One Year Anniversary

December 5, 2019
Thursday, day 366!

Today at 2 o’clock marked exactly one year since I walked through the front doors of Ashland Federal “Correctional Institution.“

I met “J“, my first cellmate on the recreation yard at 1 o’clock this afternoon and we walked 2 1/2 miles . . . my usual routine. I asked him if he was going to the weekly chapel service at 2 o’clock and he said “yes!“  I  said “do you realize what today is?” He did not remember but got very excited about the milestones. He said, “who would have thought one year ago, when I told you about my vision, that we would be walking into the church service together one year later exactly to the minute that I walk through the doors to fulfill the vision God had been repeatedly giving him – – – God told him  “HE would bring him a cellmate who would change his life forever.”  We have become great friends and his whole life has changed. We went into Chapel together and had communion today, it was very appropriate.  One of the inmates preached a very powerful sermon about how believers are call to share in the sufferings of Christ, based on Colossians 1: 23-24.

Janet Stasulli, who started the 419fund.com, asked me to provide a kind of “year in review“ answering some specific questions. So here goes:

I have completed reading 115 books, about a book every three days, the vast majority of them are Christian books but a fair number of history and biographical volumes as well. There have been a small handful of fictional books.

 

There has been a total of 16 different men who have attended my Bible study which continues outside under a pavilion in the recreation yard. Rain, cold, snow, wind or sun, no matter what they have continued to come. We have all grown together. The cold has kept some away but five or six come faithfully in spite of the weather. We’ve studied Romans 12 how we Gentile believers relate to God‘s promises to Israel(becoming through Jesus part of God‘s promise) And a verse by verse study of Matthew, currently we are on chapter 15. I’ve had 16 different visitors and I’ve had three cellmates, “J“, “JB“, and now “MM”. A lot of people have left FCI Ashland either because their sentence was up, they were being transferred to another facility, or they left for a halfway house.  In our unit, I believe, somewhere from 50 to 65 percent of the man who are here now were not here a year ago.

God has taught me and revealed to me many things from His Word. I’ve read through the Bible twice since being here and have learned to depend on the Lord as never before. I’ve seen that suffering is a major theme throughout the scripture and all of us are called to suffer with Christ. It is hard to provide a synopsis of everything I’ve learned but if you go to www.Romanseight28.com you can read my daily journal with my impressions from each day… Complete with the way God has worked in my life. Indeed, I am convinced God can and will use this whole experience for HIS glory.

Once again, thank you for all of your letters, the financial blessings you’ve sent, and most importantly, your prayers. Thanks to your prayers, God is sustaining us; me, Kathie, and our children.  I am eternally grateful to you for them.

In His service,

Philip
P.S. please don’t forget to check out www.Romanseight28.com
Slowly they are getting caught up and soon everything should be current. Thank you to those who have helped get this up and going.

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