Wednesday May 24th Lisa Miller rejoiced in her first official day off parole. She has been out of the Niagara County jail for one year. Lisa spent 16 months in a cell for obeying the Lord. She was able to bring up her daughter in the ways of the Lord and protect Isabella.
Lisa “THANKS YOU” for all of your prayers through the years. She could actually FEEL them. The letters were plentiful and she saved them. Your faithfulness to the Lord was fruitful.
Praise the living God for all he has done through these years to keep Lisa and Isabella under His shelter and bring them back to America safely.
Lisa sent the following clip for you to see where she spent those 16 months behind bars for Jesus.
Lisa sent this cell picture and says the one circled is like the one she lived in.
Greetings in the name of the Father who is “gentle and lowly” (Matthew 11:29).
He has been so loving to me as I navigate the waters of my reentry in the States. He has held my hand each step of the way. I am grateful that I can trust His word. The most of the last 14 years have been a learning experience for me. He has been with me during each situation – from being on the stand answering pointed questions to helping those who need to hear about Jesus. He “would cross an ocean so I wouldn’t drown” and He “has never been closer than He is right now” (Jireh). He is that for me and for all who want to believe those Truths.
I have learned through my journey to lean into Him and to find my rest in Him. I am not perfect though I fail many times, nevertheless, as “I lie as a broken shell at His feet” He “bend(s) His ear to me,” and “He will hear within my heart faint echoes of the vast waves of His own love that have brought me to where I am happy to stay, even at His feet forever” (C.H. Spurgeon devotional revised and updated by Alistair Begg, April 12).
I continue to try my best to always put my hand in His as I walk through life. I am reminded by His Word that if I would remember all the times He has already shown His love toward me, then I would be less apt to drop His hand. That eight-letter word is apparently used 352 times in Scripture, when “its variants are counted, that number jumps to more than 550” (The Gospel in Words: Word of the Week: ‘Remember’, Deseret News, March 27, 2008).
The word “remember” tells me that Jesus died for me, and that He wants to be with me as He was with those who have gone before me:
- Adam and Eve as they walked in the cool of the garden,
- Abraham as he journeyed into the unknown,
- Naomi as her future looked bleak,
- David in his ups and downs,
- Jonah as he sat east of the city,
- Peter when he not only denied Jesus but wept thereafter,
- Phoebe as she traveled throughout Rome delivering Paul’s letters,
- Philemon as he decided how to treat Onesimus,
- The “women who received back their dead by resurrection,” and
- John as he was exiled on the Isle of Patmos.
I thank you for all your prayers, gifts, and loving mentions of my name. Lately, I have been rereading some of the mail that I received while I was in jail. I have never ceased to be amazed how you’all “visited” me while I was in jail (Matthew 25:31-46). Your penned words, printed poems, colorful photos, and gracious gifts you sent still warm my heart and “remind” me of God’s love. Thank you for following Jesus’ words to visit those in prison (with help and ministering care- amplified version).
I am grateful that you’all continue to pray for me even when I am not in touch with you. I am still acclimating to life in the United States. As of this update, I have been out of jail and back into life in the U.S. for almost 11 months. My desire for those who read the words of this update is that you will, not only find, but daily experience Jesus’ “gently and lowly” heart (Gentle and Lowly, Dane Ortlund).
I will close with the following lyrics:
“I love You Lord
For Your mercy never fails me
All my days
I’ve been held in Your hands
From the moment that I wake up
Until I lay my head
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God
Cause all my life You have been faithful
And all my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
Oh I will sing of the goodness of God
I love Your voice
You have led me through the fire
In the darkest night You are close like no other
I have known You as a Father
I have known You as a Friend
And I have lived in the goodness of God
I give You everything.” (Goodness of God)
In His Service,
I send Christmas (a little late) and New Year’s greetings.
I am enjoying my job. I still work remotely most of the week but do go the approximately 2 hour and 30-minute round trip once a week. However, now that winter is setting in I probably will attend my meetings remotely.
They are blessing me with a school course so I can better serve the company. Even at my age, I find that I am enjoying school.
My legal case is still going on. Everyone’s legal case is still not resolved
I am still trying to acclimate to the U.S. culture as well as the weather; I am not used to being out in the cold weather because last winter I was in Niagara County Jail. I bought my first coat, boats and other winter apparel just recently. It was actually fun!
I am finally getting a handle on all the new technology.
Thank you for all those who have sent me greetings. I appreciate everyone’s prayers and messages. Please keep sending them.
God is still on the throne. He is in control.
Let us pray that He is glorified.
In His Service,
Dear faithful friend:
Blessed Christmas to you. I rejoice with you over the birth of our Lord and Savior who came to redeem us and bring peace between us and God Almighty through His shed blood on the cross.
