen, MN 55317

All donations are tax deductible.

Posted on June 2, 2015 .

Prison Inmates Respond to Senior Citizens Support

(This was my response to the Chaplain after telling the inmates about the Seniors who are praying for them.)

 

Dear Chaplain Gene,

It's just one of those things... I cannot get those beautiful joy filled faces out of my mind from your Senior Living service! 

This past Saturday evening, I preached two services in prison. I shared with upwards of 150 inmates about my experience meeting you and the wonderful people at your Senior service. I shared how your precious Seniors have been praying for their anonymous prayer requests for the past nine years. 

One of the many stories I shared with them was about your organist. She came up to me and shared that there were three specific prison prayer cards that really touched her heart. She feels called to pray for those three... "until eternity!" When I shared this with the inmates at Shakopee prison, they began to cry, reaching for tissues. They all were so touched and moved from the stories I told from the seniors as well. 

The man who said; "I am a talker! I love to talk to people, I ask their name and start a conversation. After we have been talking awhile... I tell them about Jesus!" They laughed and loved it. I shared about the table of women at who had attended BSF in the past. (By the way, this year we started the first-ever BSF, in the world, at Shakopee prison.) Your table of women said; "We are coming back in the Fall for Revelation!" The Shakopee inmates who attended BSF this year hooted and applauded like they were all one big family. Last but not least, one Senior sadly said; "I wish I could meet the women I have been praying for... I recognize their handwriting over the months and I know its the same person that I had prayed for before." I told her, I believe Jesus will introduce you two in heaven. Jesus will say; "Job well done, good and faithful servant," as he introduces the two of you.

It was beautiful to see the inmate's eyes opened to the fact that Seniors would even care about them, all the more pray for them...until eternity! 

I was the one deeply blessed to share all that God is doing on both sides of the razor wire. We all were reminded of a valuable truth, that those totally committed to God are totally committed to God's people. I am praying for prison awareness, that even more Seniors will join in the cause for caring for the forgotten in our society. 

 

In HIM,

Shug

Posted on June 2, 2015 .

DON'T MISS INVOLVING SENIOR CITIZENS IN PRISON MINISTRY!

 

ARE YOU INVOLVING THE SENIORS IN YOUR COMMUNITY IN PRISON MINISTRY?

HOW ARE THEY INVOLVED?
As part of our prison ministry we have a Letters Of Encouragment team. The inmates are given an opportunity to write prayer requests. Our church team prays over these precious prayer requests and writes back with encouraging scripture. We then remove the inmates names (for security and privacy) and copy them off to the local Senior Center each week.

I was invited to come in by the Senior Living Chaplain and give updates to the entire center as to what I see God is doing in prison as a result of their prayers. The following is what I shared.

 



It's working... Your prayers are being answered! 


Because of your prayers... last time a young (20 something) woman came into our prison service. She had tattoos with occult symbols on her arms, she told the woman sitting next to her she didn't believe in God. She had a strange darkness around her face as she cried throughout the beginning of the service. I do not know why she was crying... but what I did see was Jesus reveal Himself to her.


Because of your prayers... towards the end of the service, I shared about the "scales" falling off of Saul's (Paul's) eyes when he had an encounter with Jesus. It was like a lightbulb went off for her. I then gave everyone an opportunity to receive Christ as their Savior. When I looked up after the prayer, she looked completely different. It was like she could literally see again. The darkness disappeared and she was smiling. I was told by another inmate, she believes she received Christ as her Savior. 


Because of your prayers... this hurting woman crossed over from the chains of the occult, from hell and damnation, to eternal life in heaven. Can we even begin to absorb the divine impact of this? Pray she returns and has a thirst for Christ.


Countless prayers are answered... 

  • We started with 25 inmates coming to our services ten years ago and now we have upwards of 200 inmates and two back to back services.
  • We used to praise God with a CD and small boom box, now we have a team of 40 who rotate coming into prison with a full band.
  • A inmate on BSF sharing day in prison, shared she received Christ during one of our church services and then fell in love with Jesus through studying His word in BSF. 
  • Another woman shared our Church services and Wednesday night Bible studies have impacted her faith dramatically and has changed her life.
  • One woman who was in for multiple murders received one of our prayer letters, confessed her sins and gave her life over to Christ.


