- I urge you to pray for the entire ministry team's protection from Satan's attacks during and after the service.
- Please petition to the Lord that the unsaved, hurting and demon-possessed inmates will come to all three services and be saved.
- May the Holy Spirit convict those called, stir hearts towards repentance and receive Christ as Lord - Yahoo!
- That many will share their testimony and be baptized at the final service.
- Pray this Baptism will be joyous celebration for our Lord and Savior.
- Pray that a revival for Christ would move through the prison like a great tsunami.
Waiting for lawyers, court decisions, boot camp acceptance, waiting to get released... waiting for answers to your prayers?
Time seems to drag on when you are waiting... "How do I wait on the Lord and what do I do while I am waiting?" This question has been brought up many times, no matter where you are in the world.
God gives us direction on waiting...
Not a moment of suffering is wasted. God knows your pain and your suffering. He knows your heart and when you get weary. He knew you before you were even born, he knows your name and that you are waiting.
Will you rise - up and grab ahold of the promise that awaits you?
Your troubles will never seem momentary or light, we weren't promised an easy life as a Christian, but God did promise he will comfort, guide, empower and love us in the middle of our troubles. For our lives are a short mist or vapor compared to the future eternal hope that awaits you when you put your faith in Jesus Christ!
- Refuse to get discouraged. Are you frustrated? Don't lose heart, remind yourself that you are created perfectly and with great purpose for God. Get back on track and...
- Grasp the purpose waiting achieves. How can this situation be used to glorify God? Use this opportunity to glorify Christ in you. The world will give you trouble, but you are resurrected and made new in Christ. So...
- Fix your eyes on Jesus. What do you focus on in the middle of your struggle? Ask yourself; "How Big is my problem? How Big is my God?" My God is so big and so strong and so mighty, there is nothing my God cannot do!
I will never forget the people, the inmates faces and the children. (See Kinderroot Ministries) www.kinderroots.org
To share the Gospel from one end of the earth to the other and see God transform hearts is amazing. Anywhere in the world, it doesn't matter who you are, what language you speak, or where you live...
|Many children have parents that were part of the Genocide. |
We could learn from this little child's surrender to Christ in prayer.
|ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD,|
in any language,
there is power in the name of Jesus!
|This cute Musanze orphan is waiting |
for you to adopt her.
Anywhere in the world,
do you know someone who has room in their heart for her?
|As requested by the Rwandan Government, we traveled north near the Congo to Rubavu |
to share "Hell's Best Kept Secret."
Hundred's rejoiced as they were saved by the truth of the Gospel.
I HAVE SEEN SOME OF THE MOST NOTORIOUS PRISON'S IN AFRICA,
|Waiting to hear the Gospel in a remote village by the Congo.|
|Sharing the urgency of our need for a Savior, to the prostitutes, addicts, and adulterers in the villages around Rwanda.|
Notice the people on the outside rim, those were the one's that God was speaking to in a life-changing way!
JOIN ME as I answer God's call to preach the gospel and "rock the rebels" in PRISONS around the world... I'm now off to northern district of Musanze, Rwanda August 1-13th, 2013 with S.W.I.M. Ministries.
"Are you nervous?" This is the first question people ask me when they learn of my upcoming journey to the Rwandan prisons. I find myself pausing, trying to verbalize the best description of my feelings.
There is never a dull moment with God and I don't expect any less on this trip as well. I have a BIG God who deeply loves those on the fringe of society and wants them to be saved. "If you believe, you will be saved."
Stay tuned... I will post as I gain Internet connections (which last time was only in airports and rare locations). In the meantime I could use your prayers...
Freedom in the Holy Spirit that He will work powerfully through me as I prepare and speak.
- For physical safety and spiritual safety for my family and team.
- No one will get sick.
- Safe non-eventful travel.
- We may all be able to reach out to the dark corners of Rwanda to the lost, lonely and unsaved with the Gospel of Christ.
- That Satan will be bound and held helpless from any disruption.
- I will be delighted in every MOMENT of the trip.
- I will see and love the people of Rwanda as Christ does.
