Jesus , Behind Prison Walls
by Kathy Cartee
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While ministering in our local country jail I met three ladies I will never forget. They were facing murder chargers and they were each in separate cells.
The chargers were the result a debt that was owed to the oldest of these ladies.
She had taken two teenage boys and two teenage girls with her to collect this dept. One was her own daughter.
Their plan was to force the man at gun point to go to his bank and withdraw the money he owed her.
The gun went off in a struggle and the man was killed.
As I began to speak with each of them I could feel the mighty presence of God and I knew He was speaking to their hearts.
Week by week as they were waiting for their court date, I watched as the Holy Spirit drew them and all three of them surrendered their lives to Jesus.
One day as my friend, Gail and I were going to minister in a women’s prison near our home town we were both feeling a little low. Gail said, "I don’t know why you are taking me with you I don’t think I will be able to help anyone the way I feel today."
I was feeling much the same. I had one scripture I felt the Lord had given to me and I had no idea what He wanted me to say.
As Gail began to play the music The Holy Spirit filled that place with His Presence and the whole atmosphere changed.
After the music I opened my mouth to read the scripture I felt The Lord had given to me. He filled my mouth with a message of such love and compassion that I was amazed. I knew that once again He was there and He was in control.
There was perhaps two hundred women in the service that night, As the altar call was given every woman in the place came forward, except one. To say we left there praising God is probably an understatement.
We had been ministering to women for several years when The Lord opened the doors for us to go to our first facility with an all male population.
God gave us favor when we met Chaplin Ray and we were invited to return to Lee Correctional Institute to hold Chapel services.
To tell you all the miracles we have watched The Lord do in the three years we have been there would take up too much space. We have watched as The Lord has made the impossible, possible.
He has touched the lives of men who were once murders, rapist, drug dealers and thieves, but now they are sons of God and mighty eagle warriors in the army of God.
The story of a young man that had turned to another religion and was sad and lonely is perhaps one of the shortest ones I could write about here.
In the service he had past Gail a note saying how unhappy he was. His religion did not allow people to even smile and he ask if we could help him find peace. He said, "He could not even feel the presence of God in his life."
Gail and her husband spoke with him after services and we began writing to him. He wrote back to tell us he had received Christ as his Savior and he had found the peace he had been searching for.
The next month when we returned this young man tapped Gail on the shoulder and the smile on his face was one of great joy and now he is singing in the Chapel choir. How wonderful to see Jesus, change a life.
On one of our visits to Lee Correctional Institute. The Chaplin had gotten permission for us to take Gail’s keyboard into the S.M. U. unit and minister to the men who were there.
This unit is for the criminally insane and we did not know what to expect. When we arrived
we set up the equipment in the center of the cellblock.
As the music began we could see men standing at the windows of their cells. In the background you could hear loud banging on cell doors and the voices of some who did not want to hear any Christian music.
After the music stopped we each took turns at the mike and We begin to share the message of God’s love with them.
As we spoke we could tell Jesus was touching hearts. You could see tears in the eyes of men as they realized God had not forgotten them and He still loved them.
When it was time for me to speak God began something deep within me that would change my life forever. He placed an unbelievable love for these hurting men in my heart We were weeping as we saw the pain and torment of these forgotten men.
We no longer saw what they were or what they had done, instead we saw what Jesus saw. These men were created to be formed in His image.
I knew Jesus had come to destroy all the works of the enemy and to set the captive free and as we went cell to cell several men asked for prayer that day.
Friendships were begun that day which continue even now, as we write to them and visit this unit whenever we are there
The first man I spoke to in this unit had been in prison for seventeen years and had spend all of his time in an S.M.U. unit. In his teens he was on drugs. His life style led him to this place. He was unable to believe God could really forgive him for the taking of a person’s life and even beyond this, he could not forgive his self.
His way of dealing with his guilt was to cut his self and he had razor marks covering his body. He had even swallowed razor blades in an attempt to kill his self.
The Lord is still working in his life, he has a long way to go but for the first time in years he is out of S.M.U.
We have seen God truly set several of these men free, to live their lives in peace with God. they can now forgive others, as well as being able to forgive their selves.
On Eagles Wings Prison Ministry
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A powerful article showing how God is working through you to reach the unreachable. You go where most of us would fear to tread, may God continue to bless your ministry.
delightful to read,and understand.
Kathy, I followed the link Deb posted on the message board to your site. I am glad I did. Your article folded my mind with memories of my law enforcement days. I arrested many people who ultimately wound up in jail or prison. At that time I gave no thought to the souls after their incarceration. I am greatly pleased to know that there are people like you who go in to this environment with the word of God and bring hope and love to them. Your story drew me in and let me experience their plight. Thanks for all you do in ministering to the unfortunate. There, but for the grace of God go I.
Well, a critic to myself to check before I post. Fold should read, flood.
Man…CRITIQUE, not critic…I’m losing it!
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