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Life In Spirit Seminar Goes To Prison | Richard Rhodes

A little background on the prison from Paul Beighley, Senior Chaplain: Greensville Correctional Center is a medium security prison run by the Virginia Dept of Corrections, located in southern Virginia near Emporia. I have served there as a chaplain for almost ten years in the S-2 cluster, one of three clusters in the prison. We have around a thousand residents living there in the three housing units.  In 2003 the Kairos Prison Ministry held the first four-day weekend outreach in S2, now this program is in all three clusters, with the 28th weekend taking place in the S1 cluster at the end of March. We do six Kairos events per year. On March 18th, Richard Rhodes led a six-member team who came to do the Life in the Spirit Seminar for a group of sixty or so residents plus seven volunteers from the outside who came for their personal renewal. Our own praise band provided the music. It is my prayer for a release of the anointing of God, for a release of gifts and graces in the participants and for the S2 church to be lifted up to a higher level in the Lord.

March 18-20, six ARM Life in the Spirit team members descended upon Greensville Correction Center in Jarratt, Virginia. This was the first time a LISS had been held inside a male prison.

The team consisted of Jodie Nolf, Patti Van Dorn, Bob Chaney, Jason Harpole, Susan Rhodes, and Richard Rhodes serving as coordinator.

It was obvious that prayer preparation for this event, particularly by the inmates, would bear much fruit.

We were able to bless them...but they were able to bless us so much more! I can say with confidence...6 LISS team members have had our lives transformed by seeing "free men" living behind high walls.

The inmates led all the worship. It was outstanding to see prisoners singing "I am free" and knowing they mean "whom the Son has set free is free indeed" – well, its impossible for that not to be a Kleenex moment.
Friday night I was led by the Spirit to have team members work table to table and impart blessing on each person. . . . blessings from spiritual mothers and fathers . . . wow!  This was well received indeed!

Saturday’s teachings were amazing with many notes taken and lots of questions asked later in the afternoon.

Saturday evening: at times we had to move around the room looking for space as the ground was covered with pastors, and inmates all resting in the Spirit on a cold tile floor.

From a team member’s blog:
“The evening service was beyond words. After the teaching we opened it up for an altar call. Now I am not 100% sure, but I think everyone got up. There was incredible breakthrough in the lives of some of the men I was given the privilege of laying hands on. I saw the Holy Spirit come down on a number of the men, I saw Gifts come into some of them, and saw many fall out and rest in the presence of the Lord. I saw a healing, and felt it with my own hand! I saw a man be overcome with the Spirit and when he came back up off the floor he was jumping and yelling out ‘Glory! Glory!’  There is no doubt that the love of the Father was in that place. We prayed, we cried, and we just held them in our arms, and showed them the love of Papa God.”

We didn’t sleep a lot on this trip nor have we since we have come back home. The faces of our new brothers in Christ flow through our minds time and time again keeping us alert to pray for them.

By all accounts the 6 of us on this team have been ruined - in a good way! We had to go behind the high walls and razor wire of a prison to find people who worship God in Spirit and in truth. We had to slide through locking doors and become captives ourselves to hear “I am free” sung at the top of their lungs. We had to have the compassion of Christ as their burdens became ours to bear.

In closing, I do not feel I have ever experienced a LISS like this – fruit - much and lasting fruit was produced and that fruit continues to grow even today. The 6 of us have had our lives changed after being a part of this church behind high walls. We will never play church again!

Special thanks to ARM for allowing us the honor of being there when the fire fell. Thanks to all who prayed for this mission; thanks to the team: y’all (all y’all) were amazing; thanks to Revs Paul Beighley and Louis Collins for getting us in the door; thanks to God Almighty for giving us permission; the Lord Jesus Christ for setting us all free, and the Holy Spirit for again coming as wind and fire - to burn – change – heal - impart and empower.

This, I declare, will be the first of many high wall LISS seminars!