flashthoughts

YOU WANT TO GO WHERE?

Posted on: January 17, 2017

mission-trip-to-whereIt continues to amaze me how God can (and will) use the most ordinary thing to stir something in my Spirit that, I believe, He is wanting me to share with others. Last Wednesday morning was another great example.

My husband and I receive a monthly prayer calendar from We Care. The We Care calendar has specific things or people to pray for each day of the month. January is dedicated to people and/or items concerning ReNew Hope. On January 11th, we were asked to pray for “Donors, Prayer Intercessors and their families”. A simple enough request, right? Yet, something began to stir in my Spirit and it didn’t go away, so here I am trying my best to share what I believe God wants me to share.

What comes to your mind when you think of a mission trip? Africa? Nicaragua? Tibet? Ecuador? China? Russia? Haiti? The Outback of Australia? Prison?

When we were asked to pray for the donors, prayer intercessors and their families, it made me think of all the churches who go on mission trips to other countries every year; but, how many, if any, sponsor a mission trip to a prison yard?

Every year, during the last week of January, an organization called the We Care Program conducts a “mission trip” of sorts. It is called ReNew Hope and people come from all over the United States, Canada and other countries to spend a week in Alabama and take the love of Jesus into the prison mission field. Many of these people are using the only week of vacation they receive from their every day job to do this, not to mention it costs them money to come and participate. These people have a true calling from the Lord to do this and they are blessed for it. They are blessed most when they are given the privilege of seeing a lost soul come to Jesus for the first time or when one returns home (comes back to Jesus), like the prodigal son. If you haven’t already signed up, it is too late to participate in this year’s ReNew Hope. However, if you feel like this is something God is calling you to do, you should go to the website for We Care (click on the name and it will take you there) and get more information. Maybe you can join in next year. If your church participates in mission trips, maybe you could talk to them about supporting a mission trip to the prisons in Alabama (and one in Florida) next year.

I realize we aren’t all called to go to on mission trips – abroad or at home – but, we can be called to help those who are. If you don’t feel called to go, you should not go; but, if you are called to help others go, you should help in any way you can – whether that be financially or through prayer.

I believe the prisons are some of the biggest mission fields today that are lacking the most in missionaries to cover it. This is due, in part, to the fact there aren’t many willing to go into this mission field and partly due to the fact those willing to go have a hard time raising the funds allowing them to go.

My husband, along with other We Care Chaplains, goes into, what some would call, one of those most dangerous mission fields on a daily basis – not just once a year. He goes into prisons. He goes in to share the hope of Jesus, to share his own story of what God did and continues to do in his life and to let the men there know He can, will and wants to do the same for them, if they will allow it. He does this under the umbrella of the “We Care Program”. We Care does not contribute to his salary; but, forwards to him funds that are given for his support, in the form of wages. He receives 100% of the money donated to him, unless it is donated with a credit/debit card. If a card is used, a small percentage goes to cover administration fees collected by the company associated with the card. If you would like to become a partner with us, or any other chaplain with We Care, feel free to contact me and I will be happy to share with you the information on how to do that.

I would like to give a little more information about the We Care Program, for those who aren’t familiar with it. We Care’s vision statement is: “To see the redemptive power of Jesus Christ become evident in the lives of inmates as they grow and make disciples in prison and beyond.” Their mission is “to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ through chaplaincy in the correctional setting” and their core values are Biblical foundation, daily discipleship and caring ministry.

I challenge each one who has read this far to be in prayer for the over 400 people coming together next week for this mission trip. I further challenge you to be in much prayer about it this year and see how God would like to use YOU on this mission trip next year – as an active participant, a financial participant (helping or sponsoring someone else who wants to be an active participant) or as a mighty prayer warrior. All three are equally important and vital to growing the Kingdom of God.

The men and women in prison, in God’s eyes, are no different than you and I. They made wrong choices and are paying the consequences of those choices; but, they are still men and women created by God and He will welcome any man or woman into His Kingdom when they confess their sin to Him, turn from their wicked ways and do their best to live daily for Him – even if it’s from a prison yard. Think about this: there are many prisoners who have been truly born again and are living a much freer life than some of us on the “outside”.

But thanks be to God, Who gives us the VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ I Corinthians 15:57

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