Tuesday, November 15, 2016

God's Undercover Agents

Jail life isn't Club Med. It's Hell. There's an oppressive force that hovers over you, leaving you feeling desperate and caged. It's more extreme, more excessive, more harsh, full of evil forces, more than you could ever imagine. 

99% of the women in there was a repeat offender. There was a very small percentage of us in there that had never experienced anything like it. 

This county jail houses everyone all together. Murderers, rapists, drug dealers, drug users, whether illegal or prescription. There are armed and unarmed robbers, retail fraud, credit card fraud, driving without a driver's license, DUI's, you name it, they were there. Most were waiting for their court dates but some had already been sentenced. 

You hardly sleep there because of the nonstop noise. But many of the girls that come in there are detoxing so they sleep all the time. Many of them have psychological problems so they're drugged to the max. This one girl was trying to get away from the deputies, which there's no where to go, only to run in circles. She ended up going up the stairs and throwing herself off the balcony, nearly killing herself. She could no longer walk freely. She had to wear shackles on her at all times. 

I spoke at the Forgotten Man Ministry Banquet in October and I was sharing with them my experience there and how their ministry touched me. 

Here's some of what I shared.
I hardly slept through the first night. Wrist band check was sometime around 630. Breakfast followed around 7. Dayroom (what they called breaks) was announced between 9 and 10. Lunch was sometime around noon. Each time we were called to do one of these things, I had no idea what the deputy was saying because she was barking all of her instructions. The girl on the top bunk had to tell me what to do so I wouldn’t get in trouble. 
I tried sleeping as much as I could between meals and dayroom, but a person can only sleep so much. As I laid there on my bunk, I came to the realization that I was in Hell.
I fell back on what I always did, in both good times and bad times, and that was singing. The only lyrics I could quietly muster was “Oh the Blood of Jesus, it washes white as snow.” Through a grief I had never known, I repeated these words over and over again.
During one of the breaks, I noticed a group of women came into the pod. They all had vests on and some sat at the tables with their bibles and a couple of them stood up by the cart. Many of inmates got in line to receive paper and pencils, as well as books or magazines off the cart. Other girls sat at the tables and were talking to the ladies in vests. 
I didn’t want to talk to anyone, so I just laid there and watched all the movement. However, I did want a piece of paper and pencil to write home and maybe a book to read. So I mustered up the courage and got in line.
One of the ladies prayed with me during that time and I cried. I couldn't believe I was there and desperately needed a friend, a word of encouragement, something, anything... God reached out on my behalf through her and said, “I see right where you’re at and haven’t forgotten you.” 
Psalm 139:8b says, “Even if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there with me.”  
If there's ever a ministry that you'd like to get involved with, the Forgotten Man Ministry is one worth  the while. Most of these people don't know anything about real love or have ever had a kind word spoken to them, so it's a great way to show them Christ.

The Forgotten Man Ministry is similar to the Red Cross. Their motto is “to offer help and HOPE wherever and whenever someone URGENTLY needs it.” This very much describes these beautiful humans. 

I see them as God’s secret agents, under cover on the mission field, going where no man wants to go. They bring the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

For every speaker, every bible study teacher, those that are dedicated to come to book cart day, even those who sacrifice their time and make a home cooked meal for Thanksgiving (it's right around the corner) - this verse accurately describes them, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news of the gospel.”

Matthew 25:36 says, “For I was hungry 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.” Vs 40 says, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for Me.” 

Peace & Love Friends,
Julie