Hey, y’all! We’ve told you a bit about how our bands and artists go to college campuses and help the Campus Ministry. We’ve told you how we partner with the Military ministry as well. But I’m not sure if we’ve told you how in the last couple of years, we’ve been able to partner with ministries outside Campus Crusade for Christ who work with inmates. Here are a couple of great stories from those times.
blue sky nine (bsn) played in Ellsworth Correctional Facility (a medium security prison), in Ellsworth, KS in April 2009. While there, Laura (bsn’s lead singer) got in a conversation with one of the inmates, Tom (name changed). He kept talking about how he was 28 and hadn’t done anything with his life. She could sense that he really wanted to turn things around. Laura encouraged him to press into God and ask him to help to stay away from the friends that steered him towards the life he didn’t want to lead anymore. Then she and other band members prayed with him and encouraged him to take steps towards God. After they returned home, God led Laura to pray for Tom every day.
This past fall, bsn returned to Ellsworth. Tom was still there, and he was surprised when Laura remembered him and their conversation in April. Before the band left, Tom handed Laura a poem he had written about his relationship with God.
Fastforward to Christmas: Laura received a card in the mail from Tom telling her about how things have been getting better for him. He’d been able to mend some of the bridges he burnt with his family — they even came to see him on Thanksgiving. He said he wanted to write and let her know how much blue sky nine and our conversations helped him.
David Pendleton & Co. (David uses ventriloquism and comedy to share with people)
David Pendleton performed at an Indianapolis prison as an outreach for the Indy Christmas Conference. After his performance, the students spent time sharing one-on-one with the inmates. Here is a story from a student at Miami University (Ohio):
I have shared my testimony several times, but I have never really told someone how they can accept Christ. Before Christmas conference I didn’t really know the words to say. I had the amazing opportunity to witness someone being led to Christ first hand. I went on a prison outreach during conference. I was extremely afraid and was highly doubting my ability to share the gospel to an inmate…. I ended up with an 18 year old kid … I was completely overwhelmed….I tried reading the cards they gave us but it wasn’t going anywhere. Then a staff guy named David Pendleton sat down with us. He saw that I was struggling and ended up sharing the gospel with the kid. It was absolutely amazing to see the Spirit speak through him….David made a great illustration. He told the inmate, “It’s as if I were to walk into the prison and change clothes with you. You would walk out and I would stay here and serve your sentence for you.” It was at that moment that I saw in Robert’s eyes that he truly understood.
I love how David not only led the prisoner to Jesus in a way he could understand, but also opened the student’s eyes to how he could learn to share his faith better. God is so good! Praying we’ll all see the opportunities to reach out to others around us. God bless you!