Visited Alouette Correctional Centre for Women last night with about ten other women from W2 (Woman to Woman, a restorative justice ministry). What a blessing it is to represent the Son of God in that place!
Denise, one of the women I have been visiting for a few months, is being released next week and I'm happy to report that she's ready! I've watched her grow in Jesus by leaps and bounds, and have witnessed the renewing of her mind as well. She reads her Bible, does a devotional study, and prays to God every day. She will be living in a Christian house for women for the first few months.
Last night she was peaceful and full of hope for the future. I know that God's hand is on her and that if she stays close to Him He will lead her along the path that He has chosen for her - and I believe her calling is to minister to other women. It was amazing to witness how the other women are drawn to her, and how loving and compassionate she is towards even the rudest and most hardened of them. Even those who violate her space and bully her, she is able to view with compassion and she has learned to deal with each violation with wisdom and mercy.
Recently several women from her home town joined her at the institution and they are amazed at how much she's changed. One of them told me what she used to be like and about the differences she sees in her now. They are drawn to her now because of the life, beauty and peace of Jesus living in her. When I prayed for her at the end of our visit, several women who know Denise came and kneeled down or sat beside her and put their hands on both of us. It was an amazing moment, and God touched each one of them. They brushed away tears afterward because they felt the love and the presence of God as we prayed.
Each time I visit Denise, she relates to me stories of how God has answered the prayers we pray when we are together. This week the most amazing answer to prayer was that one of the worst bullies at ACCW, who was continually persecuting Denise, has begun attending chapel services with her on Sundays and her heart is being softened! Our prayer for this woman two weeks ago was that God would turn her heart to Him so that she could receive the healing she needs, and come to know His love. Thank You Lord that You answered our prayer with a miracle!
Would you please pray for Denise as she leaves the prison and returns to her old stomping grounds. There will be many temptations and the devil will try to convince her that she hasn't changed - he's already been trying that through her dreams. My prayer is that she will remain in Jesus' love as He tells us to do in John 15. If she can just hold on to Him and His love, I know that she'll be allright. Also, if you would pray for Devon, the young mom, and her son. Devon is becoming discouraged and for the first time I see the beginnings of hardening happening in her heart, probably because of her father's recent rejection of her. Also, her baby has an ear infection and he's been very cranky lately.
Father please heal Devon's baby's ear infection and help her to trust that You love her and will never leave her. And please shelter Denise under Your wing as she goes out into the world again. Thank You for the miracles You've done in her and for the miracles You've shown her while she was in prison. Strengthen her heart and build up her faith, surround her with godly people who can encourage her and support her, and lead her in Your paths of righteousness. I pray in Jesus' Name.