Prison Christian Ministries
Sharing the Gospel in Prisons
May 7, 2019
A Cold Wet Day In May
We arrive at our destination on a cold and overcast day in May. The four of us (Doc, Hal B, Sherry M and myself - Bill M) have done this trek many times before - too many to mention - and we never tire of it. I think that if this writer had to drive it backwards he could. These men are our congregation, the prison walls our church building. Within these structures we experience the richness and vibrancy of the Holy Spirit that we have yet to experience on the outside! Why? God’s heart is tender toward the brokenhearted and abandoned (Matthew 25: 35-36). Jesus walked through walls. John 20:19-20 says That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! "Peace be with you..." and He does in these institutions also. Richard Lovelace wrote in 1642 while imprisoned in Gatehouse Prison these familiar words:
"Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an hermitage."
Our mission is to make hearts and minds quiet so the stone walls and bars are not a prison of the heart. We do this by showing them that Jesus loves them and we do too. Our first stop is in a facility with a chapel building and we arrive during a music practice. Let me tell you, there is amazing talent within these churches with walls. I never cease to be amazed with the caliber of singers, song writers, guitarists, piano players, etc. Men come and go, but there always seems to be a tight nucleus of musicians that assume the vacancies.
Hal, one of our team members has brought his guitar and sings a "redeemed" version of a Merle Haggard song. Today we are reading and discussing "Spiritual Warfare", a very good book to enlighten and help the men to understand important principles that contribute to freedom - an equally good book for those of us not behind walls of stone. Sometimes we are prisoners of our own stony hearts. Discussion is rich and the men express their fears, challenges and disappointments as they serve their time. We each read and discuss the points and supporting scriptures. Before we know it our time has gone and now we prepare to leave. The men will go back to their respective places and we will now go have a bite to eat. We say goodbye and the door slams. Bill McLaughlin
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ (Matthew 25:34-36)
March 5, 2019
We had a great time at Harvest House Atlantic in Moncton this week sharing the love and good news of Jesus with the folks there. We (Pastors Mike Cody and Hal Babcock, Dr. Stephen Hart and Les Bragdon) enjoyed an incredible time of worship, a strong response to the gospel message and a powerful end of service ministry time. Holy Spirit visited in a profoundly prophetic way and we saw revelation imparted to those present. We broke bread with the folks enjoying a marvelous supper meal in the dining room. We absolutely love hanging out with these folks.