Morning Devotional by Louise Jennings on 8/18/2020
David discusses the impact of COVID-19 on the incarcerated
Joann Brush Testimony
When I was asked to write a testimony for the fundraiser this evening, a setback for the past two days dealing with doctors, spending a little time with family, and I still got a long road ahead of me, I kept going over and over in my mind what I could say to let you know what I'm grateful for and I came up with 1 million reasons but one thing I can say is, God is guiding me through every obstacle there is. Sometimes I'm a little lenient on Him, sometimes He's a little tough on me, but I take the good with the bad these days. I believe no matter what obstacle He puts in front of me, He gives me choices, and with Him by my side I seem to make all the right choices. But I have come a long way.
March 2019, I was diagnosed with cancer. On March 6 of 2020, I was incarcerated in Western Tidewater Regional Jail. During the course of that time, I fell short. I couldn't believe that God put this upon me. I also realize that I had a choice. Most people don't understand the choices I've made. Some of them good; some of them bad, and some of them not even, "What was I thinking?!"
September 23, 2020, I went to Middle River Regional Jail. From the day I stepped into that facility, I started feeling better about myself trying to get myself back the way I was. Caring and understanding, being in the community again, trying to lend a hand, trying to be supportive. I don't know what happened to me the day I arrived there, but for some reason it was like a whole new door opened for me. I was facing things that I had done in the past; accepting what I had done; accepting the choices I had made; and then, I met this beautiful woman, Louise Jennings.
When I started talking to her, it was like a whole new light. I wanted to be more like her in God's eyes. Because I knew from that day forward, she was a true follower. She was a blessing to me.
I don't wanna bore everybody with all the ups and downs of my situation, not only being incarcerated but also battling cancer for the past four years. Today I am having surgery and I cannot be here to see you this evening. I'm not very good at putting all my situations into words. I'm learning every day. The learning experience for me, I grew up with the Lord was that I loved the Lord all my life, but I thought just loving Him was enough. But it's not: it's devotion; it's caring; it's being a part of the community. Things I fell short of for around 15 years. But I know today, no matter what comes down my path, I will accomplish it to the best of my ability. I know that I cannot live each day without waking up and thanking God for me to see another day. Now I have one more obstacle in my way and I will tell you about it.
In August 2019, I decided to take my life. I can't tell you why. I have been through a lot and I literally just wanted to give up. I've never been a drug addict, but my brother was. He had just ended his life a year ago, and I was cleaning some stuff out of his apartment, and I found some of his drugs and some of his syringes. I don't know why I didn't throw them away that morning, but that night I wrote a note for my animals and also my home to sign it over to a dear friend who had been there for me but was also the cause of my incarceration. I will not get into that. When I put that needle in my arm, I saw a white light open up, and I saw my sister telling me that it wasn't my time yet. According to the sheriff, my friend rode by and couldn't understand why my car was in the parking lot at 2 o'clock in the morning, and something told her to turn around. She saved my life by calling the sheriff. So I believe God worked through her and me, and also sent my sister to tell me that it wasn't my time. I know that's hard for people to believe, but when you see things like that it makes you look at life differently. Now I still have a lot of obstacles in my way, due to the course of me trying to end my life. I was charged with possession of cocaine. I still have to face that battle. I haven't gotten that far yet, but I know through my support group and Triple A and God, no matter what they put on me, I will be able to handle it and I will do it with my head up and a smile on my face. I will enjoy the Lord 's embrace around me, because I know He will protect me. God is good; He's amazing if you just give Him a chance. If you let Him in your heart, you can do all things with Him and I am living proof of that.
Thank you and I'm sorry I couldn't be here.
Jon Ponder: Hope for Prisoners
16 Aug 2020
I just wanted to say Thank You for birthday card, and for remembering me. I had a good day. Then again, every day is a good day with Jesus in it. I do appreciate your ministry very much and all that you all do.
Keep up the very good work for God is with you in all that you do. And I know that all you do is unto the Lord. That is what makes it special.
God bless you all and keep you all in His love and strength and His peace and joy.
Jesus is Lord
Kingsway Prison & Family Outreach
Hello! I am an inmate at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women in Virginia. First of all, I would like to thank you all so much for everything you do for us. Second, about two years ago back when I was at Middle River Regional Jail in Staunton, VA, I wrote you all and you sent me The Beyond Suffering Bible.
I just wanted to tell you all thank you, it is a very nice Bible and I love it and I actually read it front to back. It has really helped me grow as a person and has deepened my relationship with the Lord. I also wanted to ask you all if there was anything else you could maybe send me to help me grow even more in my relationship with the Lord. Are there any other Bibles you offer and any books or Bible studies? Also, do you offer any programs or services? I hope to hear back from you soon. Again, thank you so much. And anything from you all would mean a lot.
Thank you and God bless.
Jessica L. Regis
August 20, 2018
Dear Kingsway Outreach,
Thank-you very much for my Birthday Card and thinking of me. It really means a lot. I got it on that exact day 14 Aug. I do really enjoy Kingsway Prison Ministry and look forward when you come on church nights. And Ms. Jennings you truly are a very special blessing and all that you do & are doing and all the volunteers. Always know that our Great Lord is watching & taking all account what you all do & is very pleased. I do very much appreciate all that you do for all us that are in prison. God bless you and all the volunteers and keep you all in His love and strength and in the power of His excellent Spirit.
