Another Friday is here! I’m looking forward to visiting my husband tomorrow. As many family members begin to plan for the weekend, visiting their Loved Ones. Not only does it make the past 5 days bearable, but joy will rise up in our spirits! Having a LO in prison changes everything, the way we live, the way we play and the way we spend many of our weekends!
That’s the reason I started, ‘Setting the Captives Free’ Saturday night service, was because many of us can only spend time with our husbands, sons, & boyfriends on Saturday & Sunday. Most all facilities are over 100 miles away, it’s necessary to spend the weekend in another city , close to where our LO lives! That meant we would not be able to go to church. Our visits are set early from 8:30 am through 3:00 pm.
So as I looked around Blythe for a church that was open Sat nights, I only found one, Joan D’Arc Catholic Church. My friend, Tritia and I, went to visit the church, we were so happy to enter the sanctuary and have a chance to pray together there.
We are not Catholic, however I was impressed with the beauty and love that was represented through those open doors! After leaving, we continued to look for any Saturday night service that we could visit, but out of the 30+ churches in Blythe, Quartzsite, and Ehrenberg none were available on Saturday nights.
I felt the prompting of the Lord, speaking to me, ‘I want you to find an open door to bring the ladies to hear about Me.’ After much searching, calling and asking locals, I couldn’t find any church that was available. So one Saturday night, after our searching Tritia and I pulled into the only church on Hobsonway. I got out of the car and stood in the parking lot and prayed.
“Lord if this is the church You want me to come to, please open the doors.” I got back in the car and we drove away to have dinner. Nothing happened..for over a year. Then when I knew that I had to open a service somewhere, whether I rented a meeting room in one of the motels in town.. it didn’t matter… I was determined then something happened!
Elizabeth, one of my carpool buddies, heard me moaning over my dilemma.“Hey, I know a pastor out in Blythe”she said. “You do? give me his number or name, please!”
“In fact he ministers at the Chuckawalla State Prison,” she explained. That was all it took, I immediately contacted him and arranged to meet with him the next Saturday in town. Pastor Clifford Short is the pastor of Church of God, in Blythe. After I met with him and explained the vision I had for the church services for the families that came every week to visit the two State Prisons he was gracious enough to agree to open the doors of his church. Ironwood and ‘Chuckie’, are just 20 Minutes outside Blythe, and families come from all over California, Arizona and around the country to see their men.
Once I knew the doors would be open for ministry to the ladies and children, the only way it was going to happen, was for me to move to Blythe! In the natural there was no way I could do it, but I serve a supernatural God! Pastor Cliff had been praying I would relocate, and within 90 days I moved my entire household to Blythe.
Our first service was on January 2nd 2016! Glory to God, praise His holy name. Come and join us if you’re ever in Blythe on Saturday nights at 5:30 pm, we invite you to come enjoy refreshments as we worship, praise and pray to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. As we shake prison doors to set the captives free!