Don's Pew Neighbors
The question at the start of the “Knowing Jesus” gathering is always the same — “Where have you seen God at work lately?”
The answers these brothers and I hear to this question always build us in the Gospel faith.
On this particular Tuesday, Don told us what he saw at the previous Sunday Chapel Service.
First, let me explain how this Chapel Service works. About 120 men file in as the inmate worship band begins the first praise song. As the line enters the Chapel, Orderlies direct the men to fill in the front row pew, then the second and so on until men are seated in folding chairs in the back overflow room. We sing four worship songs, have prayer, then preaching, a final prayer, and then file back to their dorms.
During the service, the men can’t freely move around. They aren’t able to sit with friends unless they managed to get in line together as they marched through the center gate.
Similar to churches on the outside, not everyone is there for the right purpose. At the prison there are two main groups that use Chapel service as a meet-up; gang members and homosexuals.
Don told us that he ended up on a row with a group of homosexuals. Not the firs time this had happened. He was prepared to focus on the service and not be distracted by the meet-ups about to happen on his pew.
By his account it was most unusual what happened. Simply put, each person in this little bunch behaved. They paid attention and sat peacefully during the four worship songs, then through the prayers, and even through the preaching.
By the way, I was the preacher that day and I can vouch for the length (the usual full hour) and content through which these men stayed attentive. I preached on knowing God’s will for your life from 1 Thessalonians 4:3 and forward.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality…” and so forth. Sexual purity being the first of three specifics of sanctification addressed in the passage. These men did not snort in derision, whisper objections to one another, nor fidget in their seats (much).
As Don put it, “The Spirit of God got a hold on ‘em from start to finish. It was amazing!”
As is often the case, after this testimony was given the men clapped and cheered praises to the Lord of All.
I wonder what He is going to do next.
God provides these testimonies. Please feel free to forward these to your friends.
The generous friends of Mark 4 provide the means for my being a part of His changing men’s hearts and transforming prisons.
Think of it as spiritual prison reform through ministering to both believing and unbelieving inmates.
Your financial support is needed, greatly appreciated and truly makes a difference.
Please be generous in your giving today.
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Mark 4 Ministries
P. O. Box 995
Port St. Joe, FL 32457