Category Archives: Testimonies

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Praise Report – Amy Black

“Praise Report”
By Amy Black
Huron Valley Correctional Facility, Ypsilanti, MI

I am proud to report that after years – yes, decades – of standing firm on God’s promises and more specifically Habakkuk 1:5, God has indeed done a work in my day that (just as according to this scripture I stood firm on for year after year) I would not believe even though it had been told to me.

I got the opinion from the judge and he ruled in my favor and is going to be resentencing me to a term of years. All praises and glory go directly to God who directs all paths and all decisions.

My prayer now is that I get time served and that I can get on to starting whatever good works God has for me after this prison. Please stand with me in this prayer. I am thankful and honored that your ministry has been behind me this entire time. I will not forget that. Thank you and God bless you abundantly!!

Hopefully my praise report can be an encouragement to you, my fellow brothers and sisters in the struggle, who may at times doubt the blessings God has for your life. Do not give up. If God can bless me (the one prisoner that the administration probably would have never picked to give a second chance to) that just reaffirms the fact the God is Lord of all. Remember that! Follow God in all ways and in all days God will keep you. Through it all He is there always!!

In his humble service.

The Place Where It Happened – Gerord Robinson

“The Place Where It Happened”
By Gerord Robinson
Macomb Correctional Facility, New Haven, MI

It is here where everything changed for me.

I got set down from what was killing me and started doing a lot of thinking and in that thinking I was realizing all the things I took for granted.

This situation has shaken me, it has broken me and has pressed me and that is all right because without that shaking, beating and pressing I wouldn’t be able to walk in my deliverance.

God used this situation to get my attention (man, did He get it).
A whole bunch of crying, complaining, stressing but, through all of this, He was preparing me, strengthening me and cleansing me.

I tell you the truth, if it wasn’t for prison I would be still doing the same thing I was doing before, or maybe even dead. It may sound crazy but I thank God for this, although I hate it.

It was here where He got my attention. It was here where He changed my life and renewed me. It was here where I found who I am and whose I am.

Praise God.

The Salt and the Light – Joseph Jones

“The Salt and the Light”
Joseph Jones
Newberry Correctional Facility, Newberry, M

A glorious circumstance happened. My younger sister wanted to know the Lord better. I asked her if she wanted to read the Bible with me for the New Year? She gladly accepted but she didn’t have a Bible. So we talked about the different versions and their meanings. I personally study out of an ESV (English Standard Version) but this year I wanted to read a more progressive style Bible. My sister agreed she wanted an easier Bible to read. So we agreed on the NLT (New Living Translation).

As Thanksgiving approached she still hadn’t bought one. Being in here for the past 19 years, not a whole lot I can do, just nag her and hope she finally does it. Then a blessing happened, as some of you know, we were eligible for the COVID stimulus. So for Christmas I was able to purchase the NLT Bible for her.

She just now sent me two pictures of her newly delivered Bible and she has been reading it. Glory to God for all our blessings and opportunities to share His word. Salt and light are what were called to be. I wasn’t always the best brother to her and that is an amends I’m making daily for her. It has taken a long time, 19 years, but better now than never. Right? Our circle of influence is important. Are you that salt that makes it better and preserves it? Are you the light that shines a way to the Lord?

Be Liberated Through the Father God – Travis English

“Be Liberated Through the Father God”
By Travis English
Carson City Correctional, Carson City, MI

I hope through my testimony every man and woman can understand the omnipotent power of God’s Holy Spirit and how it can work in all of our lives if we allow it. I also hope it gives hope to the recovering and suffering addict to be strong and look for refuge in Jesus the true king.

At the prison I was previously at for almost 4 years I was firmly rooted in NA and I enjoyed a long time of sobriety as well as spiritual growth taking many classes such as Leader Dogs for the Blind, Chance for Life, Food Tech, and many, many more. I was strong against desires to use drugs and drink. This was partly due to a strong prison fellowship and good friends who all looked out for one another.

After arriving at the new prison and a lowered security level, I was almost overwhelmingly introduced to new types of drugs and a steady source of alcohol (spud juice). I found myself indulging on a regular basis and my life had started to seem dim again. I had lost my sense of purpose, and my growth had become stagnant once more.

Until one late night it occurred to me how desperate and selfish I had become and how my life had lost purpose. I fell to my hands and knees and asked the Lord to help me once more. But I didn’t stop there. I knew from my past He was greater than anything and could work through me as a vessel of His will. So I believed and put faith in Him and I now have once again overcome the desire to use, but not because I did it by myself. It was because He worked through me and I allowed Him back into my life.

