Freedom (Prison) Ministry

Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 9:00 am | Jessica Yip, James Chia & Abbie Short

Hi, my name is James. I am part of the freedom ministry (SP Prison Ministry) and would like to share on a few topics today. I first joined actually around 4 years ago in the inaugural visit, with PSophia and P Hyunsu. But for some reason I wasn’t asked back – probably didn’t do a good job. Haha.

Then late 2015 Tim asked me if I was interested in joining, to which I said yes

What were my motivations for joining?

  • My biggest motivation is actually grounded in the fact that here we are, on the outside, having access to the best Christian resources – you get to listen to ministers like RT Kendall at retreat, you generally get access to the best Christian resources online. And you get well-fed.
  • But there, they have less opportunity to sit under the ministry of great Christian ministers. So it is our responsibility, to also try to give them something good. To minister to them. Because they too deserve it as children of God
  • Also, I felt I could be useful – given I don’t speak good Cantonese. But at least here, it is mainly English to many foreign inmates in the women’s max security prison and I felt I could make a contribution

What is God doing in the ministry?

  • The biggest thing I see is the spiritual growth of our sisters in prison. Many have a child-like faith there – where they take Father God for who He is. And when they are in trouble, they just pray, that’s all they can do. And when they worship, there is such a simple joy, and happiness just to see us, and to be in this chapel service
  • So I think there, they are actually living a simple life, less defiled by the world. And maybe God is setting apart them apart, for His own pleasure
  • So for us to go there, it is simply to bring the love of God to them, to let them know they are not forgotten in the kingdom of God, and to pray with them, through their struggles and problem

Personal Growth and Highlights

  • So far there have two highlights. Firstly, I was fortunate to get preaching opportunities there – and in one of the sermons, at the end, a lady finally gave her life to Jesus. And she told me, last time I don’t understand, but now I do. And it is a real privilege because others like Yvaine were really ministering to her a lot before. And I am humbled that God gave me the grace to allow tip her over on the Engel scale. And she also recently got baptised too
  • Another one was when a sister asked the question can a Christian do QiGong? QiGong is an ancient form of Chinese exercise and healing technique. Obviously Sandeep and I said not good but she wanted more evidence and research. And remember there was no internet there, so we basically had to research and post the results in a physical letter to her. In the end our conclusion was that praying in the Spirit is better than doing qigong to build yourself up.

Personal Challenges

  • There are also personal challenges in this ministry. I think for me it would be the feeling of helplessness sometimes. I mean this is real – people are locked up here till what 2025, 2030? Remember, some are mothers and have family back home in their countries. And when there is a family problem , they can’t receive immediate news 24/7 or even be there to help. So, all you can do is pray. And wait for God to intervene.
  • Secondly it is also dealing with my spiritual pride and theological differences. We are partnering with a more conservative organisation. And the question I have to deal with is, how do you be true to your beliefs, whilst also respecting the covering and submit to the organisation that you are under? Still grappling with this haha.
  • But anyway hopefully through this short testimony, you will have a better flavour and can see what God is doing in this ministry. You can have a chat with me too if you want more information.
  • At the end of the day, I actually look forward to 2 things
    • One, is to be able to have coffee or a meal with some of the sisters outside the prison, in their home countries of say Thailand or Mexico. That would be cool
    • Secondly, it is, when I get to heaven, maybe the sisters, or God will say to me, that I had played a part in their spiritual journey and in them getting to heaven. That would be cool too.

In conclusion – I encourage you to join – it’s only a Saturday morning once a month. And a praying meeting on Sunday between 2nd and 3rd service! Thank you!