Jesus Is Lord
Coffeewood Correctional Center
October 23, 2018
To Kairos #40
I‘d like to thank each and every one of you for opening your arms and welcoming me.
I have never been part of anything so awesome and amazing as this program and your willingness to accept people that most people have turned their backs on and those that have given up on themselves.
Thanks, words cannot express the feelings of acceptance and appreciation and being called by name and not a number.
Lord willing I will see you in March on the outside team.
God bless each and every one of you.
November 31, 2018
My name is Amber Davidson, I was incarcerated in 2012 at Harrisonburg Virginia regional jail for manufacturing of methamphetamine. I was there from Florida away from anyone and everyone I once knew. God brought me to a place of pure surrender and I was forced to call on His name if I wanted help. I was isolated away from things which linked to my former self and He began to show me who I was predestined to be. In this process He shown me what the love of Christ looked like on the face of another. Kingsway prison ministry was one of those faces, Louise Jennings, through my rough edged attitude loved me anyways. She was my chaplain and while battling to defeat my old character she would give me guidance in the word and lead me down the path of righteousness. She went and got my belonging which was all I had and stored them in a unit for 2 long years. She took her time, talent and resource to help me when I was released to get all the things I needed to get my life back up and running. We have also stayed in touch and been able to serve at a conference which has helped me grow as a woman of God to help birth the ideas for my own ministry. Kingsway loved me when I wasn’t lovable and helped me see that there was still good in the world. This ministry also showed me what it was to be the hands and feet of God.
Dear Kingsway Ministries,
It's a blessing just to keep hearing from you. You are very loyal to us prisoners. I've moved around a lot, but God is with us. I feel ashamed because, even though I've been faithful to prayer, study, and church, I have not reached out to you with/any appreciation for how your ministries have given me strength and encouragement (in the name of Jesus).
I pray that (as you already go) you continue to keep me in your prayers. Pray with me over my strength, my families, friends, and church in the name of Jesus. I do hope that one day we will be able to join you. I love you, and appreciate all that you have done. Thank you. Praise God for having you in my life. God bless your family.
Your Brother in Christ Jesus,
Eric L. Hughes
P.S. Happy Holidays!
Kingsway Church Community
Greetings and blessings to you all. I have been attending the church here and Jesus is in the house!
I will be released sometime in November with the good Lord’s blessing and will let you guys know what’s going on from there. Still don’t know where but I know it’ll be where God wants me.
Want you all to know that you are not forgotten.
Keep the praise and prayers going and keep uplifting one another.
Yours in Christ,
A Changed Heart
by Judy M
“Let’s get this over with!” I grumbled to myself as I helped the church chorus set up equipment to sing at the prison. The smile on my face didn’t match the thoughts clamoring through my mind. “What are we doing here? These men have gotten exactly what they deserved,” I murmured silently. Such was the condition of my heart as I climbed the risers to begin singing praises to our Lord.
We were half way through the first song when the Lord addressed the hypocrisy of what was occupying space in my heart and what was being proclaimed from my mouth. As I sang, I saw an image of Jesus out of the corner of my eye. He was standing in the midst of the prisoners with his left arm extended out as if embracing the shoulders of the 200 men who were present. “These are my people - I love them. Can you love them too?” He asked firmly, yet with compassion and love.
His words pierced my heart deeply and I began weeping uncontrollably throughout the performance. Using up all the tissues in my pocket, I proceeded to use the sleeve of my robe to wipe my eyes and nose - I was not a pretty sight! As I stood crumbling emotionally on the risers, my brokenness evident before all, I silently prayed, “Oh God, I have been forgiven of so much. You took a broken, ugly life of sin and freely offered compassion and hope. I’ve been shown so much grace. How could I be so unforgiving of others who have been ensnared and crushed?” I ached inside as he brought conviction regarding the judgment coming up out of my heart for those who had been imprisoned by the deceit of the world.
After the program, with tear-swollen eyes and quivering voice, I shared what had happened. I told them how Jesus held them in his arms, proclaiming his love for them. Then, from a changed heart, I asked them for forgiveness for my condemnation and judgment. The men I had condemned stood and clapped as they freely forgave and hungrily received the declaration of God’s love for them. I somehow felt their pain in my spirit and it reminded me of my own torment from the choices and actions of the past. It’s a torment that reaches down inside with devastating shame tearing away at our very being. Yet, somewhere in those dark and lonely places we all long to believe that there is something within us that is worthy of being loved.
I left the prison with joy in my heart that night but God wasn’t finished with me. You see, the very people I had resented became the people I wanted to serve. The cynical arrogance within my heart had turned to love and my husband and I began ministering in the prison every Friday night for more than two years. We were blessed over and over again by the very men I had deemed as unworthy.
Hosea 11:8 says, “My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused.” And 1 Cor. 13:4-8…”Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
Thank you, Lord, for the tears that cleansed by your Spirit, bringing purity to see as you see and to love as you love.
Yes, it does feel so good. God has done nothing but bless me since I have gotten sober. I have been home for three years. I haven’t touched anything for 2 1/2 years. I have a beautiful apartment; I have nice things. Don’t want or need for anything. I have a husband that adores me. I have the sweetest little dog and cat, and my family actually believes in me and supports me, and God has never left me through any of it. I could not be happier; and in a month and a half I will have the sweetest little boy to look up to me and I have never looked more forward to anything in my life. I love you, Ms. Jennings, and I am thankful that you have always stayed in contact with me even in my worst of days.