One of the greatest things about becoming a blogger is the connections I’ve made with other authors/bloggers and the various ministries I’ve come across to serve our big and powerful God. This week I had the great fortune to e-meet Kym McNabney and find out about her involvement in prison ministries through Willow Creek Community Church. I bet she has some stories to tell. In fact, she does, and thirteen are shared in the book, Stories of Faith and Courage from Prison, by Connie Cameron and Jeff Peck.
Find out more …
Stories of Faith and Courage from Prison, is an inspirational collection of true stories laid out in a daily format; one per day for 365 days. Each story will tell about a work of God in the lives of those who have experienced some aspect of prison. A single scripture verse will accompany each writing, pointing to the hope and truth found in God’s word.
While incarcerated, many inmates spiritually hit bottom and come face-to-face with the choices they have made. Thankfully, God uses Christian volunteers, prison chaplains, family members, outside friends, Christian pen pals, and other inmates, to share His love and truth with the lost behind bars. Regardless of how they are offered hope, inmate’s testimonies, along with their daily walk challenges, are moving and inspirational.
You will read amazing stories including Brandon, a prisoner who had a prayer warrior mother, and was also visited by a Christian volunteer. Brandon came to Christ while incarcerated, and witnessed constant gang activity behind bars, including preying upon the youth on the outside. Since his release, Brandon often risks his life in his ministry of intervening in the lives of youth who are at risk to become involved in gang activity.
The battle for the souls of inmates is fierce. One female prisoner said, “When I first arrived at prison in 2002, Christianity was openly practiced and Satanic practices were underground. Now it is just the opposite.” This inspirational book will remind Christians of their admonishment by Jesus to visit the imprisoned, to pray for them, and to share the gospel with them (Matthew 25:36). These collective, true stories will especially touch those who are uncomfortable with prison ministry, helping them to develop compassion for the shunned souls of society.
Quotes from inmate letters:
I was deeply moved by receiving the blessing of the gifts Willow sent. Being that I don’t have support from family and friends, I’ve come to understand my real family comes from God. God had showed me over the years that He’s the only one I need to depend on. Even though I didn’t hear from family and friends, I was relieved knowing that God always thinks of His people, by utilizing your church and staff to reach out to people such as myself. I want to thank you all personally for doing the work of our Father.
James, Pontiac CC
My purpose for writing you is to inform you that I have received the Christmas bag Willow sent to the prison, and wanted to say to all that worked on this touching idea, thank you, thank you, thank you.
To put all of your judgment about those in prison to the side, and sacrifice your time and money to send something that is helpful, was very heartwarming.
A.J., Pontiac CC
Thank you so much for the gifts Willow gave me on Christmas, and your thoughts and prayers. It is because of all of you that I have finally decided to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
Johnathon, Ogle County Jail
Thank you so very much for thinking of us in prison. You put a huge smile on our faces. That was very thoughtful and I’m very grateful. I feel like the Spiritual Survival book was meant for me.
Samantha, Logan CC
I wish to offer my words of gratitude. What you did was more than give us snacks and trinkets. You even did more than speak to our spirituality. You showed us that you cared about us, despite our faults. You brought us some semblance of a Christmas season. Receiving those packages and digging through them with wonder and anticipation gave us a chance to remember how Christmas use to be. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. To take up your time and money to do that for us, without even knowing who we are, this is not something that will be soon forgotten.
Brian, Pontiac CC
Thank you for the Christmas cards. I thought I was not going to be able to send a Christmas card to my mom, but thanks to you I was able to. This is my first Christmas away from my family and no one send me a card. I was mad until I got this from you. It made my day.
Rayvone, Vienna CC
When I returned to my housing unit on December 18th, I found a package on my desk that was donated by your congregation. This was the first time in 11 years that anyone has given me any type of gift for the Christmas holiday.
Ken, Pontiac CC
I am writing from Massachusetts to thank you for all that Willow dose with the prison ministry there in IL. I have a nephew that’s incarcerated in Cook County Jail. He asked for a Bible, and received one. He’s now exploring his faith.
Teresa G, aunt of an incarcerated nephew
Thank you all for thinking about us in here. So often society looks at us as expandable, incorrigible, evil, wicked, undesirable, etc. In fact most of us are not any of those things. We are guilty of our crimes 90% of the time, but our crimes are not the sum total of who we are. The gifts you send are Gods love in action.
Patrice, Pontiac CC
Kym McNabney is wife and mother. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and the treasurer for the ACFW Chicago Area Chapter. She fosters for Collie Rescue of Greater IL, and writes for their newsletter. The Coordinator for the pen pal program through Willow Creek Community Church, and involved in other areas of the prison and jail ministry. She had thirteen stories published in, Stories of Faith and Courage from Prison. When she’s not writing she loves to read, listen to music, and watch movies.
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