You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.” John 15:16
Many missionaries retire or go to their eternal reward without seeing the fruit of their years of labor. We are blessed in APM prison-ministry-field by allowing us to see changed lives “inside” prison, and be with them “outside” after they parole!
Stories of our “first fruit” to parole in the 1980’s are told in VESSELS OF HONOR. Today, Jill is President of Aglow California State Prison Board. Mary served in many positions on the State Board. Viola oversees Women’s Homes, and Suzy is VP of Outreach. God has honored us beyond description…we actually see our fruit bearing fruit! These women are loving and serving others since the first day they “fell-in-love” with Jesus inside prison. Even if we cannot visit the prison at this time, we must keep praying for the ones God puts on our heart. HE is still producing FRUIT from OUR LABORS.
Joanna is one of the last women from my “VSPW Lifer’s Class” to recently parole. Her amazing story is written in VESSELS of HONOR II. She was incarcerated 35 years, but used those years serving Jesus. She taught Bible Studies, worked as Chaplain’s Clerk, and spent several years under Hospice in the Prison Infirmary. I’ll always remember her words: “I held their hand until JESUS took it.”
This month, God gave me a “glimpse of heaven” when I visited Joanna. As we laughed, cried and prayed together in the home where she is, I could visualize a joyful, heavenly scene. I saw hundreds of women, hugging, singing, and twirling around like little girls together…I knew it was our APM teams and precious FRUIT!