What God is doing in prison is nothing short of a revival! HALLELUJAH! Please continue to pray that the enemy is bound and God empowers all of us to BOLDLY proclaim the Gospel...



  • Over 150 inmates have been baptized (full immersion) because of your prayers.


Romans 1:16-17.


For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew. then for the Gentile. For in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteousness will live by faith."





The Seniors clapped, cheered... even shouted "Hallelujah and AMEN!"

"Our God is an awesome God he reigns from heaven above with wisdom, power, and might. Our God is an awesome God!"



MAY I ENCOURAGE YOU, DON'T MISS THE OPPORTUNITY TO USE THESE PRAYER WARRIORS IN THEIR SENIOR YEARS!

(Please see the follow-up post on the responses of the inmates to the Seniors support.)

Posted on June 2, 2015 .

MOTHERS DAY: "PRISON MOM'S OF GREAT FAITH!"

Mother's Day in prison can be a dark and depressing time, while some even become suicidal. Please pray as I give the Mother's Day message on "PRISON MOM'S OF GREAT FAITH!" Pray that GREAT JOY, PEACE and GRACE will be found in Christ during this difficult time. That the families and fosters will come visit Mom no matter how long it has been. That there will be forgiveness for any past offenses and a fresh new beginning in Christ!

Posted on June 2, 2015 .

First LOCKED UP – Now... LOCKED OUT!

It's one thing to be locked-up...its another to be locked-out after serving your time! 

It is my hope that in 2015-16 we begin to motivate churches to rise-up in mentorship programs for felons. Every year over 700,000 prisoners are released back into our community, 2/3 reoffend, 50% return within there years. Please pray for me that through our non-profit, H.I.M. Prison Ministry, we can restore those forgotten on the fringe of society. If you want to join us in this cause or would like more information on how to get started, contact me.

Posted on April 25, 2015 .

HELP A FELON GET A FRESH START!

IT'S A CRIME! 

I've been told that I am ROBBING YOU of a chance to be part of God's action plan... by not offering you an opportunity to help donate and support where God is moving and shaking! 

I am heading to Kenya in June for 20 days solely for the purpose of helping felons get back on their feet so they don't reoffend. 

ALL SUPPORT goes DIRECTLY towards prison ministry

in bringing basic survival supplies - food, soap, toilet paper (Yes you heard me right...they don't have the simpl

e luxuries in prison that we take for granted), Bibles will be bought, AND most importantly an opportunity to see them cross over from death to life because of hearing the Gospel message in a fun, clear way. (The government asks we chip in and help with supplies in order to even enter prison.)

IT IS ONE THING TO DO YOUR TIME... BUT IT'S ANOTHER NOT TO HAVE BASIC DAILY NECESSITIES. IF WE DON'T DO IT... WHO WILL?

Last year my husband and I personally bought a WHOLE PRISON SHOES for only $300.00. They were barefoot, with sores and bleeding. Together, we can do so much more. Let God prompt your heart and give what you can. Small or large - it all makes a huge difference. I'll post pictures so you can see where your hard earned dollars will be going in order. Will you help those in the pit of life receive Bibles and supplies to begin a fresh start. because the poverty is horrendous in African prisons.

H.I.M. Prison Ministry is partnering with 

Smims Charity

 and SPRING OF HOPE throughout the trip. They are securing TV interviews, radio and print opportunities to heighten awareness to help FELONS in and out of prison. We will be training churches and chaplains in inmate mentoring. Along with teaching inmates how to discover their true purpose in life.

WHO IS MEETING THEM AT THE GATE?

Who is walking with them after release? I don't want to "ROB YOU" of the chance to partner with me in making a ETERNAL difference in the USA and around the world.

Don't wait any longer, get out of "LOCKUP" and feel true freedom when you give generously FOR THOSE FORGOTTEN in society!

Please make checks out to:

H.I.M. Prison Ministry

P.O. Box 87

Chanhassen, MN 55317

"IT JUST DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS!"