Next month I see the parole board and I am going in there with a clean conscience and sober mind and it’s all because God is good. God is great and through His ransom sacrifice on the cross I can be part of His governing leadership and all I have to do is believe in Him and He will lead the way. He can liberate us from any stronghold, even our fleshly desires. Isaiah 61:1.

Respectfully, a believer of God.

Faith and Trust – Keith Rappuhn

“Faith and Trust”
By Keith Rappuhn
Macomb Correctional Facility, New Haven, MI

I hope everyone is healthy, safe, and staying strong in faith during these difficult times. God has put it on my heart to share with you what He has done in my life lately, and how important it is to have faith & trust when things don’t seem to be going right.

My bunky (Dwight) and I, as a team, train puppies for Leader Dogs For The Blind. Last week Dwight was told he would have to move to a “hearing impaired” housing unit. We would both move and it would be to a much better unit than we were currently in. The problem is that we had a female puppy, and we would have to give her up because the unit we were going to only has male dogs. Even though I knew it was all part of God’s plan, I still hurt and wondered why good times didn’t seem to last very long. I was told it would be a very long time before we got another puppy because the coronavirus had many services shut down or operating at a bare minimum, including Leader Dogs For The Blind.

I did a lot of praying, and just four days after we moved and were forced to give our puppy up, against all odds another puppy was brought to us! Hallelujah! Praise Jesus! We were told that a team didn’t want to work together anymore and was quitting. Dwight and I were chosen to raise/train the puppy. And even more amazing is that the puppy, “Jewel,” is a female! The administration made an exception and allowed her in the unit with male dogs which had never been done before. I don’t know why they didn’t give me my original puppy back, and I didn’t want to press my luck by asking. Anyway, what seemed bleak turned into a real blessing. I thank God for that. The power of prayer!

Take care and be safe.

In Christian Love,
Rocky

While I’ve Been Incarcerated – Timothy Rich

“While I’ve Been Incarcerated”
By Timothy Rich
Oaks Correctional Facility, Manistee, MI

While I’ve been incarcerated the seasons have changed.

While I’ve been incarcerated outside life has continued.

While I’ve been incarcerated loved ones have passed away.

While I’ve been incarcerated new loved ones have been born.

While I’ve been incarcerated battles were fought, wars were waged and laws have changed.

While I’ve been incarcerated I realized I was lost. My home burned down, clothes and everything I once owned destroyed.

While I’ve been incarcerated I’ve been abandoned by the people I called friends.

While I’ve been incarcerated my own family has turned on me.

While I’ve been incarcerated I lost my mind. I have scars from fights, inner issues keep me awake at night.

While I’ve been incarcerated Jesus set me free. I followed His guiding light. He forgave me and let me know it was okay to forgive myself.

While I’ve been incarcerated I got my second chance.

While I’ve been incarcerated I made a promise to my sister I will always keep.

Happy Mother’s Day – George Walker

“Happy Mother’s Day”
By George Walker
Muskegon Correctional Facility, Muskegon, MI

The dictionary describes mother as a female parent who carries, gives birth to, and cares for a child. I agree with this but some vital information is left out, like selfless, strong and stern. Those words remind me of the women in my family, my grandmother, aunts, sisters, daughter, sister-in-law, nieces, cousins, granddaughter, and my mother.

Thankfully I can remember my mom working two jobs, going to school, cooking, cleaning, spanking, and tenderly spending time with each child. She used to be so fatigued when she came in from work that she would fall asleep on the living room couch. Despite being tired, she still encouraged me by telling me that I would be the first football playing architect.

When I got older, I gave her a father’s day card and told her “you are my mother and father!” Smiling, she told me “No son, you have a Father” and pointed me to Jesus. Today that brings to mind how important her relationship with God was and I thought of Matthew 12:46-50, please read. Raising four children my mother knew that only her reliance and relationship with God would enable her to do it so she looked to Him for everything.

A dictionary does not define the intricate details of my mother but my heavenly Father’s Word does. Here are some of the things He says concerning mothers:

Mothers have the same right to obedience and respect as fathers. In support of this claim the text tells us in Exodus 20:12: “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” Our heavenly father commands that mothers are obeyed and respected.

Mothers are natural nurturers, who faithfully demonstrate compassion for their children. According to the book of Isaiah 49th chapter, 15th verse, he says: “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yeah, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.” It is extremely abnormal for a woman to not be deeply moved by her child.

