Words are hard to write today as I think about all we saw and heard God do this last day of ministry.
Breakfast was at 8 and Aaron and I saved our French toast and Yogurt to take in the van for our snack as we cross the border. We will add it to the remainder of the very good Hawaiian pizza I had for dinner last night.
We were met by two very nice chaplains at Busia Main Prison who set about getting everything ready for us. The 700 prisoners were assembled in a field with those in striped clothing (convicted) on the right and a larger number of those in street clothes (remand) on the left. What a great time we had with them and they made so many good decisions for themselves in both salvation and forgiveness, I saw one M…… man that received Christ as his Savior.
Although we were in an open area God provided a bit of cloud cover until the very end so I did not have to preach in the sun. My strength in a few areas has not returned from my blood infection and I notice even the strength in my hands has not returned. Can you imagine not being able to open a bottle of water? Good thing I have teammates who are willing to do that for me.
Then we walked over to the women’s area and as I walked around shaking hands with each prisoner one old woman patted her heart and the reached forward and toughed mine. There are just those precious times when words are not needed.
Because of my personal testimony I have a very real connection with the women prisoners and today’s group was small and actually perfect. I shared a part of my personal story that I have never shared with prisoners before because a few day ago the Holy spirit made it clear it was time to add it to what I share. Aaron said later that he watched many of the 38 women duck their heads and start crying as I shared meaning they were identifying with what I was saying. It is difficult to be so transparent but if it helps others know that God can give them victory over what they have gone through then I will continue to share those things.
4 cried as they shared their testimony about what the Holy Spirit had done in their hearts during our time together and most of the other women cried with them. One prisoner, with tears streaming down her face, said that after coming to prison she had wanted to kill herself but today's message had given her hope and changed her mind.
Yes, they have done wrong things but many here, according to the Officer in Charge, are innocent like the elderly woman who was the victim of a break-in and when she screamed the village neighbors came and killed the man. She and her daughter was judged as being part of a mob and she was sentenced to 3 years her daughter sentenced to 5years. Another prisoner was there because she witnessed a murder and did nothing.
Because this was my last crusade of the trip today it was hard for me and I cried with them. I do not know if God will bring me back to Kenya or what plans he has for my future with the ministry he has called me to do. But watching women’s hearts be touched by the grace and love of Christ is something me heart yearns for.
When we were finished I gave each woman a kiss on the cheek and blessed her as I gave her a wrap, that had been donated. I told my team it was something I wanted to do all by myself. Then the prisoners with babies received a donated crochet cap.
I was so pleased that there were enough bibles and booklets that each woman would get a set.
We walked to the O.C.’s office to sign the official book, like we do at every prison, but when we walked outside there they were all the prisoners with their wraps on and they were standing in a line. I could not help myself, I ran and got in line with them.
To those who have given generously and prayed so I could be here, may our Savior pour out his richest blessings upon you, “Thank You” is too small a word.
It was 2pm so we said our goodbyes and drove to the border which did not take long to go through and then we entered Uganda. Aaron and I were so happy we wanted to sing praises to the Savior. We drove to Jinga but the place we always stay was full so we drove further and found a place that ended up being close to a mosque, and the 7pm call to prayer just sounded. Good things I have earplugs as I plan to sleep until 7am or so. We will leave for Kampala at 9am and since it will be Sunday perhaps the traffic will be light.
Please pray for a good night’s rest and travel safety tomorrow.
That none would be lost,