Greetings from the IRM team in Rwanda. by Terry Fillis
Today was another day when God truly was present.
The team went to the old prison at Gichumbi. IRM had never been there before so no one knew exactly what to expect. When we arrived we had to wait for a while for the warden to arrive. They had a work party down the road from the prison that we had passed coming in. We waited for them to return to the prison before starting our crusade. There were about 250 inmates at the prison and the warden wanted them all to hear the gospel message.
This has been the theme in each of the three prisons so far. IRM have found real favor with the Commissioner of Prisons and with each of the wardens. Today we were able to present the gospel message to all of the inmates as well as sharing the message of forgiveness and reconciliation. The majority of the inmates responded favorably to the gospel and we saw many come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. When Arlene shared the message of forgiveness the response was considerably less enthusiastic but the Holy Spirit had her make eye contact with some of the inmates and they responded. After the first stood it was like watching a wave roll through the group. There were many standing as Arlene led them in a prayer of forgiveness of themselves and others.
We had enough Bibles to give one to each inmate as well a copy of the IRM Discipleship Pamphlet. There were many smiles and even a few misty eyes as they were handed out. There were even some from the inmates. Go figure. Since there were no female inmates at the prison we had a men’s conference after the crusade. Our women team members took a well earned rest in the van while Pastor Peter, Alfred, Pastor Jerome, Pastor Brian and myself led a the men’s conference. After the time of teaching and testimony we were privileged to anoint each of the inmates who desired to receive it for the power of the Holy Spirit to transform their lives.
There was such a feeling of electricity in the air as we watched the Holy Spirit move in those men’s lives. We feel truly privileged to see lives transformed. The men’s conference walks them through the decisions they have made and how they are made new in Jesus Christ by outlining the discipleship pamphlet. They are encouraged to seek fellowship with the other Christians in the prison and to not be discouraged when times are tough. There are local pastors and chaplains who have volunteered to do follow up visits who will help them as they learn to walk each day with the Lord. We shared with them that people in America put in money for the Bibles and also to help the American team members afford the trip to Rwanda. Pastor Peter shared with the inmates that we were not there to make ourselves feel good about doing a good work but that we truly were concerned that they would hear the message of love and forgiveness that God had put on Arlene’s heart to share.
As always, Arlene’s testimony and point blank presentation made a great impact for the Kingdom of God. Please continue to pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to draw the hearts of these men to our Father. God bless all of you who read of our efforts and please support IRM and the prisoners with your prayers.
Yours in Christ,
That none would be lost,