“…Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest….” (John 4:35)
I would like to share a few reflections with you regarding last weekend’s revivals that were held at the South Carolina prisons. It was a high light for us and we feel like a big part of our hearts are still there at the correctional facilities. We had such a precious time with all of these dear men and women and I believe that we were blessed as much or more than they were. God’s spirit moved in such a beautiful way and we were in awe and felt so blessed to be a small part of what God was doing. Each of our services were filled with many tears but our service on Sunday morning at a women’s facility was filled with such depths of emotions like we have never experienced before.
We shared a few songs at the beginning of our one hour program and then gave a few testimonies regarding our journey. As we shared about the three heart transplants, two cancers, chemical sensitivities and then recently about our son’s death, we could see the “walls” begin to break down and there were many tears being shed. I sensed a tremendous amount of pain and deep hurts in the lives of these dear ladies. (This is so often evident in the prisons by those living a lesbian life style.) God laid on my heart to share how the enemy of their souls is wanting to destroy them by trying to convince them that God cannot be good. How can a loving God allow all the terrible things that they have encountered? I shared that God never intended for any of us to endure suffering, rejection, and death. It was not a part of His plan. He weeps with us when we face deep pain and loss and His greatest desire is that we would allow Him to gently draw us close to Himself when we face a fiery trial.
As we began sharing our “Father’s Son” presentation, there were even more tears and one woman began weeping so uncontrollably that a few inmates walked to the back with her. She continued this loud, heart wrenching crying so the chaplain and a few volunteers joined them. We stopped our singing and began collectively praying for her. We thank God that He was beginning the healing process in her life.
We sang the song, “Blessings” and Duane challenged them by questioning their motives of why they are serving God. It is all to common in our culture for individuals to want to serve God because of the protection and blessings that they think He will bring. We have no problem to believe that God is good when we are happy and comfortable but what happens when things aren’t going so well? It was easy for us to say that God was good after He had provided three new hearts for our children and brought complete healing from the two kinds of cancers. But what happens now that Austin is no longer here with us and his stool is now empty? Is God still good? Has anything really changed? Is it a reflection of our selfishness and limited faith in God if we question His goodness or become angry or bitter at Him? Duane then went on to declare that we are here to share that GOD IS GOOD! He has an eternal purpose for allowing anything that enters our lives.
Many of the women responded at the altar and were set free from anger, bitterness and the spirit of fear. We were blessed to see how God used the tears that our daughters, Brianna and Alisha, shed to touch specific individuals. Many of the ladies came up to them and as they hugged them, they began weeping. The girls just cried with them and then prayed for them as well. I had five or six women who came up to me and as I prayed for them they also began sobbing. We didn’t know anything regarding their journeys but we could tell that they had experienced much pain and needed to be assured of the great love that their Heavenly Father has for them.
The chaplain told me that many of these women have not been able to cry for a long time and there was deep healing that was taking place. It was evident that the Holy Spirit was at work and we were so privileged to see this. We know that without the Spirit moving and convicting, it would all be in vain. To God be the glory!
Brianna stated it well when she said, “It was so wonderful to be there but I just wish we could have stayed for another week! It feels like we just abandoned them.”
Hudson Taylor once said, “The great commission is not an option to be considered, it is a command to be obeyed,.” How are you doing in the mission field where God has placed you? There are so many who need to hear about the great God that we are serving.
Edna StoltzfusPosted at 02:10h, 18 February
I am very sorry that I was not permitted to stay for the Sunday morning program. I left the motel at 5:00 AM mto got with the van load of folks that I was riding to Pa. in. We did go to Upper Tyger River and gave a program in that facility.
Duane I am so glad to see how God used your family in Camile Graham. We volunteers talked and prayed together about the heaviness that we felt in that prison this time. We feel there is witchcraft in that prison. It is such a dark place. I am thankful for this report of the morning service.
I felt a warm welcome in that prison from the inmates, the Chaplain and the officers. Many remembered me and it touched me very much. I’ll go there again if I get a chance.
With Love, Edna Stoltzfus
Norma DiennerPosted at 12:32h, 18 February
What a beautiful testimony. Thanks for sharing it and for being faithful. Love your family and enjoy having a glimpse into your lives! God Bless You. ~Norma
Glenn & Judy HooverPosted at 12:32h, 18 February
Cindy, So good to hear a report of the SC crusade and God moving in your hearts and the hearts of the residents. Confirms that God is good and he answers our prayers even tho we were not there. Missed the crusade with sadness.
DuanePosted at 17:10h, 20 February
Hi Edna! We felt the same thing on Sunday morning but we were so grateful and blessed to see that God’s power is greater than the enemy’s. God was definitely at work! We’re so glad that you enjoyed your time there and it was a blessing to have your participation this year. God bless you! ~Duane & Cindy
DuanePosted at 17:14h, 20 February
Glenn & Judy, We missed not having you be able to participate this year. Maybe it will work for you again next year. Thank you so much for all your prayers. They did make a difference. ~Duane & Cindy
IvyloverPosted at 14:05h, 02 March
You guys are in such an incredible time in your lives… we are learning about how God calls different people to different people groups and you all are really in amazing times of reaching out and breaking the chains that have so many bound!!! I am so blessed to hear how God is using your pain to bring hope and life not only to those around you but also to heal your own hearts, with tears I thank you for sharing
DuanePosted at 18:46h, 03 March
Thank you so much for sharing these encouraging words to us. We feel very blessed with the opportunities that God has been giving to us. We are reminded that it really isn’t a sacrifice but a privilege to serve God in this way. We covet your prayers! ~Cindy