We have been to the Shikusa Boys Detention many times but today was one of the best. The presence and power of God was really with us. The new director is a man named Horace Cha Cha, “Cha Cha” to those who know him. When we visited last August he had just taken over and we didn’t quite know what to make of him. He was very polite but also very aloof. In January we came with 200 pounds of books for the prison library. As he was looking through the books I saw him looking through the pages of a very nice Bible that we had brought. I had a thought, so I said to him “Do you have a Bible?” “No!” he said, so l gave it too him. During the whole meeting at that time he sat clutching the bible and turning through its pages. Looking back it is now obvious to us that God was working in the life of this man. When we came to the prison last month the Bible was right there on his desk and he was very warm to us. He said a number of affirming words, but we didn’t know if he was being genuine or being polite.
This time when we came, he was waiting for us out by the front gate. Something I have not seen before! He was so eager to receive us and all through the day it was like spending time with a member of the Worldcomp Family. With each passing visit Cha Cha has been soaking up our words and growing in the Lord. I learned today that his background is Catholic and up until now, I don’t think he has never really been around Spirit Filled Christians. At the end of the day we sat in Cha Cha’s office and he just didn’t want us to go. He kept saying things like “Usually when visitors come from the West we ask ourselves “What have they brought us”. But in your case we are saying “What have they told us?” He joked around about how he needed to build an office for us at the prison.
Del Irwin and Corbett both spoke and each of their messages were very powerful. Del shared from the word about how God spoke to Jeremiah when he was in prison and gave him direction for his life. He shared that God wanted to do the same for each of the boys at Shikusa. Corbett told a story about two twin brothers who were abused in their childhood but they were taken into two different families. One boy spent his life complaining about how he was abused, the other spent his life thanking God that he was adopted and rescued. The point was that two people can see the same things from two different perspectives. He challenged the boys to look at their lives in a positive light and to know that God has a plan for their lives. Finally I spoke to the boys about what happens to a person when they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. At the end I asked the boys who wanted to repent and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to raise their hands. It was a powerful moment because when I looked around I could not find a single hand that was not raised. We are now praying and trusting the Holy Spirit to take it from here.
When the three of us finished, Cha Cha got up and shared with the boys that Del and Corbett’s sharing had deeply touched him personally. It was a very moving moment.
THE ANGELS ARE REJOICING
There was a boy in the center that had tried to commit suicide last week. The boy has been a real problem at the center because is he always fighting with the other boys. Cha Cha took a bold step and said “I want you to pray for this boy!” A few minutes later the boy was ushered into Cha Cha’s office. He had a hard look on his face. We told him the Lord loved him and that we loved him and we wanted to pray for him. Valerie sat next to him and told him about the love of God. Then we began to pray for him. After a few minutes of prayer Valerie asked him if he had ever accepted Jesus. To our surprise he said, “Yes!” Val then asked him when he had accepted Jesus and he responded “Just now!” And he was very serious! He then asked God to deliver him from his anger and he willingly forgave those who have hurt him in the past. At the very end we found that he had been a Muslim. Now he is a child of God. The angels are rejoicing in heaven tonight.
We went on from the Boys Prison to the Kakamega School for the Deaf. We came with 40 loaves of bread and 20 pounds of sugar. As we arrived there was a big bus from a local college parked in front of the school. This was so touching; more than 50 students came to do community service at the school. You can’t believe what they were doing. They carried water and heated it to bath all of the students, then they washed their clothes and bedding, then they washed their rooms. Another group of boys was cutting the grass, planting trees and pulling weeds. I watched them in action and I thought to myself, “now this is love in action”. We gave each of the children a couple pieces of bread, which they devoured joyfully. The rest of the bread is for the weekend and the kids were so happy. This is now our third visit to this school and I’m telling you, it is such a blessing to serve them.
God is so good and we are so blessed to be able to be His hands and feet. Cha Cha reminded us, before we left the prison of the words of Jesus from Matthew 25 “I was hungry and you fed me”, I was in prison and you visited me!” Lord! It’s a pleasure to serve you!
Thank you all for your love, prayers, responses and support.
We love you
Richard, Valerie, Corbett and Del