Pastor Jimi and Phil Deys were scheduled to go into Deuel Vocational Institute, a men’s prison in Tracy a couple of Sunday’s ago. Jimi would be preaching and it would be Phil’s first time going into a jail or prison of any sort. Things aren’t always as planned. Here are there reports of the day:
Breaking Into Jail by Phil Deys:
I’ve had some trials in my life, but never did I imagine that I’d be working so hard to get INTO jail. Due to some miscommunications, our DVI ministry was challenged by a stern but professional entry guard that did not see our names on “the list” and politely told us to 3-point turn our way off of the property. After several phone calls, on our third try we were able to get past the entry gate and make our way into the prison’s chapel.
That’s where the real surprise happened for me. As the men entered the chapel, dressed in their light-blue prison garb, each and every one of them looked me in the eye and gave a firm handshake. Several said, “Thanks for coming.” My initial trepidation about lack of acceptance and overt hostility was immediately dashed. These men were hungry for God and welcoming of the people that were there to bring His Word. But as it turned out, it was they who brought the gift. I was moved by their testimonies of finding grace in the confines of their prison cells, through dreams and through the words of their fellow inmates. Their courage and conviction left me humbled and grateful for the experience.
From Pastor Jimi:
Our most recent trip to DVI was quite an experience. The sergeant wouldn’t let me take in my Bible or notes so I was thrust into complete dependence on the Holy Spirit – which isn’t a bad thing. I was blessed to speak to a full house of main-line inmates about the true marks of a Christian man, emphasizing the point that God’s Word does not respect “addresses.” Meaning, whether you are living on the “inside” or the “outside,” the Scriptures hold the same correction and admonition to all men everywhere. We prayed together, laughed together, and encouraged one another!