Sunday, February 16, 2014

WeCare and Gospel Express Prison Crusades

In the past few weeks our family has had the privilege to be involved in two different prison crusades. 

We were snowed out of both. 
This called for great adventure and fellowship. 

Praise the Lord we were able to have at least two prison services during each crusade, but the rest were canceled. We were so grateful for our cozy bus, all being together, and delightful friends to be inspired by during each crusade, despite the disappointment of not being able to have more ministry time in prison. 

Renew Hope Prison Crusade (WeCare Ministries)

 Prayer before the Rally Service on Sunday morning. 
Wissmann Family shares in song on rally/orientation day. 

Snowed in at a hotel together! sharing...
times of prayers...
getting to know each other...
hanging out...

  We loved the mini concert the Durocher family gave for us in the hotel conference room. ;) 

Hoping that the snow would clear up by the next day, we, along with the Marlin Bontrager family, headed to another hub where our services were to be the next day. Needless to say, because of ice and stuck vehicles, we were dead stopped from 5:30 p.m. until 1:30 a.m.
  We had so much fun! We were very blessed with warm buses, all being together, and good food! Running back and forth from bus to bus...
Making brownies late into the night...

Playing games of "Church" (Mafia, redefined.)...
Then, when all our heads are bowed in playing the game and the parents have given up and gone to bed, an officer knocks on our window! TRAFFIC IS MOVING! EVENTUALLY we finally made it to WeCare head-quarters at 2:30AM. 

 Pictured above is Daddy in his PJs taking a walk up the road to see what's going on. :) 

At our second hub we enjoyed delicious food and more times of games and fellowship, since the prison services were not able to be held after all. 
Mini concert by the Bontrager family! 

Ryan & Friends humored us. :) 

 The next morning some of us ladies were able to go shopping at the WeCare thrift store. The daughters. ^

The mothers. 

Our family was blessed to be able to stay a day longer at the crusade to get in a service after the prisons re-opened. It was such a blessed service! We were so grateful to leave on that note. 

Gospel Express Prison Crusade, SC

The Glick Family singing at the Sunday Orientation/Rally. 

These homes on wheels just get tight sometimes! Taylor extends the borders and users the parking lot for needed, pre-service domestics.

The first day went all as planned with blessed services. By the next morning we had to make some sad announcements about weather conditions. We were, again, snowed out (of prison) and in (together).

 Snowed in together calls for pizza-a-plenty in the motel breakfast room! 

 Daddy's Smartphone photos of some ministry time. 

 We enjoyed hearing from all the different families at our hub. Here we have the Brubaker family 
 The Beachy family. 
 "It's beautiful outside", they said. "Any photographer should be out there", they said. I sighed. Nature photography is my least favorite and it was COLD! A fellow photographer who out-does me in skill offered to take my camera and to the honors for me. Grateful. Thanks Delmar Penner. The results: 

Meanwhile, in the motel conference room, music sessions were commencing, and games and snacks were to be had until wee hours. 

 Games of "Confusion" were held-- guys against girls. 
SO CLOSE TO winning! But they just can't remember the last guy's name. :) 

 On-looking mothers. 
 rousing games of "Swat" for all ages. 

  We look back on both crusades with fond memories. However, there was disappointment in not being able to fully minister to the inmates as you we had hoped. It was also mentioned several times: "If we think we're disappointed, think of what the inmates are feeling!" But there are details the Lord knows that we don't. And He used the time for other ministry and teaching us things we weren't anticipating.  I'm so grateful our family was  able to be at both crusades! 


Disclaimer: Please do not come to either of these events in the future with anticipation of game-playing and pizza-eating until crazy hours. :) There is some real ministry that goes on here. Our lives are always deeply effected by the much as the inmate's lives. We don't have pictures of the prison services because one has to have special permission for such things. So, if all you see is pictures of game-playing...just understand we don't go to these things to party. :) 

*Several of the WeCare Crusade pictures were given to me by Miss Chelsy Renee


  1. As I watched similar hotel scenes take place in Columbia, I couldn't help but compare our planning, re-scheduling, adjustments and disappointment with God's perfect, un-edited plans for the week. ..."and He used the time for other ministry and teaching us things we weren't anticipating." Agreed! :)
    Blessings and safe warmer places?! ;)

  2. awesome recap post, Deborah! So fun to hear your perspective! I agree with everything you said...esp love that last paragraph. So true!!
    looking forward to being with y'all again in just a few weeks!!

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