- I will preach the Gospel Truth BOLDLY!
- That thousands of souls will be won for Christ and cross over from death to live.
How I value your friendship, support and prayers.
Exposing "Hell's Best Kept Secret" in the Kimiti Maximum Security Prison in Nairobi, Kenya.
|These Kamiti prison brave young juveniles stood up for Christ!|
|Nairobi Upper Hill High School students enjoying the questions Shug is asking their schoolmate.|
- Do you think you are a good person?
- Do you believe in the ten commandments?
- May I ask you three questions to see if you are a good person?
- Have you ever lied before? (Liar)
- Have you ever stolen anything before? (Thief)
- Have you ever used the Lord's name in vain? By dragging your creator God's name through the mud? (Blasphemer)
- So by your own admission... you are a "lying, thieving, blasphemer, is that correct?" That is only three of the ten commandments!
- Would you be judged by God guilty or innocent of keeping the ten commandments?
- Would you be going to heaven or to hell?
Everyone got a big laugh out of the questions, but after I explained, they understood their desperate need for a Savior!
God opened the floodgates as a river of students stood up for Christ that morning in a "Christian" school!
These students came in as boys... but left as powerful men in Christ!
Praise God for His mighty work in Kenya! "Hallelujah!"
|Kimiti Prison Juveniles|
My next S.W.I.M. trip is planned for August... God willing... in the prisons and villages in Musanze, Rwanda! In the meantime, I'm sharing locally in prisons, churches, and MN Teen Challenge.
Thank you for your trust, continued financial support and prayers. It just doesn't get any better than this... rescuing souls for Christ's kingdom.
What God did was amazing. Throughout the Gospel message, you could see God touch each those young hearts. All but two of these juveniles got on their knees at the end of the message and surrendered their lives to Jesus. “They arrived as boys and will be leaving this prison as men of God.” Awesome!
What is Hell's Best Kept Secret in evangelism?
I believe we have done an injustice in how we share the Gospel with people on the streets and in prisons. We either tend to bend too far in one direction or too far in the other.
In one direction... we tend to share the "Cotton Candy" message of the Bible; the mercy, grace and sweet taste of... "Do you want a better life with Christ?"
Don't get me wrong, this is an important part of scripture, but it is the "Frosting" of our faith not the long-lasting meat.
This message does not teach the entire truth of the Bible. It does not save and often brings a false conversion lacking substance.
At the first glimpse of trouble, these believers fall away feeling embarrassed that they believed and that this loving God has not protected them from the hard times.
In the far opposite direction... we pound the Bible over inmate's heads and only emphasize they are all sinners bound for hell. I can confidently say this approach doesn't work. Most inmate's have heard countless times that they are outcasts of society and they feel hopeless.
Please tell me, what is attractive about the Gospel when hell and damnation is the core message? Who would even bother coming to church when they feel condemned and rejected by God.
We are not leading the conversation like Christ. (Matthew 19:16-22)
So what's wrong? We fail to take the time to prepare the soil properly.
I have found in sharing the Good News, inmates need to have the hard "soil" of their souls stirred and prepped before they receive the Truth of the Gospel.
This method of stirring the soil is so effective, that even last week when I was street evangelizing in Tel Aviv, Israel, a muslim and several Jews stood still and listened intently. I believe God can use this style of sharing in a loving, fun way to prepare their hearts to say "YES" to Jesus.
|Sharing with a young Jewish woman in Tel Aviv, Israel. |
Notice the officer watching and waiting for me to do something wrong so he can stop me.
We were having a fun conversation and laughing using this method.
|I am listening intently to the woman share her concerns. |
God allowed me to lead her all the way to the throne of God.
She said; "This is interesting and it all makes sense."
She was amazed when I mentioned maybe this was a God appointment.
|This Orthodox Jew was thinking and listened intently.|
|She hugged me and was grateful I shared the Gospel Truth with her.|
Do you dare to try it? This is the same method Jesus used in the Bible as our example. When the soil is prepared using God's Ten Commandments, which is His standard for righteousness, seeds grow where they are planted.