I have been meaning to write for some time, and apologize for the lack of communication. A number of folks have written and emailed for some sort of update from me to be disseminated through the 419 Fund, and I thought this would be an ideal time to not only express Kathie and my gratefulness and appreciation to you, but to also update you on all that is going on.
This past summer the judge in my criminal case issued his refusal to vacate my sentence due to some very contrived and unjust arguments, and threatened any attorney who helped me appeal the ruling with punishment, even, to my understanding, to the point of being disbarred. I had appealed to the judge to vacate my sentence due to the fact that my attorneys provided ineffective counsel because they did not reveal to me that the criminal statute under which I was convicted allowed for a parent to remove her child from the country if she believed her child was being abused in any manner.
As of the end of June of this year, my prison sentence was completed, probation and all. So now I am free to travel outside of the Western District of Virginia, and I have received my passport back from the government (although some countries do not issue visas to felons). Kathie and I praise the Lord for the freedom I now have.
We have encountered both difficulties and blessings since I have been at home. Physical difficulties have been especially rough for Kathie and me. I had been incarcerated for 27-1/2 months until I was finally allowed home for a weekend visit, and then two months after that till I was able to come home on house arrest.
It was wonderful to be at home 24/7 with Kathie. I could eat delicious food again, sit on soft, comfortable furniture, and sleep on a bed with a normal mattress. But having literally lived and slept on a steel slab covered with a one-inch pad for 30 months, sleeping with no pillow, created a very painful “chronic holding pattern” in my back that I have been unable to rectify even with a chiropractor’s help, physical therapy, steroid injections and oblation therapy. I cannot walk upright nor stand without severe pain. I am truly looking forward to my new body all the more!
Kathie has at the same time been suffering severe pain, much of it emanating from the ill-advised oral surgery that some specialists now say she should never have had and which now needs to be reversed. This has all resulted from very complicated structural trauma resulting from an auto accident when she was 17. So, we two have been quite a pair! We have been able to start a small home church, which meets each Sunday and are praying for seekers and new believers to join us in in-depth study of God’s Word.
In spite of all of the difficult times of loneliness and suffering, though, I would not have chosen a different course. If you have heard me speak, you know that I consider the time of incarceration to be a blessing. God truly worked in both of our lives through the difficult circumstances, and we have developed a much closer relationship with the Lord, been refined in the process, and can now be used even greater in ministry. I would not otherwise have been able to spend the time in Bible study and meditating on the Word of God if it wasn’t for my prison sentence. Nor would I have learned of the rampant injustice and corruption of the court system and modern American justice.
After coming home though, my probation officer gave me special permission to stay in contact with the many men whose lives the Lord had touched during my incarceration. Some have been released, some remain incarcerated. So, the ministry begun in prison does continue somewhat, as does the church that was begun, although it does not still meet every evening, due to the COVID restrictions being lifted.
And as I’ve expressed before, the Lord has given me a message for the church that times of persecution are coming. Yet they are not times to be feared. James says, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let the endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
What’s more, Paul says, “But we also exalt in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character hope. . .” He told Timothy, “ALL who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted!” And to the Philippians he added, “to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but to also suffer for His sake.” And to the Corinthians he retorted, “Each man’s work will become evident. . .it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work!”
Peter said, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which come upon you for your testing. . .but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing.” And, “If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. . .Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, Who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”
Jesus Himself told us, “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” And, “They will deliver you to tribulation, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another.” During the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord also told us, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
I could go on and on. Neither Jesus nor any New Testament writer claims there will be a great revival in the latter days. Rather, there will be a great persecution, and a great falling away from the faith. We are now seeing this beginning to happen. Each Christian must be prepared spiritually and mentally for this oncoming onslaught against every believer. We must refuse to compromise no matter the consequences. God never promises to keep us from suffering, persecution and difficulties. Just the opposite! But, we must remain strong. As James says, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”
What God did promise was to carry us through the difficult times, and the times of persecution. Kathie and I can testify to the joy and contentment He provides during these trials. If we are faithful to Him, He will be faithful to us and help us endure anything that might come our way. He will use these sufferings for our own benefit and as a testimony to others.
When I was in prison on more than one occasion believers who were also incarcerated told me God put me there to help other believers prepare for the coming persecution and imprisonment of vast numbers of believers. This I am confident God has called me to do, and I have had the opportunity to share this with a number of church bodies, small groups and families. I am eager to take this message across the country to many, many groups of believers, encouraging them to remain strong in the Lord and refuse to compromise to Satan’s temptations – no matter the consequences. God is with us each and every step of the way.
Kathie and I have also begun to do some traveling, as our health enables us, to not only share this message, but to personally thank all of you in person who have stood by us both, writing letters and encouraging notes and cards, praying for us, and helping financially with our vast legal expenses. Please provide me with your phone number and address if you would like us to visit you.
You can contact us through the 419 Fund (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 540-649-1999. You can also write us at P.O. Box 1842, Waynesboro, VA 22980.
