Let God Qualify Us for Prison Ministry or Whatever
Sometimes I believe many Christians have been guilty of saying, “I’m just not qualified to help this or that person.”
Surely, I have also said it. To first state, I understand why we may think or speak this. Still, The LORD corrected me through someone a long time ago. This person told me Jesus committed no sin, but He ministered to all!
So if God is calling you to reach out, just know if you have the ‘compassion’ pulling on you for them, you have the heart to touch and bring healing to that very person! Jesus is the one who brings life anyway, as we yield. We are just His vessels.
Here is more of my personal testimony here below….
You see, even though I had worked in many positions in the churches over the years, there was more the Father wanted me to do! We are to be faithful with a little and He will give us more.
My soon to be Ministry that was spoken as a ‘thus saith The LORD’ Word, was by my Pastor and a ‘end time Prophet’, Ray Witherington. He also is my spiritual father in The LORD to this day.
Still it was at least two years before it happened. It was a powerful Word given to both my husband Jim and me. Maybe it was in 2004.
We held onto that Word we would have a ministry ‘together’. Then in March 2006 someone I knew was in County Jail and wanted a minister. He couldn’t find one to come!
It tore at my heart out that no preacher would go and try to encourage him in jail! Since I was ordained, I simply said I will go.
So Jim as my backbone and driver took me as I ministered. It was okay with me, as he could not or didn’t want to do the ‘speaking’ part.
Just when I say this man ‘covered’ me, he did! I will get into it a little here. Wish to say that Jim ‘sacrificed’ for me to do long Bible studies to the jails. His doing housework freed me up. It will forever stay with me.
To me that is a man’s man, not a macho “Stay in your place, woman!” Jim was already sick and unable to work his last 7 years he lived. (He had been a construction worker and foreman many times over our nearly 16 years of marriage.)
Funny side, Lol… Jim Graham did tell me: “Joycie, the 2 things I will never do for you is cook and do dishes!”
Guess what? He gladly did both over a period of time to free me up! I still miss him. J ust wanted to give honor here to my deceased husband.
Getting back to my story: Note, I had never been in jail a day in my life or in trouble by the mercy of God!
Still when I walked in that day to minister behind the glass in 2006, to a man whom I will call Christopher, I can only say I never felt so at home in my life!
It was God! Mine and Jim’s ministry were birthed that day together! This man in the County Jail, began to get me all kinds of contacts from the pod. Pretty soon, we were seeing anywhere from 6-8 men a week.
Until it got stopped, all ministers had a 2 hour period. Mine then was behind the glass with the men. Most of them were very young men who took a wrong turn and needed Jesus!
The name ‘Mama Joyce’ stuck as one young man in jail titled me “Momma”. Still some of these today I am still in contact with. It is just to the big prisons they had to move onto. We still write in 2022. Our bond is close, let me tell you!
Did I ever visit the women in the 2 County Jails in those years? Absolutely, and with the women I could go back in person to their pods.
Some funny stories for later on maybe … we women bonded too and also wrote at different seasons. Even one lady got out of jail and just showed up at my door with nowhere to go!
Whoops what to do?
Jim allowed me to choose where to let her live with us or not? He said he trusted my judgment. So she did!
We ate a wonderful Thanksgiving family meal together over this time period. Still got the pictures….
Later we saw a reconnection with her husband and little boy as she had moved on from our house.
So just throw the rule book out is my advice if you’re pondering! Let God be God. If you are wondering what is your calling? If it’s pulling at your heart, maybe it’s for you. Pray and if you feel peace go for it.
All we do is important if you’re doing it from a sincere heart to serve.
One more mention: My nephew ‘Danny’ is also gone on now. Still at different times, we talked a lot. Even going to church together before.
One time we went to a ‘nursing home’ one day to minister. He played the guitar and how the elderly just so loved him and his ‘Danny smile’!
Danny looked at me one day as we often had many discussions. He asked, “Aunt Joyce, do those prisoners really know you are ‘locked up’ with them?”
The way he meant it is I believe was how closely Identified with their suffering, I was. We must minster out of a heart of love and compassion always.
Knowing always, but for the grace of God there go I !
To make it easier maybe I can just put my testimony links at the very bottom if any should want it in order. I know it is lengthy. God bless you all. Simply go forward!
Closing with these scriptures:
“For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” Matthew 25:35-40.
~ Joyce D. McGuire
My name is Joyce D. McGuire, called as an Apostle of the faith by His grace. I am also a chaplain to the prisons, a Mother in the Kingdom of God and intercessor. To many I am simply Mama Joyce. Some favorite verses are Matthew 11:28-30.