I recently role played this method in front of hundreds of inmates with a team member during our prison church. It was powerful! You could feel God's Spirit flowing through the prison. It works!
To take it a step further, this upcoming church service I am planning on teaching this method of evangelism to the inmates themselves, they will then have tools to minister inside of the prison.
Plain and simply... God's way works!
Here is the free video link for your reference. www.wayofthemaster.com/videolessons.shtml
Check out the first and the last video:
"Hell's Best Kept Secret." and "W.D.J.D."
The first video shares "why" we need this approach and the last video shares the "how" to share the Gospel.
Why reinvent the wheel? Instead use Christ's example? It is an easy and effective way to share with everyone the Gospel.
If you dare... will you allow God to use this method to love the inmates to the cross in prisons around the world!
These inmates deserve our very best!
It just doesn't get any better than this!
Don’t worry… we did not leave them there to fend for themselves.
(*As of the beginning of August it was all received by generous donors, see post on 8/19/13. Please continue to give as God prompts you for our next trip in 2014)
Simply stated, “I cannot do this without your help.”
- Bales of food Bibles
- Clothing Blankets
- Jackets Prison Baby Clothes
While in "protective custody, segregation or lockdown," inmates are starving for God's love and mercy.
It was immediate! As soon as I walked into the unit, there was a supernatural magnetic pull towards the isolated inmates housed in these "glass closets." I cannot explain it... other than the Holy Spirit's pull to share the truth of the Gospel to the lost, unsaved, hurting people who were waiting hopelessly in a cell 24/7.
On the race track of life, I am one of those odd people that when-ever and where-ever I go, I look for God to give me an opening to weave out of the congested pack to share the love of Christ.
"...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1
Imagine race day in Daytona. The largest watched and attended sporting event in the nation. Here I am walking through the swarms of people while my husband is looking at the various vendors. The vendors are busy selling the hottest and greatest apparel representing their driver of choice. I am enjoying the "people watching" and the hype of the event... off in the distance I notice ESPN filming a "live" pre-race show. As I walk closer, I see a panel of race car experts weighing in and commentating on the biggest race of the year... LIVE!
Mmmmmm. Have you ever seen those over-zealous people behind the scenes of the camera, raising up their signs and waving for all of America to see? I think you know where I am going with this thought...
I pull my husband aside asking for him to wait, "This will only take a minute." (If I were to compare my marriage like the race at Daytona; my husband is my finest pit crew chief, encouraging and supporting me during every turn of the race that God has laid out before us.) He is not at all surprised at my next daring move and encourages me to seize the opportunity.
I grab a sign and begin writing a short link to this prison site. I know 100's of 1,000's of people are in their homes, possibly entertaining with friends and watching the ESPN pre-race show. Will they see this crazy woman's sign waving behind the commentators heads and be curious enough to look up the link and pray for the inmates? This is my hope...
I am now holding my sign standing amongst the throngs of others towards the back. Like in the races, my pit crew chief (husband) encourages me to make a move away from the pack towards the front. I strategically weave towards the front, drafting behind other's who are trying to do the same. I see an opening and make my break for it pulling out in front!
I am now in the front of the masses of people. I can feel the other's press in behind me. I nervously lift high my prison sign - standing on the top of my toes and reaching up as far as my arms will stretch. I glance over to see the other fan's signs next to me. Some have written their favorite driver's names or a "hello" to their state or loved ones.
I snicker... as I imagine ESPN does not see too many "Prison" signs held high by mid-life female race car fans. My hope is that this sign will nudge the nation to pause and pray for the incarcerated across the world!
I stand in confidence knowing God has strategically directed my moves. I patiently wait... the roving eye of the overhead camera scans the countless fans and then turns in my direction and surprisingly stops! The camera is clearly pointing at my sign... the pause seems like forever. The fans next to me turn and stretch their necks to see what is written on my sign. I wonder if the producers are checking the link out on the internet? I can see the producers talking to the camera men, I wonder what are they saying? The oddity of this sign gets the best of them and they zoom in... "we are now live on ESPN!"
