I have been praying for God to lead me to some younger people who I can start pouring into to teach and develop their leadership gifts in the area of worship. God has started to answer that prayer. Jake and I visited a church a few weeks ago and up on stage playing the Cajon drum was this young girl, Leigh. I was fascinated as I watched her play and worship using her gifts. There was something so unique and special about her. I leaned over Jake to Jake and whispered to him, "I have to meet this girl". I went up and talked to her after the service and found out she was a senior in high school who has a passion for drumming and loves to worship. We met up for coffee later that week, where I got to hear more about her story and I shared mine, as well as sharing my heart about my love for music ministry and developing young worship leaders. I told her about my experiences leading worship inside prisons and the cafe where people are eager to talk about spiritual things. As I extended an invitation for her to come with me sometime, she lit up as she imagined being part of leading worship in a context outside of what she's used to. This is so exciting for me, to be a part of raising up the next generation and developing them in their leadership and faith. Please pray for this connection to continue to develop and for God's leading in this new friendship.
Jake and I had the awesome opportunity to visit the Lino Lakes Men's Prison this past Friday. I was invited to lead worship with a team who goes in periodically as part of the IFI ministry program. It was an experience like no other! It was Jake's first time experiencing a worship night like this inside a prison, so I'd love to give you a snapshot of our experience through his eyes:
"So there were about 200 men inside this room and it was cool because when they first entered, a lot of the men were getting things set up and helping the band get the equipment ready, they were really friendly. The songs that were played weren't your traditional worship songs. Dave, the guy leading the band, played some songs he wrote and some other more classic rock/jazz songs like Bob Dylan and Van Morrison. They were definitely about God, but not songs you would hear in a church.
At one point, Dave called me up on the stage and pointed out to all that Jackie and I were getting married in eight days which really got a loud and celebratory response from the men. I said a few words about why we were all there to worship the God we love, and then Dave asked some of the men to come up and pray for Jackie and I's marriage that was AWESOME!!! Even before Dave finished asking for some volunteers to pray, 3 guys stood up immediately to come up and pray for us. I never in 1 million years would ever think that I would be prayed for at a men's prison by the inmates, but it was such a blessing! Jackie and the group played about 12 or 13 songs and after when we were leaving, all the inmates wanted to shake our hands and tell us congratulations and how big of a blessing it was for us to come and be there with them. But to be honest, it was a blessing on our end to be able to see these men, who don't have a whole lot, praise our Lord and to see the fruit that comes from following Jesus--even inside a prison!
It was such an awesome night and I will definitely be back."
In other news, Jake and I are getting married in 5 days! Can't wait to become Mrs. Dixon this Saturday! Woohoooo!!!
Thank you for being part of this journey through your encouragement, prayers, and partnership. And Praise God for all the ways He is moving!!