Here are a couple of encouraging highlights from the last few days.
Visit to Angola Prison
The Angola penitentiary has made national news with its transformation from the bloodiest prison in America to one energized by the power of the Holy Spirit. It has also put Warden Burl Cain in the spotlight with his amazing, testimony (see the movie The Farm, and his book Cain’s Redemption). As a result, many have come here to see for themselves.
Jackson, Elliot and I went down expecting to be encouraged, but not really expecting what happened.
Beyond the humbling experiences of praying with and getting to know several men on Death Row, being prayed over by many of these lifetime prisoners (with no real hope of parole), or standing before them at the prayer meeting (about 150 or so men for one such meeting), the best part was hearing these inmates pray fervently for Pine Ridge. It was a powerful and emotional time.
But tonight was the capper. As we sat with Warden Cain at dinner and shared about Pine Ridge, the Holy Spirit spoke to him that Angola should commit to partner with us — not just in prayer, but in practical ways as well. More specifically, he wants to put together thirty shipping containers refurbished into living quarters. He wants to drive up personally and be a part of seeing this transformational revival God is bringing.
Please pray for us as we talk to the leadership of the Pine Ridge jail about our experience — and specifically about implementing a model based on Angola principles and practice.
We are considering using these containers to create a “new” community in Pine Ridge (on Dale’s property) for those wanting freedom from drugs and alcohol and desiring to walk with Jesus. Like Angola, this community would be a place where gardens are grown, trades are taught, responsibilities are given, and dignity is restored. It would be a light on a hill to those on the Rez.
This is a big thing, and we ask for your prayers for wisdom.
It is a powerful testimony when life-term inmates, redeemed and forgiven by Jesus, use their skills to personally minister to the Lakota. This is not about return or personal gain — just the poor giving to the poor as a witness of Jesus’ redeeming grace.
Credit: Wade Kate