Yahoo! I imagine hearing the crowd cheering like the final lap of an exciting race. Could you hear the angels cheering from Daytona?
God, once again, crosses the finish line to win the race and be honored in Victory Lane!
I'm confessing openly to all, that I am weak and unable to save myself.
I resonate with Paul when he says in Romans 7:15:
Because, I am currently under attack from the enemy in my personal life. As miserable as this is, I do not want to miss the learning application of the trial for myself, as well as learning from this life experience as a teaching tool for the inmates.
- For my time and preparation - that God would speak through me using scripture and role-playing.
- That the Holy Spirit will take this broad topic and make it understandable and applicable to their lives.
- That I will have God's heart and love others like He does. (I am a work in progress with this one.)
- That the inmates will attend and invite friends and the auditorium will be full to the brim. Pray for attentive listening and no prison disruptions.
- Boldly, let's lift these inmate's up to God, asking they will believe deep in their hearts they are accountable and will give an account to Christ for the deeds done in the body... whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10)
- Pray this message will motivate them to faithful living in Christ.
- (Then there is the judgment topic... I am working on as well.) Please pray they will not become judgmental over other's as a result of this message but instead be filled with mercy and grace.
- The Holy Spirit will remove the chains of unbelief and the enemy will be bound.
- Many will invite Jesus to be their Savior.
- I am praying BIG... That this message will change all of our lives.
What about the prostitutes, the robbers, the murderers and the outcasts of society?
It doesn't matter how "good" you are, none of us is worthy. What we lack is the righteousness that God requires for entry into heaven. We all fall short compared to God's righteousness. Impossible!
Jesus is waiting... for you to pursue Him, for you to invite HIm into your life. When you confess and believe Jesus paid the price for your sins by dying on the cross... Jesus supernaturally exchanges your sins for His white robes of righteousness. The chains of sin's power are released from your life... forever!
So how about you, what will you experience at the judgment seat of Christ? Is your name written in the Book of Life? Will you be seeing Christ as your Judge or your Savior? Together, let's spur one another on to look in the mirror and really ask ourselves, "Am I daily living my life with God's eternal vision in mind?"
It is not too late to be freed from the penalty of "Guilty as charged."
An inmate's hand shot up out of the blue with a question in the middle of the church message. "Hey Shug, where in the Bible does it say Jesus went to Hell? You know, when they say 'he descended into hell?'" I detected a little attitude in her voice, almost a dare for me to find the verses. So I decided to act upon it.
(I love this about prison church services... there is never a dull moment.)
So I asked, in the middle of the service; "Would you like me to do a message next time on this topic?" I saw heads nodding and a resounding"YES" from the majority of the inmates. Some realizing they didn't know this is said in part of the Apostles Creed.
was crucified, died and was buried;
At this point everyone in prison was wondering..."Where did Jesus go after he died for three days?"
Alone in my office as I finalize the research on the Apostles Creed, Scripture and commentaries. I came to realize through prayer, this controversial topic is really about "TURF WARS."
There are all sorts of "Turf Wars" going on in our lives. Just wake up and get out of bed and you'll witness good and evil battling it out for the "Turf" in our lives. Gangs fighting for their neighborhood turf. Addictions beating up their victims until they surrender from the battle. The invisible "Turf" in our souls that ache to be filled by the love of Christ and then we fill it with everything but...
Biblical Scholars are even battling for "Turf", dissecting these verses and forming a variety of logical differing conclusions. The question on the table for generations has been; "Did Jesus descend into hell?" Basing their queries from some of the content in 1 Peter 3:18-20, 1 Peter 4:4-6 and Psalm 16:1-11.
Pot stirring trouble... comes to the forefront when we mix one of my favorite verses in Luke. When Jesus and the criminal were hanging on the cross, side by side, death knocking on their door...
Strengthen up my friends... we need to claim back the "Turf" that is rightfully God's. "Turf" that is already won by Christ on the cross. As you get out of bed today, remember, that you are already starting your day from the territory of VICTORY!
So... what are you waiting for? Let's go out and boldly live that way!