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505th -- Etched In My Mind


No matter our mistakes or shortfalls, the Lord is able to take our mess and
turn it into a miracle. We are to have faith in God and entrust our life
into His Hands asking that He would make a success out of our failures. The
Lord Jesus declares in Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek,
and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Humbling 
ourselves before the Lord and asking for His intervention will move the
Hand of God to direct our lives in the right direction. The Lord loves us
and wishes for our Joy to be full, so be encouraged and know that your life
is not finished because God is still able to do exceeding abundantly above
all that you can ask or even think. (Psalm 103:10-14) (Jeremiah 31:3)

I hope this message both encourages and inspires your heart to see that it
is never too late for you to change the direction of your life to achieve


It was one of life's short-notice opportunities. A schedule change created
an opening for me to speak for Operation Starting Line. I was delighted to
receive the call that they needed me in Texas.

Operation Starting Line is a combined effort of more than a dozen prominent
Christian ministries, including the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association,
Prison Fellowship Ministries and Promise Keepers. The goal of this 
evangelistic, discipleship and post-release program is to touch every
prisoner in the United States within a five- year period.

The events in Texas consisted of five teams who visited thirteen prisons.
I was part of a team of five, which included an ex-prisoner - me. My job 
was to tell my story of transformation from a life filled with poverty, 
despair and drug addiction into a successful businessman.

My mother raised three children on a meager, monthly welfare check while 
my father served time in a maximum- security prison. Our house was filled
with rats, mice and roaches. My environment led me to a life of crime in a
struggle to survive. I recounted how Jesus transformed me from a Class X 
felon into a success.

On Friday we did two shows at a minimum-security prison. The next day, we
went to a maximum-security facility. While we were setting up in the yard,
the chaplain told us that if a riot broke out we were to go to the brick 
wall and put our backs against it and let the riot police do their jobs.

The unit was filled with boys, eleven to nineteen years old, who were 
serving thirty- to forty-year sentences. During the show, someone started
a fire in the kitchen. When we returned two days later, we heard that many
guards had quit because it was so dangerous.

We went to “the hole” (the administrative segregation unit) to speak to the
guys in their cells. There I met a heavily tattooed seventeen-year-old
“gang-banger” serving forty “ag” years. That meant he had an aggravated
sentence and had to serve about thirty years before he could see the 
parole board.

In the hole, I sat on the floor and read the Bible with a sixteen-year-old
gang-banger serving a ten-year sentence. When I asked him why he joined a
gang, he looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Everyone I know is in a
gang.” I looked into his sad eyes and realized that only God could heal the
hurts in this young man's heart. The incredible waste of a valuable life 
overwhelmed me. I asked him if he would like to accept Jesus into his 
heart. He eagerly responded, “Yes,” and we prayed together. It was one of
the most moving moments I had ever experienced.

On April 9, my team asked me to do “the close.” Afterward, I told them that
it was my birthday and there was nothing else that I'd rather be doing. 
Then I thanked them and began to walk away. As I turned my head toward the
crowd, I was humbled to see the inmates, who were on their feet, blessing
me with a standing ovation. The men were touched by my simple, heartfelt 
compassion. I realized that my job was simply to tell them my story and let
the Lord take care of the rest.

A young man named Steve, came up to me after the show and showed me the 
scars on his hands where rats had bitten him as a child. He had previously
accepted the Lord, but struggled with his daily walk. My heart was breaking
for him.

As I reflect on these inspiring events, I think of the inmates' hearts that
were touched by the hope that my life represents. Twenty-three years ago,
I really was a seventeen-year-old convicted Class X felon. Moments before
I cried out for the Lord's help, I was lying in my bunk, thinking about 
killing a prison guard.

Now the pain of yesterday is wiped away. I am happily married, live in a
new house and drive a fine car. My life is blessed and radically 
transformed. Steadfast hope is a driving force that will keep prisoners 
seeking the face of God, giving him time to answer their prayers and 
implement his will in their lives.

At those events, Jesus touched many lives - including mine. My heart will
forever see the faces of those inmates light up when I explained where I 
have been and where the Lord continues to take me. Their faces are etched
in my mind forever.

By Brian Brookheart

Be encouraged to call upon the Lord and ask for a refreshed outlook as to
where your life should be headed. The Lord speaks to the hearts that seek
Him and will give to them a knowing that surpasses all understanding.

Changing our life for the better may be impossible with our ability, but
with God’s ability all things are possible. We are to use our past failures
as steppingstones to greater heights achieving success knowing that God did
extraordinary works to get us to our place of victory. (Psalm 51:9-13)

Read and meditate on these scriptures:

Psalm 103:10-13 “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us
according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so
great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from 
the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us. Like as a 
father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear Him.”

James 4:7-8 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he
will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you...”

Philippians 4:4-7 “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let
your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for
nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving 
let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which 
passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.

Today’s Selected Poem: YOU STILL HAVE HOPE
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/enpoem62.htm

Today’s Selected Testimony: FROM PRISON TO PRAISE
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony8.htm

In Christ’s Service,

Dwayne Savaya
Gods Work Ministry


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