Janae’s Inside Report: Ionia Correctional Facility (06-25-22)

Dear Friends,

Oh what a wonderful day…..such a sweet reunion with our Christian brothers in Ionia Correctional Facility.

Jerry and Kathy Wittingen, Brother Ren Broekhuizen, Wayburn, and I were all so excited after such a long wait during the covid pandemic for permission by the state to return. There were approximately 50 men in attendance. 

We know that our good and gracious God heard your prayers along with ours that we could return and worship with the inside prison church, as well as share the gospel with those who do not know Him.

During the pandemic, Wayburn and I recorded a new album called “Faithful.” The songs were written with the incarcerated men in mind. We were thrilled to be able to share those songs on Saturday night. There were hands lifted, tears shed and great rejoicing as Wayburn sang with great passion.

 At one point Wayburn felt lead to go out among the men where they were seated. He held hands with so many and they wept as he sang to them. As they heard our songs “Redeemed,” and “Create in Me a Clean Heart,” it was powerful sight to witness the Holy Spirit move in their hearts.  

Brother Ren gave a wonderful message about forgiveness. The men were listening intently to every word and were so thankful to hear this man of God share from his knowledge of Scripture. Brother Ren speaks with such love and tenderness to the men. Many of these men are in need of such words and they responded with gratitude.

I shared at the end with the men that we have continuously been praying for them, that they are all created in God’s image with unique, special gifts from their Heavenly Father. 

I encouraged them to use these gifts that God has given them to minister to those around them speaking the truth in love. 

I also reminded them that the enemy wants to destroy them, but God is greater and to stay in the Word and fight the good fight. 

Our time of worship and fellowship was precious and we thank God that we are finally back in and able to share the good news of a Christ. 

The Chaplain was so kind and helpful. The next day we received a very nice endorsement email that he sent out to all of the other Chaplains and facilities around the state, that we have been trying so long to reach. Please pray with us that this will open up many doors of opportunity for us to go into other prisons and continue the work that God has called us to.

We have a busy schedule coming up with 3 concerts so far in July, so please pray for us. Thank you all for your prayers and support.

Thank you! In Christ, 

Janae Dean, for Wayburn, and the AfterWord Team

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