For some reason I am no longer able to add new postings to my original blog. It is still available if you would like to read old postings but this is where I will be from now on.
All this has been some what frustrating as I rushed home on Friday to spread the great news that 5 of the lads in the prison chapel group, which my fellow chaplain Becky and I lead made their own new start and came to Christ!
We had an amazing time, the power of God visibly touching them as they held out their hands, made a prayer of committment and were individually prayed for. One lad burst into tears but quickly said to everyone, "I'm not crying because I'm sad, these are tears of joy!" As Ilocked him in his cell he said that as he was prayed for he felt like his heart was going to jump out of his chest it was thumping so much.
As ever in a prison we have to work to the regime. From a chapel, heavy with the presence of God, we had to take the lads back to the wings. Within 5 minutes one of them was serving lunches next to a prison officer who is a self confessed atheist. They face an enormous challenge but we are praying God's protection and peace upon them.
Do you believe God sometimes sends a physical thing that echoes what is happening spiritually? Well I can only share this. A prison is a pretty inhospitable place but this week a beautiful dove, (not a pigeon) has been making a nest in the barbed wire at the edge of the chapel roof. She sits there peacefully on that nest, which looks incredibly like a crown of thorns. In the middle of the week as one of the lads was being taken across the yard, he picked up a stone and aimed it at the dove and she flew away. He immediately apologised and said he had no idea why he had done that but he had felt a sudden compulsion to do it. Interestingly, on Wednesday it felt just as if the Holy Spirit who had hovered over us and had been gently touching hearts and minds had gone and instead there was tension. But the dove came back and on Friday so did the Holy Spirit. Halleujah!