Shug

Posted on April 17, 2015 .

AMAZED WITNESSES SHARE ABOUT PRISON BAPTISM!


Over 65 inmates were baptized "full immersion" in the State Prison. The following are some of the reactions of the Westwood Team (along with my own) of the prison baptism:

 

One woman was shaking like leaf, she began to cry and then a smile began to widen her face... "Shug, my garbage stays right here in the water!" After she was baptized she literally rose up out of the water looking free, full of light and energy.

Another woman, looking tough with tattoos all over and a large scar across her face boldly exclaimed at the top of her voice; "JESUS IS MY LORD AND SAVIOR!" I cannot even imagine the pain and past she must have washed away.

Some may think baptism should remain a serious, solemn event. I agree, baptism should always be approached with reverence and contemplation. However, I loved, loved, loved the support and cheers from the witnesses for each and every bold woman who was baptized that day. Cheers, whistles and applause echoed throughout the prison. I feel that was a sweet aroma of worship for our Lord and Savior.

Every age, every size, every background met Jesus face to face that day. I do believe God parted the heavens and said; "Here is my beloved daughter, with whom I am well pleased!"

- Shug

 

What an amazing evening! I could feel God smiling down on us and the angelic hosts cheering right along with the women!

I was brought to tears many times, as I watched the women whoop and holler as their friends stepped into the water and then even louder when they saw them come up out of the water!

To see such support and encouragement for each other was something I didn’t expect!

It was amazing to see the transformation from the timid and scared expressions, as they clutched Shug and Julie’s arms, to the pure joy and peace that radiated from them afterward.

The spirit of God was so evident in that gymnasium and the worship from the women was so genuine that it made my heart dance!

I’m getting chills just thinking about it again!

- Jody 

 

All I can say, is "wow"!!! It was a profound experience for me! And just what I needed! Felt so blessed and privileged to be a part of of it! It moved me in ways I haven't felt in what seems like forever! It truly showed me that joy can be felt no matter what your circumstances are, and no matter where you are! Isn't it ironic that there could be that much joy in a prison??? When most days, most people with everything can't muster enough joy to get through the day??? Including me!!! It gives you perspective! Praise God! And thank you for letting me be a part of this amazing team! It's the best part of my life! And it is truly an honor!

- Anne

 

The most moving moment for me was when I asked a woman who is very obese and came in on a wheeled walking cart, if she needed any assistance getting to the baptismal pool responded “No I can do this”  She was very determined to get there and in on her own without anyone’s assistance.  It clearly meant a lot to her to get there on her own and to be baptized.  After she was baptized I saw her beaming as she walked to get her certificate.  It was if she had been thinking about it for weeks.  It was also the first time in the 6 or 7 months I have known her, that I saw her walk without her cart.  

- Michael

 

While I was deeply moved by the excitement and emotion of the faces of the women being baptized, I could not help but see the strength God gave Shug and Julie as they fervently asked each woman to declare her belief in Jesus, and then supported each one as she dropped back to immerse her "old self" under the water. Shug and Julie looked like young athletes, strong and never tiring, even though they faced physical challenge. Shug and Julie braced themselves as a team as they "delivered new life"!

- Kathy

 

From my vantage point at the back of the gym, what struck me was that every time I looked up (after writing the baptism certificates) I saw the women coming out of the water and when they did, everyone that I saw, was wiping their eyes.  It could only bring to mind the passage from Revelation 21:4:

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’  or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

And this IS the new promise that these women will now experience in their new life in Christ!  What an awesome thing for these women to know!!  Truly, the “old order of things” in their lives has passed and they are onto a new life, saved!!

Thanks!

- Marti

 

I was stationed at the back of the gym where we wrote baptism certificates to give to the women. As the women came up, they were often crying, laughing, or smiling. What I noticed most was the passion and warmth in their eyes. I saw how completely strong these women are. They are fighters, and even as they were drenched and shivering from the water, I saw confidence in them that they knew they were called by name with a purpose and belonging to our God.  it was beautiful to be a part of something so filled with joy and unity, to know that we are all threaded together by our humanity and by God's mercy transforms us, and I felt honored to be in the presence of the women and in the presence of God.

