Almost four months have passed since I woke one morning and found myself face to face with the reality I was going to prison. But before I share about that experience, I first want to thank you for allowing me the privilege of interrupting my updates on our trip to Uganda this past summer so that I could participate in the 31 day writing challenge. It was one of the hardest things I have done in awhile and yet I learned so much from God about His relationship with His Son and in turn His relationship with me. The journey God took me on last month is still clinging heavy to my heart and as I don’t know exactly where it will eventually end up, I must continue to reflect a life that is Dying to Live. Now in regards to going to prison.
Yes. You heard me. After escaping it the previous two trips to Uganda, my third trip would be the charm. When Larry made the announcement the night before that Stephen and I would be going to prison the following morning my heart skipped a beat or two or three. While I had been feeling all week that God was preparing me to go to prison, I was secretly hoping it wouldn’t come true. God had other plans since He does not prepare a person and then waste their preparation time. I reflect back on my journal entry that morning:
“…Lord today I go to the prisons. While I want to go I don’t want to go. I feel totally inadequate about going and then, even as I write, my sins I have committed really should put me behind bars. Yet your grace has covered me. Lord, I beg you to speak clearly through me to help them to hear your message of forgiveness for them and your love for them to pass on to others. Help them and me to not harbor bitterness in our hearts but enable us to forgive as you have forgiven us…”
God did not wait until I was in Uganda to prepare me for the testimony He wanted shared on July 18, 2013 in a Ugandan prison. No. He took me through an extremely trying and difficult situation the months leading up to the trip as I dealt first hand with the issue of bitterness and forgiveness. It was this very experience that I longed to hold deep in the crevices of my heart and not air it out for all the world. But God’s word does not agree with this line of thought. Instead, it says:
“Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so through Christ our comfort also overflows.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
As God revealed to me the deep sin in my own heart, He was able to comfort me and remind me of the blood that was shed on the cross for my sins. Through that comfort I was able to comfort those in the prison with the same truth. After sharing my testimony, Stephan shared a powerful message and nine prisoners came forward to receive the gift of salvation.
The theme of resting in God was about to come to a pinnacle in my life the next morning. But for that day in the field and in the prisons, God released in me the freedom to share out of my own sins and not my “perfection”. For it is God’s glory that is cast upon those around me when I truly submit to Him. Please pray for those nine prisoners who God knows by name. Also remember Akurui Alice Beatrices, Inyaim Lawrence, Uenya Jannet, and Alehka Rose. God graciously allowed me to share with them the gift of eternal salvation that morning before we left for the prisons and they received it.
Click here to read another phenomenal story of forgiveness broadcasted through Focus on the Family.