Thank you again, for being such a wonderful Godsend to help uphold us with your prayers, encouragements, and support. And Merry Christmas to you.
Please continue to pray for us, as we desperately need your prayers. Pray for our pain to subside, and for opportunities to share our testimony that God is always faithful, to be prepared for the coming persecution, and never, ever to compromise the Word of God!
In His service,
Update on Lisa Miller
Lisa is living a quiet life adjusting to freedom. She has used the time since her release to decompress and center herself on the Word of God.
Her driver’s license has been renewed, and she is working for a Christian publishing company.
Lisa wants you to know that she appreciates your support, both prayerfully and financially. Even though She feels unworthy of your support, she is grateful for all of you.
You may communicate with her through email@example.com. She would enjoy receiving your comments, letters and best wishes. Prayer is always needed for upcoming events.
Pray for God’s victory in the upcoming months.
Here’s a little update from Lisa… It has now been 2 ½ weeks since she is free from Niagara County Jail. Although there have been many changes, she continues to say, “I don’t have any culture shock!” Of course there are still challenges, and we invite you to continue to support her in prayer.
After a late night Chinese supper on the Tuesday of her release, Lisa spent the night in New York with friends. The following day, after a quiet morning and even asking for a few plant starts from her host’s garden, the drive South began. After a leisure stop beside a nearby lake, they then traveled the remaining hours to Virginia. Her wish, when asked if she had someplace she wanted to stop along the way, was, “I’d like to go to a grocery store!”
Just a few blocks off the route, they stopped that same evening to visit Lisa’s father and his wife. It was a special gift to realize God’s timing, as Mr. Miller had plans to relocate to Tennessee in just a few days. Realizing their age and limitations, and the seeming mountain of packing and cleaning they still had to do, a return trip was made the next day to help them for a few hours. Thank the Lord for the opportunity to reconnect with family in that way, and to be of a little help.
God gave Lisa a cute little cottage in which to live: tiny, decorated in white with splashes of bright color throughout. She is having fun making her nest personal, planning meals, and making the best use of the available space. Thrift shops have been especially enjoyable, though sometimes overwhelming.
One of the top priorities is finding a job, and we would love if you could pray along with us for this. Continue to pray for her during the adjustment process and “recovery.” Pray for renewal of the mind and cleansing from the ungodly bombardment she faced daily in prison.
Legally speaking, though Lisa has completed her sentencing for the criminal case, it’s not all over. First, she has a year of supervised release with ongoing accountability, including but not limited to, travel restrictions even within the state. The civil case is still pending, with hopes for mediation. This case names numerous defendants, one of which is Lisa, as well as the men who have already served prison time.
Again thanks to all the prayer supporters.
A friend for Lisa
Lisa and Joey, Timo Miller’s wife
FROM PABLO YODER:
“I Will Praise Your Name”
“I will sacrifice a voluntary offering to you; I will praise your name, O Lord, for it is good. For you have rescued me from my troubles…” –Psalm 54.6, 7
A first hand report on Lisa’s release [Tuesday, May 24, 2022]:
Praise the Lord with us, our sister Lisa has been released. She walked out of Niagara County Jail at 6 pm tonight. (Written yesterday and sent to me today.) Court convened promptly at 12 noon.
After about thirty minutes of hearing comments from both sides, Judge Acara gave Lisa’s sentence as “time served,” meaning that the time she has already spent in jail is enough.
We still haven’t figured out if the prosecution, the defense, or the judge is the correct mathematician in regards to exactly how many days she should have been awarded for good behavior, and if the sum of time served and that number adds up to 18 months. It was a bit humorous to hear. However, the judge agreed with the others, yes, even the prosecution, that it’s time to “move on.”
One more smile about the day, just as court was about to be dismissed, the clerk rose and quietly reminded the judge, upon which he gave Lisa the right to appeal her sentence.
Many thanks to those who came and filled our side of the courtroom, as well as to the many who have prayed, who are and will continue to pray. (Approximately 50 to 60 brethren showed up to show their support for Lisa.)
After several hours of waiting, Lisa was transported back to the jail and then about an hour of processing before we saw her walk out the door, this time without handcuffs or shackles.
She got whisked away by friends (to avoid the media) to a lovely park.
One last thing… While we were sitting there at the park, talking and listening… All of a sudden Lisa exclaimed, “Look at the bird! ”
A robin was feeding her babies right there in the corner of the pavilion. That was significant since last year at Niagara County Jail, Lisa saw the same sight while out in the jail rec yard. God is so faithful and awesome.
Continue to pray and praise with us.
Lisa is still going to need a lot of prayer. Her adjustments, her civil case and who knows what else she might face is looming ahead of her now. And let’s not forget Isabella. And most of all, let’s not forget to praise God for answering our prayer of so many years!