Then in the book of Isaiah chapter 66, verse 13 we read that a mother comforts her child when he says: “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”

Also Jeremiah tells us that a mother displays sorrow for her child when in chapter 31, verse 15 he says: “Thus saith the LORD: a voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahal weeping for her children, because they were not.” According to Jeremiah a mother weeps and mourns for her child.

Finally we read how God bestowed upon women their greatest honor when He chose Mary to bring His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world. The gospel of Luke, chapter one, verses thirty-one and thirty-two, which foretold the birth of Jesus, says: “But the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.” The angel told Mary that “God favored her” meaning that God Almighty chose her and bestowed upon her the privilege to carry and give birth to the only one who could save the world.

What an honor to all women and for this I hold you all in high esteem as today we celebrate you.

The Old Rugged Bible – Robert Burlingame

“The Old Rugged Bible”
By Robert Burlingame
Macomb Correctional Facility, New Haven, MI

During these unprecedented times, God still speaks to all of us in unique and surprising ways. I am a prisoner at Macomb Correctional Facility and the last 18 months have been especially rough, but God graciously has given me some relief. I have been moved to quarantine as a precaution due to my asthma and diabetes.

Anyone who has been in prison can tell you it’s always nice to have your own room. As I was moving, I packed all my belongings in a green burlap bag. It was heavy and there was no cart around, so I had to drag it on the concrete some distance before finally finding a cart. Once I arrived at my new cell and began to unpack I discovered that my very nice study Bible, which I had packed at the bottom of the bag, had been drug across the concrete and the bag had big holes in it. I was understandably upset to see my very nice Bible now had mangled edges. The entire bottom half of the binding had been scraped away, leaving pages entirely exposed and dirty.

But as I lamented the condition of my previously very nice Bible, God spoke to me and said, “This Bible is a representation of you, my son. You have been through a difficult situation and have been beaten down, dragged and made rugged, just like this Bible, but have come through intact. Your now rugged Bible has been through something. Now it has character and so do you for going through this trying time.”

I now cherish my rugged Bible. It will always remind me that no matter how rough I look, how many new lives have drawn themselves on my face, it’s what is on the inside that counts.

I thank Kyle for his continued prison ministries and Larry for giving me my beautiful Bible.

Testimony on Grace – Amy Black

“Testimony on Grace”
By Amy Black
Huron Valley Correctional Facility, Ypsilanti, MI

I thank you so much for the prayer and support I found in the V4C family. I received the card that was sent to me and I loved it and I want to give all honor and glory to the Father of all fathers and report that I am now covid-19 negative.

I’m sure God and only God is the reason for my healing. I didn’t mention this at first because I like to speak life to every end I am able to. I will now, however. I am now and have been a person with a compromised immune system, as I take chemotherapy every week on Fridays. Yet through the abundant grace of God I was able to make it through the pandemic having been a victim of the virus myself and even during the times when I actually was sick or in the most amount of pain and in a unit surrounded by friends it was in these times that my Father carried me. I was never afraid and I was never alone because I always knew my God was there in control of all circumstances.

Thank you God and thank you V4C family.

The Cliff’s Edge – Timothy Hunter Rich

“The Cliff’s Edge”
By Timothy Hunter Rich
Oaks Correctional Facility, Manistee, Michigan

In my childhood evil was around every corner. Wrongness was done before me daily; parents off getting high too busy to attend to their kids, no friends no positive influences, and because of that neglect and no good role models I became a product of my environment I was brought up around.

I lacked basic morals and I didn’t stand up for anything. My word was hollow like the broken promises my dad would make. I had no beliefs. I knew survival of the fittest, kill or be killed. I stole and robbed people. I would lie and manipulate people. I drank, smoked weed and took pills to numb my emotions and to fit in with the people surrounding me. I swore. Every other word that left my mouth was vulgar. My soul was stained and I would have paid the ultimate price too. My actions my sins and behaviors were all bad.

During the course of my life I have done others as well as myself great harm. I constantly was in a state of rebellion. I barely cared for myself much less others. I was so angry and full of hate towards everyone. I was lost. For about 18 years of my life I lived this way. I know what’s been missing. Now I see what’s wrong. I am at an agreement with myself now to live a righteous life doing right, eating right, making God-centered choices.

My soul is Christ’s now. I’m patient and at peace now that I found the light. Acknowledge you’re in the wrong and jump off that cliff’s edge in faith.