“And they overcame [the accuser] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony…” (Revelation 12:11).
It has been argued that in the absence of a crisis, transformative change is almost impossible. One may conclude, then, that it is the crisis which often serves as the primary catalyst for change.
If there is any community that realizes the significance of this sentiment, it is the community of faith. After all, transformative change is at the epicenter of our faith tradition. Paul explains it this way: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is…” (Romans 12:2).
The incarcerated men and women, who choose to accept the invitation into the community of faith, have in many ways come to appreciate being in crisis and the opportunity to change while being in it. Although every believer will contend with a personal crisis of faith, these individuals must also wrestle with the spiritual, psychological and physical traumas that are intertwined with incarceration. Thanks be to God that He is not a respecter of persons and can reach anyone, anywhere.
Over the years, we have heard the testimonies of men and women that have overcome the accuser and continue to live productive, incarceration-free lives. I am reminded of Janet, Chuck, Dean, Maria, Patricia, Morris, Kaitlin, Angela, Peter, Gary, Karen, Deborah, and Pauline to name a few.
I also think of those that were not freed; those that have made a profession of faith but remain imprisoned. These men and women have also overcome the accuser. And while we may not hear their testimonies at our events, I know that the heavens are rejoicing because of their faith in Christ (ref. Luke 15:10).
As has been Life Abundant’s tradition, we continue to set aside one night to gather and hear about how men and women are being transformed by the Gospel message. Long before my time as Executive Director, I attended several of the annual celebrations and have always been encouraged by the testimonies of both those directly and in-directly impacted by incarceration. Events such as the banquet remind me that “there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” (Abraham Kuyper).
This year’s banquet will be held on April 19, 2018 at: Spring Mill Manor 171 Jacksonville Road Ivyland, PA 18974 6:00-8:30pm
Please considering joining us for a night of testimony and celebration. We will also be announcing our strategy to reinstitute our Women’s Coordinator Position. This role is vital to the ministry, particularly considering that the new 300- bed Bucks County female only facility is under construction.
Jesus Prays for All Believers:
“My prayer is not for the disciples alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message…I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:20, 23).
May 7-11, 2018: International Fellowship of Chaplains (IFOC) is hosting an intensive 45 hour course of certificate training at the Keystone Fellowship Church in Skippack, PA. This course is a necessity of Emergency Service Personnel, Law Enforcement, Disaster Chaplains, Industrial Chaplains and those who wish to become Chaplains. NOTE: Chaplaincy is a licensed designation. More information at: www.ifoc.org
June 8, 9, 2018: CMCA annually hosts a Correctional Ministry Summit in Wheaton, IL, that offers training, inspiration, resources and networking opportunities to those working with the incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, victims, and their families. More information at: www.cmcainternational.org (2018 Summit).
Matthew 25: 34-36, 40
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty 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.’
The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
In His Service, Jonathan H. Lewis, Executive Director
Regina Bready, Administrative Assistant