Dear Family & Friends,
It’s with great joy I’m writing this update for you. I get to share the amazing ways God is working in Rockville! There are always challenges in ministry, but this update I would like to highlight the victories of God’s Kingdom in Rockville. I was going to wait and share in person since I’m coming home in a couple of weeks, but decided I should give an update.
In an earlier blog update I wrote about a young lady I started counseling who has been through unspeakable tragedy and loss. She has had a serious struggle with cutting herself over the past months. She attempted suicide a couple of months ago and was sent to “suicide watch”. After this transpired it was suggested she start counseling with me. I met with her and she was willing to start working together on the different struggles. We’ve been wrestling through the death of two of her young children, the abuse from her ex-boyfriend, and the guilt she’s been burdened with for making wrong choices. It’s been a hard journey to say the least, but last week God gave Cynthia a breakthrough. Wednesday evenings I stay at the facility until 6:00pm for choir practice, and last week Chaplain Deakins received a call that Cynthia was requesting to speak with me immediately. She was very upset. She came into the chapel offices in tears and I feared the worst. We sat down together and I asked her what’s going on. I had given her a book on guilt to read and take notes on so we could discuss it together. She had been reading the book alongside with Romans 5 and couldn’t read pass verse 8. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
In tears she testified, “I knew Jesus died on the cross, but it finally touched my heart in a new way. I broke into tears because I realized that it was my sin he paid for on the cross. Because he loved me he was nailed on that cross. I deserve to die, but Jesus paid the price. My guilt is also nailed to that cross and I can find freedom in Christ! I can’t describe how I feel, but a burden has been lifted. What do I do now?”
I had shivers listening to her because I could see the Holy Spirit working within her. There are no words that can accurately express the joy I experienced. I couldn’t stop smiling! I wish you could see the smile I still have on my face. Cynthia couldn’t understand why she was in tears, but I assured her that the tears were a good thing and this was a milestone in her journey of faith. She greatly encouraged me. I told her if I could give her a hug I would. Not only was I thankful for the hope Cynthia found in Christ alone, but she reminded me of something very important. This is what I journaled that evening:
How easily I take foregranted the love Jesus displayed on the cross. How easily I forget the power of the cross. How easily I loose the wonder of what Jesus did. How easily I stand in the shadow of the cross, but forget to rejoice in the hope of the risen Saviour. How easily I loose my excitement to live for Christ and share the hope of the cross. I don’t ever want to take foregranted the love shown at the cross. I don’t ever want to forget the cost Jesus took so I would have freedom. I don’t ever want to loose the joy Jesus gives. Forgive me when I think sharing the gospel is boring. Forgive me when I wonder if what I’m doing really makes a difference. This work is not about me, but all about Jesus! Forgive me when fix my my eyes on earthly matters instead of having my eyes fixed of the Perfecter of my faith. Give me the faith to believe miracles do happen. Give me the excitment to share the Gospel – not because it’s my duty, but because it’s true! May I live like every day is my last!
The next day I spoke with Cynthia and the joy of Christ was shinning through her! Nobody could take that smile off her face or rob her of the freedom she found. I spoke with Cynthia today and she still has her struggles, but she has joy in her voice.
Thank you for your prayers for Cynthia! This is a true work of the Holy Spirit and I’m humbled to be an instrument in the Redeemer’s hands. Keep praying as we keep running the race set out for us, and as Cynthia will need to fight hard against the devil.
There is another lady who is a great encouragement to me. I’m so thankful because Heather is growing in leaps and bounds in her faith! Her understanding of the Scripture is impressive and her desire to dig deep is inspiring to me. She is committed to Jesus and nothing is going to shake her faith in Christ. When she’s released she is determined to run from the life of drugs, and run the race of faith she’s on. Heather’s questions and level of maturity made me turn to Heidelberg Catechism with her for the first time last week. I opened to Lord’s Day 1 and we began to read/ discuss it together. She was very excited to discover this new treasure. She’s part of a Bible study I started and Friday morning she expressed she has a load of questions to ask me from the catechism. I look forward to my meetings with Heather every Wednesday. She is someone I take more time with than most because we start studying together and it’s hard to stop!
Please also pray for Heather! May God continue to greatly bless our meetings together. I’m challenged by her questions and inspired by her dedication to Christ. When we first started meeting she was deeply confused and overwhelmed by “the darkness,” (partly due to the drugs) but now she says, “There’s nothing that nobody can tell me that will shake my faith! I can see because the light of Christ.”
I wish I could show you pictures of these ladies, but I can’t take any technology into the prison. I must request a camera to use for any photos. I hope to take some photos of the ladies to share. I had the great joy to witness 70 ladies be baptized a couple of weeks ago, and hope to request permission to share some of those photos with you as well.
God is richly blessing the ministry! I’ve witnessed many miracles in the last month especially and give all praise to my King! There’s much more I could share, but I hope I can do that personally with you.
Thank you for your prayers, your support and please don’t stop! God is working! Something ground-breaking in happening in Rockville and I’m blessed to be part of it. I look forward to seeing my family & friends and being with my church family soon!