Thanks!

- Hannah

 

What an amazing night of Baptisms! It was the"super bowl" of baptisms. The excitement and emotions were so evident on each women as they came forward. Some were trembling as they got into the water and others were confident. Their friends calling out words of encouragement and praise as they professed their faith in Jesus Christ. The cheers, clapping  and praises for God were almost deafening as each women rose out of the water. It was like they were scoring a touchdown for God! There was so much joy in the room and I think Jesus and the Heavenly Host of angles were cheering too as each women stepped out and declared their faith. I'm thinking God must of smiled and thought "Well done good and faithful servant".  I am in awe of mighty work God is doing in the Shakopee prison and feel so blessed to have been there.

- Kim

 

My biggest memory is the overwhelming presence of the holy spirit as the women called for baptism came into the room, some with smiles some with scared faces, all hearing the praise, clapping and worship we offered to God and them. God's presence was so powerful in that joy filled room that it was difficult to remember we were in gym in a prison facility, The other memory that will stay with me is the strength, energy, smiles and physical endurance of Shug and Julie during the baptizing of more than 65 women of all shapes and sizes.Their joy and smiles were shared in equal measure from the first to the last person.On Wednesday night asking the women in our bible study to share some of their reflections since being baptized a comment was made that many of the women expressed that God must have been working to have two of the "smallest women" in the prison physically baptize 65 women, and not grow weary,and not have any injuries. 

Lastly what I will cherish most is the smiles and words of redemption as I was helping women back to their seats. Women with backgrounds of pain and violence, addictions and bad choices, expressing their sense of purity, newness, freedom, holiness forgiveness, love, worthiness,The old is gone,the new has come- may Jesus continue to bless these special women and continue his good work to completion in each of these women of Christ. Hallelujah!!  

- Susan

 

Thought of you guys most of the day...and sent up many prayers. I hope the baptism services went wonderfully and that you two were able to “handle” all of the heavy lifting! I also pray for no complications, from a health standpoint. 

It boggles my mind what God has been doing in that prison! AWESOME!!!  Bless you guys for your servant’s hearts and your obedience and willingness to join in His work.

Hope you are both able to enjoy rest....
Love,

- Deb

Posted on April 11, 2015 .

It happened because of your prayers of protection...FULL IMMERSION Baptism In Prison

God worked in a powerful way Saturday night in the prison. We conducted three back to back services - not sprinkled, but full, down-under the water immersion. The word "baptism" means to immerse, and that is just what happened in prison.

Someone asked me; "You must be a baptist church for full immersion...? No we are not, we are just following what scripture teaches us. Jesus was baptized at 30 and then began his public ministry. Romans 10:9 States if we confess with our lips Jesus is Lord, and believe God raised Him from the dead... you are saved!"

So in other words, the person being baptized isn't saved by the act of baptism, but by boldly, consciously placing their faith in Jesus Christ... and then becoming baptized because of that belief. Jesus said GO... go and make disciples of ALL nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Amen!
Posted on January 31, 2015 .

Prayer Snipers Needed For Prison Baptism



CAN YOU BELIEVE IT! The troops are coming in Saturday night, NINETY inmates are on the "move" to be baptized. God is rock'n it up in Shakopee.


There is a phrase that jumped out at me from the movie American Sniper; "There is a war going on... we are protecting more than just this dirt." When the American troops would be on the move, the trained snipers would be on the roof top watching and protecting them from an enemy they could not see. Many troops were saved because of these trained warriors interceding before them.

Don't fool yourself, this is a war and you are a crucial part of this team! Your prayers protect us from a prowling enemy we cannot see. Satan has tortured these women for way too long... now they are preparing to take a bold stance for Christ Saturday night.


