I've had the privilege of getting to meet with a couple different worship pastors in the area who are connected to Consumed Ministries. It's been great to hear their stories of how they got involved in leading worship music and of their involvement in the Twin Cities. Both people I met with were able to suggest young college students to me who are part of their churches and who they think would benefit from being mentored musically as worship leaders. I am excited to connect with these students and see where God leads! I've also been invited by both worship pastors to come as a guest to their church and sing on their worship teams. This will be a great way for me to meet these students to develop relationships with them.
On Monday, I got to go back to Waseca to visit my girls. I hadn't gone to visit since May so it was great to be back and to hear about all that God has been doing in their lives! If you remember from my last update, I asked for prayers that a staff worker would be hired to replace the one who was overseeing Celebrate Recovery and who recently retired. Without someone else to fill his position, Celebrate Recovery was again at risk for being discontinued, which would have forced the girls to stop meeting together as part of this Christ-centered recovery program. I am happy to report that that position will be filled in the next couple weeks! God is faithful!!!
During this visit, we had a great time of worshiping together. Joy immediately filled my heart as I walked into this room filled with about 80 inmates, each one as precious to me as a dear sister. The room erupted in applause and cheers as we got to come together to be reunited again. We started our time by listening to the Spanish choir sing a worship song that they had worked hard to prepare, followed by a woman named Pauline who shared her testimony. Pauline was caught years ago for running a meth lab and was sent to a federal prison in California. It was there that she met Jesus and learned about this abundant life she could have in him. She later got transferred to this prison in Waseca, MN where she is now one of the small group leaders for Celebrate Recovery and helping other women inside learn about how to follow Jesus. Praise God for such an awesome testimony of a life transformed!
After Pauline's testimony, I led us in a time of worship. I learned that the girls were currently working through step 4 of the 12 recovery steps, which involves doing a personal inventory of everyone that they've hurt and who they've been hurt by. Forgiveness. It is the most time consuming and hardest step of the recovery process. So knowing this, I felt led to guide us through a time of prayer ministry, where I asked for 5 volunteers to come up front and pray with others who wanted prayer to help forgive those they needed to make amends with. We spent the next 25 mins. in a time of prayer, where I continued to lead us in worship while woman after woman came forward to receive prayer. The Holy Spirit was on the move as He began healing hearts and filling women with courage to forgive.
I think my favorite story, though, out of my time there, was an inmate named Sonja who is a strong believer and leader among this CR group. She was one of the women who volunteered to pray for others. During this time, God directed her attention to a fellow inmate who she had never met before and heard Him say to her, "Tell her to 'Just Believe'. " So Sonja without hesitation went up to her and said those words, "Just Believe". The woman looked at her with shock in her eyes and couldn't believe the words that came out of her mouth. She then told her about how she's been struggling with believing in God and been on the fence with all things related to faith. And how she knew Sonja's words were a direct word from God to her!
Can you see why I love getting to visit these girls so much?!!!!!!
This weekend I will be flying to Chicago to record our worship album with the Urbana worship team. This will be the CD that will be available to all 18,000 Urbana participants at the global conference in December. Only 4 1/2 months away!!
I am so thankful for the man that God has brought into my life, Jake Dixon.
On July 12, Jake proposed to me and I said YES!!! Can't wait to be the future Mrs. Dixon :) Planning to get married in March and we're so excited!!! For a glimpse of some pics, check out the ones attached or view the full album and the story of our engagement on my Facebook page: Engagement pics.
Excited to continue to share about what God is doing. Thank you for helping to make it all possible!