May 2018 Update
National Day Of Prayer 2018
Our National Day Of Prayer 2018 was wonderful, but for one reason only: Jesus manifested His already glorious presence in our midst. I thought I would be speaking to non-believers, instead I wound up addressing an auditorium of Correction Officers who were already Christians. I changed my message on the fly to fit the crowd. I preached on the kingdom of God. I shared the imperative of placing our (Faith First) in everything we experience. In exercising our will in this area we train ourselves to begin transcending whatever we feel, regardless of the circumstances. This is a process over time but it is an act of our will. Obviously, not that feelings are wrong, however, they cannot, they must not, pre-empt faith.
Only under the power of the Holy Spirit, when life becomes chaotic, do we have the authority, by faith, to shift our emotional experiences into an atmosphere of gratitude and praise. This defines the faith-first perspective. Amen! For the Christian, once emotions and feelings take over, they tend to blind us to the true testimony that Abba wants to establish in us and through us for the world to witness.
Everything that happened was as a result of your prayers. So we are in-this, to win-this, together. As I spoke, I could see the word resonating in their hearts. It is always rewarding, but the best part was when I finished, and invited the Holy Spirit to come. Jesus fell on CO's and several began to weep and cry out loudly to Jesus. Remember: we are still in a city jail. Ha-ha! It reminded me a little of what John Wimber used to do in meetings of multiplied thousands. John used to invite the Holy Spirit to come and all heaven would be loosed. I was there and saw it first hand. It was remarkable!
On one such occasion 34 years ago in New Orleans, Pastor John Wimber and his ministry director Steve Zarit prayed for me to receive a double portion of John’s anointing in the Holy Spirit. I am still not sure I really understand fully what that meant, but I believe all this time I have been growing into this anointing. Sometimes things happen instantly like salvation and other times it is a process. I am encouraged that Abba is so patient and has been waiting for such a hard hearted man like me to simply trust and obey. Abba is merciful! God has been speaking to me about my call to prison ministry from the moment I became a Christian 41.5 years ago in LA. That is when He started using me and opening doors supernaturally in this area. God’s timing is perfect, but also from my end, I chose to allow my involvement in prison related work to be sporadic.
I believe this is the time for the manifestation of a chain breaking anointing, which is exactly what Pastor John Wimber clearly demonstrated. Reality check, without God's supernatural power we will never be able to break the chains of murder, violence, corruption and death in our prison system. However, under the influence of Jesus' authority all things become possible, but only as we remain connected to the Vine.
John 15:5 says,
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
I continue to receive great favor with the correctional authorities in our prison system. I am now under the mantle of Bishop Eric Brown who is head of all ministerial services for New York's 13 jails. He is such a dear man. Our ministry has been strategically placed under his authority and covering. I am ecstatic! We could not be positioned for victory in a better location or under a better man.
Riker's Island Updates
Mayor Bill De Blasio's plan is to close Riker’s Island. I will not get into how I feel about that, Moma mia. He has placed pressure on his commissioner to start with our gang unit, GMDC. This is supposed to happen in June or July. They have already begun moving our boys to two other city jails. The designation for our age group is called, "Young Adults," ages 18-21. The units where our boys are being transferred to consists of one still on Riker’s called RNDC, a rather decrepit facility, and VCBC in the Bronx, which is located on a barge. A floating jail!
Bishop also knows, in the not too distant future, our desire is to begin similar programming for incarcerated girls in the same age group at RMSC, the women's jail on Riker's. Bishop took the initiative and informed me yesterday at our meeting that he has already spoken with all his chaplains in these individual jails, clearing the way and alerting them we are coming! I don't know what to say except; Go Jesus! So as they close the unit GMDC that we have been working in for the past 18 months, God has apparently opened the doors for us to triple our outreach virtually overnight, expanding our potential to redirect and virtually save many more of our young black children, who hail from the most prominent at risk communities in our city.
Other Christian organizations like Prison Fellowship have said this age group is just to tough for them to reach, so they have placed this work in our hands. God help us! The Prison Fellowship Director on Riker’s acknowledged quite openly, he said, “Pastor Rex, this is obviously your calling because of the success I have witnessed personally through you here on Riker’s over the last several years, it is not PF’s.” We are humbled and gratefully accept the call. Prison Fellowship ceremonially withdrew from trying to reach this age group at Riker’s, and officially placed these young ones into the hands of our organization, Prison In The Wild. It was all very humbling and constitutes both an energizing and motivating impetus to God’s overall plan for this assignment.
All these open doors will mean, in the next few months, we will need to triple our leadership team. I have currently recruited and personally trained approximately 12 men and they are all jewels. They have reached a point where they have watched me run the program so many times from inside the jail that they can now do it without me present. Excellent! So right now we need to dramatically expand our team and also include a team of women. What fun! I have learned when doors open in the NY prison system, which is not often, you need to move through them efficiently but quickly.
Yesterday, I officially hired a designated a person to help me lead and coordinate our most important piece regarding this work, our intercessory prayer team. She comes highly recommended and is prayer warrior, very organized and another personal gem. She has already been part of a prayer team that has been praying for us over the past year. Diana attended the meeting yesterday with me on Riker's Island and said she had a blast! More to come regarding this area very soon.
As you remember this past Easter a Deputy Warden, that I life coach, was promoted and moved to Manhattan Detention Center, or MDC in Chinatown. This facility is nicknamed "The Tombs". He asked me Easter Sunday to come and pray for, and to preach a resurrection message to 50 of his Correction Officers, in a jail called the Tombs. You just can't make stuff like this up!
MDC is for men over 21, has a reputation for being a violent facility, and here is yet another open door. God has provided us with a wonderful reputation developed over these past three years of consistent service. All we do is just show up and love on people in Jesus' name! We are going to continue showing up, believing in Jesus’ name, and exercising this simple, yet apparently successful model, which will always be bathed in fasting and intercessory prayer.
We are very satisfied taking one step at a time. As we know Jesus is the Door and as He alone keeps opening doors of opportunity organically, simultaneously we believe it is up to Him to also equip us. Jesus will also continue to provide the increase in personnel and financial resources to move victoriously into and through each new opportunity. Kingdom life is our only motivation and focus. After all, “No weapon plan or insight shall succeed against the Lord.”
As exciting as all this is it is only one piece of the puzzle. We are also quite involved in the work of successful re-entry, and have established a much needed niche regarding our advocacy programs. This vital area drills deep down beneath the surface and is currently providing jobs for family members as well as inmates, reaching into the lives of these families and helping siblings perform better in school, as well as assisting our incarcerated boys to become connected with programs that offer alternatives to incarceration. We are also working with their attorneys, judges, and DA’s in two of our five boroughs. We are also in the midst of working together with a dear friend who has created an exciting platform on fatherhood that potentially has national implications. In Jesus’ name!
Thanks for all your love, prayers, financial support, and your faith in me and this wonderful work we are accomplishing together. Onward Christian Soldiers!
Feel free to reach out to me on our Contact page if you like.