Please pray:
  1. All 90 women would feel uniquely special during each of their baptisms.
  2. Only those who have truly received Jesus Christ as their Savior would be baptized.
  3. We would get everyone baptized before the "movement" is announced. God stretched timing.
  4. Those witnessing would be powerfully moved by the Holy Spirit in such a way they also cross over from death to everlasting life. Yahoo!
  5. Nothing would interrupt the baptisms. No disruptions or lockdowns by the prison officials.
  6. Satan does not want this to happen... prayers of protection from persecution over the celebration, the women, our families and our personal lives. Health protection over everyone. Health mercies over J.T.  and myself from immersing 90 women in the same water.
  7. Pray in PRAISE! Let's praise ahead of time for God's favor in this grand celebration and that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is glorified!

You are equipped with the powerful defensive weapon of prayer. Like those snipers, let's get into position and begin defending this baptism event.

Acts 22:16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.





"It just doesn't get any better than this!"



Shug


Posted on January 24, 2015 .

"GETT'N READY FOR A PRISON BAPTISM!"


Do you have a minute to celebrate with me all that God has done in prison? We couldn't have witnessed God's spectacular works without your powerful prayers. Your prayers have moved the hand of God just like Moses and the Israelites.

What an honor it is to intercede for these wonderful people. I am so excited for our new upcoming five sessions on Baptism. I cannot begin to imagine what God is going to do next...? Last year (see February 2014 post) we had 70 inmates baptized full-immersion, it was like the SUPER BOWL of baptisms! From the request of the prison, we are now beginning a new baptism series for January 2015 and are looking forward to who God is drawing to himself this year.


And he said, "Behold, I am making a covenant. Before all of your people I will do marvels, such as have not been created in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people among you shall see the work of the Lord, for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you." Exodus 34:10 NIV

Notice God said "with you." So together, please pray for the following series as the Holy Spirit guides you:


1.     BAPTISM’S PURPOSE:
“WHAT’S TRUE AND WHAT’S NOT?" 
Saturday, December 13,  2014 
2.     BAPTISM’S PREPARATION:(Christmas Story)
“YOUR STORY IS WORTH TELLING!" 
Saturday, December 27, 2014
3.     BAPTISM’S POWER:
“GUTS AND GLORY THROUGH BAPTISM?” 
Saturday, January 10, 2015

“FULL IMMERSION BAPTISM CELEBRATION!”
Saturday, January 24, 2015

 “RADICAL STORIES OF LIVES CHANGED!”
Saturday, February 14th

Please pray :
  1. Power and freedom in the Holy Spirit as I am writing and speaking.
  2. This week's message on baptism: "What's True and What Is Not?" Will be received and sink deep into the hearts of those God calls.
  3. God GLORY would be revealed and He would hand pick those to be baptized. (The right women for the right reasons.)
  4. SATAN WOULD BE HANDCUFFED AND BOUND from interrupting any part of this series.
  5. No lockdowns or disturbances in the prison. Favor with the officers and staff.
  6. Every Westwood prison team member available would volunteer to come in and help in January. (For interviews and the baptism celebration.) Team unity and protection.
  7. HUNDREDS WOULD CROSS OVER FROM DEATH TO LIFE and obey the call to be baptized. I'm praying BIG!

Don't think for one minute that your prayers don't make a difference, we can see and feel how they do. Thank you for your dedication to pray for those forgotten on the fringe of society.


"It just doesn't get any better than this!"


In Him,
Shug Bury



Posted on December 12, 2014 .

"HALLELUJAH!" A NEW PRISON MINISTRY IS OFFICIALLY BORN!




IT'S OFFICIAL!
God has made it clear that a new vision
 for prison ministry is being born.

This new non-profit is finally hatched and registered today:

HALLELUJAH INTERNATIONAL MINISTRIES
"Hear The Cry Of The Inmates."



Shouting "Hallelujah" seems to have grown to be my trademark, so it was suggested to me (Thanks Kim W. and team.) that it be used as my new ministry name. 
Thank you to everyone who sent in their creative, funny, well-thought out, ideas and suggestions. 





A BIG thank you to SHINE Ministries www.shineintheworld.org for partnering with me 
and encouraging me to dream BIG!


(See below post for the long-view vision God has placed on my heart.)


"Here I am Lord. Send me!"



Posted on November 12, 2014 .

