In a small town of Alabama, an amazing group of ladies is acting as the hands and feet of Christ. They are touching women’s hearts every single day. They are spreading the gospel through actions…through love. They are making an impact for the Kingdom.
For the last five years, these ladies have met faithfully three times a week to pack suitcase for women who are leaving prison. You ask, “Packing suitcases?!?!?”
Yes, packing suitcases. In fact, they pack 80-100 suitcases a month!!!
Isaiah 58 ministries collects gently used, as well as brand new clothes and toiletries to pack into suitcases for women who are gaining freedom from a prison or are facing a crisis, such as domestic violence or a house fire. These women, many of whom have absolutely nothing to their name, are given several outfits to start their new life of freedom, as well as some basic hygiene products. If the donations support, these newly released women are given non-essential items too, such as jewelry, perfume, or purses. The suitcases also include a Bible and devotions or scriptures.
Obviously, Isaiah 58 ministries is providing tangible items to meet physical needs that each human possesses. However, there is an intangible component to this ministry. The recently released inmates are able to have a moment, knowing God provided for them. God is blessing this ministry to provide these items at a time when these women are scared to enter the “real world,” but also excited to be leaving prison behind.
Yet there is another very important component of this ministry. The women of Isaiah 58 ministry are praying for every single one of these women in prison; for each one that is released and each one that isn’t released. They are praying for the ladies who are facing turmoil through crisis. They pray for their salvation, as well as for the children and families of the incarcerated. They pray over the suitcases in hopes that this small act of kindness will bring someone closer to a relationship with God.
The blessings of this ministry don’t just extend to the women of prison system and their families. It extends to every single person who volunteers with them…every single person who donates to their cause…to their entire church congregation who supports the ministry by allowing a physical location for storage and processing. It has become a “sweet sisterhood” of ladies working towards a common goal.
The women of Isaiah 58 ministries are a humble group of gals who will repeatedly tell you that this is all God. God providing the donations…God providing the mechanism to assist other humans…God’s love being shown to women who may not otherwise know love.
Their words are correct in giving God the glory.
I would contend that their actions also give God the glory.
They have been obeying God’s command of “love one another.” They are obeying God’s direction to take care of “orphans and widows…and prisoners.” They have literally become the hands and feet of Christ.
As a point to ponder this week, what are you doing in your own life to act as the hands and feet?
“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” ~Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)
If you have questions about Isaiah 58 Ministries or if you would like to support, please feel free to contact them at I58@santuckbaptist.org