My mom is a persistent prayer warrior and she also is one of the most caring people I know. You put the two together and a SOCPM disciple can get into the welding class. Such is Wayne's story.
Wayne, a S OCPM disciple since December 2013, began his persistent prayer journey by asking God to change the hearts of those who have authority over him and grant him a work release. This would give him an early start in re-entry into society.
Wayne, like many students will often have a prayer request for an early work release and question why God does not give it to them. I respond by saying, "It may not be God's will." After getting some frowns I continue, "Perhaps God foresees that because you are unskilled and have a felony, no employer will be willing to hire you and because of your your inability to get a job, you become desperate in your need to support your family. Finally, when approached by someone to earn money the old fashion way, by stealing it or selling drugs, in your desperation to support your family, you give in and get arrested. Now, not only are your not able to support your family, you're back in prison."
I don't know how God spoke to Wayne, but his prayer requests went from praying for a work release to getting into the welding class, to acquire a skill and make himself more employable upon release. However, after a couple of weeks he stopped submitting a prayer request and said how God wasn't answering his prayer. I told him, God is more than 'just ask and I'll give you what you want'. He wants your heart. Wayne's resumed his prayers, referring to his son as "my little boy, Dillon" and his wife as "my girl, Jessi". He began to pray for his ''girl, Jessi" and his "little boy, Dillon" to know Jesus so they could be a complete Christian family. But Wayne's journey had really only just begun. Like the persistent widow, Wayne had to become the persistent prisoner and trust in God at all times and through all things.
Enter my mom, Mary, and the other SOCPM prayer warriors. I mention my mom specifically because she began to ask me each week in our weekly phone call, "Did that man get into the welding class? I hope he does, he sounds like a nice man, talking about his little boy, Dillon, and them being a Christian family." I shared with Wayne how my mom took a personal interest in his prayers, especially his getting into the welding class. He was truly touched.
On October 24th Wayne came to me, he was struggling big time, his step-mom was dying, lots of other negative things were happening. Luke 9:10-11 had been on his mind, he had been staying in the Word, but God was silent. I told Wayne God may be putting him through the fire to test his faith. It was time for him to really turn on the persistence and trust. The following Friday he told me his step-mom died and his dad was really taking her death really hard. But Wayne persisted in his prayer and trusted in God.
I can't describe the joy my mom and I had when I shared on November 8th that Wayne got into the welding class. Wayne's story is only one of many I've come to know in doing prison ministry.
If you're desiring to experience the joy my mom and I shared and are not receiving the SOPM disciple prayer request or are receiving them and just haven't been praying, perhaps God is calling you to become a persistent prayer warrior.
Chocolate Frog: An Informant Slang is from Inside Prison
Looking Ahead to 2015
Classes are scheduled to resume January 28th at Dixon and January 30th at Sheridan.
Once again SOCPM will be teaching Renewing Fatherhood. A class that not only teaches incarcerated dads Christian basic fathering skills, but also draws many unsaved dads to attend the Discipleship classes, where they receive in depth teachings on the Gospel.
The upcoming Discipleship classes will pick-up where Defending You Faith, Part 1 ended. Part 1 started with only one lessons per session, but because of lockdowns and other unscheduled class cancellations we had to rearrange the lessons. We combined two lessons into one session and the impact on overall class time discussion was minimal. Part 2 will consist of two lessons per class session.
With the reduced class lengths SOCPM will be able to offer more courses from the overall increasing SOCPM Discipleship curriculum. One of the new curriculums A Soldier's Call to Know the Bible, based on the Colin Smith's teaching series 10 Keys to Unlocking the Bible, is planned after the completion of Defending Your Faith, Part 2. This class was made possible by the generous gift of 100 participant guides from ministry friend, Bob Wolfson.
I met with Dixon's Assistant Warden of Programs (AWP), Lashonda Cameron, on how SOCPM can best serve Dixon. Because of that talk, SOCPM is planning to expand it's Christian Living Curriculum from just the current Renewing Fatherhood and Biblical Counseling, to include classes on marriage, anger management, and dealing with times of difficulty.
SOCPM will also seriously look into presenting one or two day seminars allowing us to offer more programs. If they go well in Dixon and or Sheridan, I plan to investigate bringing them to local county jails and downstate prisons. This will require seeking volunteers locally and downstate to help teach the seminars.
Speaking of downstate, SOCPM is going to be in search of downstate churches who would be willing to open their doors to our students upon their being paroled. This would include providing ongoing discipleship and raising up volunteers to teach SOCPM programs in facilities downstate.
In my meeting with AWP Cameron, I also mentioned my interest in receiving some training in MRT (Moral Recognitive Thinking). She having attended the training, gave it a strong endorsement. This training will certify me to teach a wide range of cognitive behavior courses, offered by MRT.
The Number is ...
102 - The number of certificates issued by SOCPM to students in 2014
Soldiers of Christ is donor supported
I believe the Lord has many plans for SOCPM in 2015, but your financial and prayer support is a must. The expenses to accomplish the above will exceed SOCPM's current monthly giving. Additionally I've not paid myself any salary since SOCPM became my vocation in November 2009. I hope to begin to pay myself a minimal monthly salary in 2015.
If you are a current monthly financial partner or have given in the past, thank you! If you aren't currently a monthly partner or have given a one time gift before, would you please pray about becoming a monthly financial partner?
1125 Oak St -
St. Charles, IL 60174
Please note "Prison Ministry" in memo to direct the gift to
Soldiers of Christ Prison Ministries
Soldiers of Christ Prison Ministries
P. O. Box 671
Cortland, IL 60112