TIPS: LETTERS OF ENCOURAGEMENT TO PRISONERS

LETTERS OF ENCOURAGEMENT TRAINING

  • Be sure each writing team member has a saving faith, one who is born again and has a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Find out their testimony. Interview them so that the inmates hear from someone who truly knows Jesus. If they do not, this is a good time to share the Gospel with them. As they mature in their faith they can later return to this ministry.
  • Each team member needs to be continually growing in his or her faith through Bible Study, personal quiet time and prayer.You can only lead people as far as you have grown. This is not a ministry for new believers but someone who is mature in Christ.

PROCEDURES FOR PRAYER AND LETTER WRITING:

  1. In-Prison team members will return prayer request cards from the prison to the church. Completed prayer requests are placed in the folder to be divided up by the team leader.
  2. The prayer requests are divided up and bundled with a blank form placed on the top labeled with each team member’s name on it.These prayer requests are private and confidential!
  3. Please complete the form in the proper order.Initial and date the appropriate space and immediately pass it on to the next name on the form. Please place all completed requests, with completion date back into the ministry leaders folder so he/she knows when it was mailed and completed. They also will know how to preach according to the needs of the imates. **Please make every effort to complete within one week from the Prison date.This may be the few times the inmates feel valued and loved.
  4. There are stamps, envelopes and paper provided by the church. The church name and address is the return address on the envelope. Your personal information should remain private. This is all done through the church and its team members.

Tips for successful letter writing:

First of all set aside time to

Pray, Pray, Pray!

THE POWER IS IN THE PRAYER.

Pray

for each inmate and their request, don’t just write them without praying FOR them.

Pray

for wisdom

. Pray

for your words, that they come from the Holy Spirit and pray for the ministry team.

Allow the Holy Spirit to minister to you

before

you begin to put pen to paper.

***Important - Please do not write until after you have prayed for their request. Pay attention to what God puts in your mind during prayer.

Do not use fancy words or big theology. Keep it loving and simple using scripture. I recommend you do not use the King James Version of the Bible. Its wording is difficult for inmates to understand. If you were talking to a prostitute on the corner, or a thief or a murderer – how would Jesus relate to them? In love!

Mother Teresa once said:

“I am nothing but a pencil in God’s hand.”

Let God do the writing.

It helps to keep a notebook: listing each prisoner’s name on the top of a blank page so you can keep track of who you have written. Remember, this is confidential, use initials if necessary.

Keep track of the prisoner’s requests including date and the verses that you used to respond.

(Example) John Doe or John D.

Date:

Her/His Request:

My Response:

Bible Verse given:

9/27/14

Pray for his court hearing.

Trust in the Lord, he is not alone.

John 14:27

Write CLEARLY. Some inmates have difficulty reading and have bad eyesight. These cards most likely are first read by the officers for security. Keep it simple and loving, guiding them through scripture alone. DO NOT GIVE ADVICE!

Carefully print

the name and ID on the envelope.

  • Keep your letter brief, yet thoughtful.
  • Do not ever use a form letter, write each letter personally.
  • Do not lecture, scold or advise, only encourage them to seek the Lord.
  • Do not share any of your personal information about your family, address, city or phone number.
  • Do not let the inmates contact you personally. Tell them it is against policy.
  • ***Do not become emotionally attached to the inmate or let an inmate become attached to you. If you are a male writing to a female, we use a fake woman’s name as the author instead. Same for men. Use only your first name and use the same name each time.
  • Close each letter with a “positive attitude” encouraging them to trust God and close using ONLY your first name.

Tips on what to write:

Ask God to help you set time aside each week to serve God in this ministry.

Please do not rush this because of lack of time.

Please commit yourself to learning scripture, pick up a “quick scripture reference” book to help you locate appropriate scripture.

A “Topical Bible” is very helpful or you can look in the back of your Bible for page numbers by topic.

***

I cannot emphasize enough, you will learn of some of their crimes and sin,

PLEASE DO NOT teach, lecture or counsel

but let’s love them using only God’s Word. We want them to seek the Lord, rhey will find out soon enough in scripture.

We want to encourage them to attend prison church as well begin Bible Studies that may already be happening inside of the prison.

