Around the year 2003 we were in California teaching The Elijah Challenge. One of the participants was Tammy, a public school teacher. We had not heard from her or about her in years. But recently (July 2015) we received an email from a disciple in California named Linda…
“My friend, Tammy, told me about you. Tammy and I have a jail ministry at West County Detention Center in Richmond, CA, and she is ministering healing to women there in the name of Jesus. She is amazing. I have not done it yet. Guess I have too much doubt! I want to build up to this and get started. I forwarded our email correspondence with you to Tammy, and here is her response!
How cool—tell them [at The Elijah Challenge] I said Hi! Do they know we are taking their teaching into the jail? Tell them I’m using their teaching to teach the inmates how to minister to each other and they love it so much! Seeing the miraculous show up is reviving their spirits and prompting many to renew their faith and read God’s Word!
A few days later in July 2015 Tammy wrote us directly:
“I always wanted to stay in touch but also wanted to be sensitive to your workload. I never lost my passion for your teachings because I know it’s the solution to revival.
Sadly the churches in my area don’t want it. Not long ago I was asked to step down from volunteering in a youth ministry because I prayed for a women’s foot and instantly she could walk. Right after the youth minister saw it for himself, he emailed me and asked me to step down. By the way, this was [a congregation belonging to a well-known charismatic denomination] where they speak in tongues. Just a sample of the type of response I’ve continued to endure.
So I finally found a group of individuals who love it: the inmates. When I’m there, it’s like heaven. Many are physically healed. But more than physical healing happens when you make space for the Holy Spirit to move in power: people just get touched. Two weeks ago was my largest group—19 women—so I had inmates minister to those wanting prayer, which was about seven of them. Afterwards, one girl started crying after one of the inmates prayed for her during this time of “ministering”, saying she had gone to church for years and years but this was the first time she’d ever been touched in a tangible way by the presence of God.
Another girl talked about how over the last few weeks as she began to read God’s Word everything changed—depression suddenly gone, cravings for drugs suddenly gone, and other issues of sin gone as well—like a new person. I always stress the importance of dwelling in God’s Word, and the manifestation of God’s Word in the miraculous helps them to value this message in their hearts. They see evidence that God’s Word is true and active today just as the Bible describes. What the Bible “teaches”, actually “happens”. So what becomes real, they read. And then it becomes real again as it washes their hearts.
Things are bad…really bad. The deception is not just the occult, or the new age, or Catholicism or Mormonism. It’s also in the “Christian” church. I know because when I leave after the service I feel worse than when I walked in. I thought maybe there was something wrong with me.
I have never forgotten about you guys, and how God had sent you in response to my prayer: “God, show me why you took the miracles away.” I was so upset that He had done this because they [the miraculous] had worked so well in the early church to strengthen her, bring life, and cause her to grow with new converts added every day. I was sad that I was not living the same fruitfulness as the early believers. So thanks so much again.”