In some prisons, they can request a donated Bible from the Chaplain, Pastor or Director if they don’t have one. Ask the churches to donate Bibles.

Please direct them to read the Bible, but they don’t have to start at the beginning. They will become frustrated if they do. Have them start with John or Mark then move on to Acts in the New Testament. They can begin to share now with other’s what God has done for them in their life.

I believe

you have been hand picked

by God

to carry out this important ministry.

By taking this responsibility seriously, we are reflecting our “high view” of God.

These inmates wait daily for a response to their request, many feel rejected and alone.

They are in desperate need of prayer and a friend. Lets not keep them waiting any longer!

Matthew 25: 36, 40

Tells us working with prisoners is really serving Jesus himself…

“You visited me…you did it for me.”

This should motivate us to stay faithful and consistent, to write notes joyfully, and to keep healthy boundaries emotionally.

Posted on October 28, 2014 and filed under TIPS.

TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR PRISON MINISTRY


When I came to you... my message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with demonstration of the spirit's power. 1 Corinthians 2:1, 4




AS A LEADER - IS IT ALL ABOUT GOD AND NOT ABOUT YOU? ARE YOU SURE?

This thought is against the grain of society isn't it? Don't assume prison ministry is for you. It saddens me to see individuals and teams lose their focus of who they are serving... Jesus Christ. They cannot figure out why their teams are falling apart, disintegrating before their eyes and losing impact for God's Kingdom. 

I have seen team members bring suggestions that fall on the deaf ears of arrogant prison ministry leaders. Team members become frustrated and feel useless and unwanted if they have suggestions that are not considered. At times God prompts improvements or excellence through the team. We are the body of Christ. Are you the leader who prefers the "same ol' same ol" method of doing things that you've always done? My friends, be in prayer for how God is molding your ministry. Remember, we are to shepherd, lead and encourage team members as well as the inmates.

A true leader surrenders to God in prayer, listens for feedback (it is your friend) and trusts the Holy Spirit's leading to do what is right for the prison ministry.

Too often misguided people are all too consumed with whose names appear on the ministry title? Who are the team leaders? Who gets to teach and who is in charge? Some of them want to be up front and center, yet their spiritual gifting is behind the scenes helping one-on-one. PRIDE comes before the fall.

First pride, then the crash - the bigger the ego, the harder the fall!   Proverbs 16:17-18 (Message)



DYSFUNCTIONAL TEAMS CAN KILL A MINISTRY:

When I coach ministry teams my go-to phrase is... "Have you prayed specifically on this?" Prayer is the beating heart for any ministry. Remove prayer and I promise you pride and self-ambition start growing like a weed in the ministry.  Through prayer, it is amazing to watch God naturally "weed-out" and frustrate the people whose intentions are self-focused instead of God-focused. My prayer is that you are able rise up and shepherd them correctly so their divisiveness doesn't become contagious choking off and killing the ministry.

God assigns places of spiritual ministry and leadership in His sovereign will. When we become empty of self and dependent on God the Holy Spirit will use us.

Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. Mark 10:43-44




HOW NOT TO JUDGE CRIMINALS WHO HAVE ALREADY BEEN JUDGED:


"Let's talk God!" Before my first trip into a women's prison, God and I had to have a serious conversation. Some of these women have committed acts I couldn't even imagine.


"God, you have called me to this ministry. Please give me your heart and enable me to see them the way you do. Show me how to love these women unconditionally. I cannot do it alone without your help."

I have interviewed over 250 female inmates in various correctional facilities. I asked them what they need to see, hear and experience at a prison church service in order for the majority of the prison to want to attend?  One of the top requests was:  To send in people who do not judge them or talk down to them.

One inmate's perspective: 
"I feel like I have a sign on my forehead with big letters that says CONVICT". "Even church people make me feel unwanted." "One preacher used to talk down to us and get up in our face, telling us to shut up."


Heart attitude test question:
If Jesus were standing in front of you, how would you treat Him? Are you treating these women the same way? What is your real heart attitude before you attend and when you leave? We should be treating these women the same way we would treat our Lord. With our very best!


The following are a few suggestions that have been helpful for our teams before entering prison


  1. To refrain from judgmental thoughts and actions you must be bathed in prayer.
  2. Confess your own sins privately to God.
  3. Ask for forgiveness for your own sins, thoughts and past judgements.
  4. Ask for help and power from the Holy Spirit, not to judge but love all who enter. (This is impossible in our own power.
  5. Love them unconditionally with God's love.
  6. Allow them to feel special. Greet them individually, thanking them for attending.
  7. Smile and look at them in the eye. (It might be the only one they receive all day.)
  8. Have some fun and laugh together.
  9. When speaking one on one with them, listen to them intently like they are the only one in the room.
  10. Be prepared! - God wants to "love 'em up" - through you!


Prisoner's sins are no worse than ours...  just illegal. We all need God's love and forgiveness.

Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven - for she loved much...
Then Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."     Luke 7:47-50





Posted on October 28, 2014 and filed under TIPS.

TIPS: THIS IS A SPIRITUAL WARFARE! Is Your Dysfunctional Team KILLING Your Ministry?

DYSFUNCTIONAL TEAMS CAN KILL A MINISTRY:

When I coach ministry teams my go-to phrase is... "Have you prayed specifically on this?" The more specific your prayers, the more specifically God answers.

Prayer is the beating heart for any ministry. Remove prayer and I promise you pride and self-ambition start growing like a noxious, choking weed in the ministry.  Through prayer, it is amazing to watch God naturally "weed-out" and frustrate the people whose intentions are self-focused instead of God-focused. 

Satan always comes up where we least expect it. He will come up through the middle of the ministry. Infighting, jealously, suspicion,  usually working through trusted sources and when you least expect it. 

1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Be on guard and train up your teams to come to you first if they have an issue. Be open, thankful they approached you and listen. If they have an issue, recommend that they come with a suggestion on how to fix the problem as well. 

Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause and defile many. 

An evil root can grow up quickly inside of a team. Train your team members to deal with and confront bitterness immediately. You should be prepared to deal with it confidentially if needed and with love!

My prayer is that you are able rise up and shepherd them correctly so their divisiveness doesn't become contagious, choking off and killing the ministry. Satan then has you right where he wants you. Forgive and love each other quickly and deeply.

God assigns us in places of spiritual ministry and leadership according to His sovereign will. When we become empty of self and dependent on God, the Holy Spirit will use us mightily for his noble purposes.

You are not only leading a prison ministry, you are shepherding your team as individuals with biblical excellence. Don't waste the experience of suffering and trials as you do prison ministry. Learn from it.

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters, whenever you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Need leadership help? Just ask...

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Posted on October 28, 2014 and filed under TIPS.

TIPS: THE THREE P'S OF PRISON MINISTRY - How To Embrace Who You Are?

KNOW AND EMBRACE YOURSELF:

I love to tell the inmates that God has created each one of them perfectly. They are not a mistake nor are they an accident. God does not make mistakes nor does he make copies. We should all embrace the three P's of how we were created.


  1. YOU have a perfect PERSONALITY:  Are you shy? Are you quiet? Are you bold? Are you loud? Embrace who you are for God has made your personality perfect. Why? To go with your...
  2. PASSION:  When you close your eyes and dream BIG... what do you see? I always get energized with crowds of people. The more people the better. Others enjoy smaller groups or one on one. Which are you? God places a passion on your heart to glorify Him. This is not a passion for yourself, but a passion (almost like a burden) for others in a certain area. My passion is Prison Ministry. Yours may be children, teens, medicine etc. We now know your Personality goes perfect with your Passion... to fulfill your...
  1. PURPOSE: God has given each one of us a purpose in life. This purpose at times has a season or time-frame to it. perhaps he is training you during this season of life for the next grander purpose he has for your life. Do not rush God, for he has a plan and a purpose for your life. God has trained me through decades for a "time such as this." Allow God to train you now for the next season of your life. Pray you will fulfill His purpose for your life by using your God given PERSONALITY, PASSION AND PURPOSE.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Posted on October 28, 2014 and filed under TIPS.