"We have found the opportunity through Inspiration Ministries to express not just our feelings but also the words that the Holy Spirit puts in our hearts to share with others. I see I.M. as a channel of communication between the church...read more
September, Issue 9
Letter from the Editor
Do you still stand in reverence of who God is and all that He has accomplished? Folks, words are not enough to explain the shock and awe the Almighty brings to our doorstep daily. What can thirty days bring to Inspiration Ministries and The Cupbearer Café? I will do my best to explain, but ultimately, I know I can’t do justice to His testimony for this ministry.
August 24th: We couldn’t have asked for a better day. The sun was shining bright, and the anticipation was building as tents were popping up and coolers were being filled with ice. We prayed over the event and trusted the Lord to bring the people, but who really knows, right? We have food and drink tents and a special display committed to Inspiration Ministries featuring newsletters and newly designed T-shirts. And hallelujah, they came. Lawn chairs were getting set out and Tess Brown was
leading her team on stage in a worship set. Hands were being raised and praises being sung as the Holy Spirit assured us that this was His event! After five songs, I made my way to the stage to welcome everybody to the DeKalb Outdoor Theater. The Lord opened a door to get my preach on and remind us all why we were there for this event. Brothers and sisters behind those walls, we were out there for you. We were there to break down walls and connect those Christians with those of you on the inside.
After an introduction, I read a testimony from Wilson Gonzalez. I didn’t cry, though it can be hard considering how much I miss him and many of you reading this newsletter. Our sets with 490 Live and Jacob’s Well were jumping as the B-List Boys from Bluffton, Ohio brought some funk to the stage. All of the music segued by testimonies from James Summers, James Rogers, Ridgel De Lardilles, Shane Mealer, and James Pirtle. In between sets we encouraged people to check out the newsletter board and take the opportunity to sponsor a prison, so they can receive newsletters. The sponsorships were building! The Jondo Trio played an awesome blues Gospel set and more people starting showing up. People were laughing, enjoying the music, and playing corn hole. We shared more testimonies from Chad Anderson and David Owen, and sponsors were coming to participate in the prison ministry.
Then came a moment when I began to share with the audience about a time when I knew that I needed to be remade. My life was unraveling inside that county jail cell six years ago and I wanted to start over, be REBORN, which was the name of the last band. I invited those that were there to examine themselves and remember the moment when we were desperate for God and when the desire to be recreated became most evident. It is in that place that we are most able to empathize with those who struggle or those confined by their circumstances. We talked about the blood of Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of sins. We then asked those in the audience to stand in the gap for those who are incarcerated.
The night didn’t end in an altar call or an emotional outpouring, but it did end with hugs, utterances of love and appreciation, and a commitment to this ministry work together. We held hands in a circle and placed the money the day earned in the center; we prayed for the Lord to multiply what was in that bucket and God’s continued provision for Inspiration. After ten hours, 300-400 people, and huge success, we believe the Lord is already getting us ready for the 2nd annual event next year, and we believe that some of you might be there.
Bless the Lord and sing His praises for His footprint being upon this event. By the end of the night, all 32 bulk envelopes displayed on the board and 12 boxes scheduled to be delivered to prisons around the country had been sponsored by those who attended. Hallelujah, Brethren, how awesome is that!
August 30th: Some of you have ventured through this renovation journey with us since January, and we sincerely appreciate your prayers and encouragement. This Friday, we received our state and city approvals to be able to use The Cupbearer and Fellowship Center for any usage necessary with a seating capacity of 200-300 on two floors. Praise God! God has been so gracious in His provision of not only resources, but with the people and time He has provided. These past couple months have been a slew of 18 hour-days to complete this project and what a blessing so many have been.
September 3rd: And of course, what would our praises to the Most High be without the testimony of lives being transformed. Somewhere along the lines in the last 4-5 months, a couple came into our midst. It started with a man looking for a bar and shot of liquor as he was preparing to pick his girlfriend up from the nearby jail. He was worried that she would want to go directly to Chicago to get drugs and he wanted to stop that lifestyle. I was blessed to share the Gospel with him and pray with him. Though he made no commitment to Christ, he promised to bring her over right after her release. Good to his word, he brought her, shaky from withdrawals and seemingly very scared. We whipped them up a couple of lattes and the Holy Spirit started pouring into them. The opportunity for salvation and prayer was presented. She talked about having a relationship with Christ, so we prayed for their peace and safety and they left.
Thank you, Jesus, for glimpses of Your work in people’s lives and making it abundantly clear that it is Your work and Yours alone. This is the text I received yesterday, “Hi, Andy, not sure if you remember me. I found your number and thought you’d like to hear that my recovery from alcoholism and addiction by the grace of God is going well. I’ve been clean for 6 months. All the glory to God! I’m very happy, happier on my worst day now than my best day high. God’s grace is amazing. Thank you for your continuous prayers for me. I have so much to share. I will visit when I am able to. God stay with you alwaysJ.”
Now that, my friends, is something to scream on the rooftops. Even though we trust the Lord to bring the increase, and we may never hear or see the results of His faithfulness, He has been so wonderful to let us be witness of His testimony in the lives of others. Please don’t ever forget that it is all His: His glory, His story, His transformation, and His life. Hallelujah!
September 4th: Even in the middle of typing, God brings another familiar face into the Cupbearer. Andrew, a homeless guy, just got out of jail and came over to say hi before going to his brother’s house. It was an awesome opportunity to connect and encourage him in the Lord. The reason I mention this is because it’s another situation where we can join together in prayer to ask the Lord for a renewed mind and a tug towards his surrender. I was able to connect him with a church, so let’s pray together that he continues to seek.
Our last hallelujah for this newsletter will be the fact that we were recently approved for our non-profit mailing permit. We will be able to send more individual newsletters at a reduced rate! That is an awesome blessing. We have been pursuing it for a few months, and now we have it. Praise God!
Brethren, I still ask questions like, “God, what in the world are you doing with an ex-con like me?” Just when it seems like my failures start to shadow my successes, the Lord reminds me that it is His scale in which my life will be measured, not by man’s determinations. I encourage you to make this your next risky prayer during your time with the Lord. Lord Jesus, please melt away any expectations about this life I have created for myself or that others have placed on me. Help me to allow You to redefine success by Your standards. Let my life be an act of worship as You produce results and increase Your Kingdom. In Jesus name, amen.
The temptation will remain to be self-reliant and dependent upon external results, but don’t be afraid to ask the following question not only to yourself, but to others around you: What is God doing in you today?
Andrew L. Foster
Inspiration Ministries INC, Director
The Cupbearer Café, Owner
- Letter from the Editor, by Andrew Foster
- A Bold Heart, by Dan Evans
- From Behind the Walls, by Anthony Ponds
- Symbiosis, by David Owen
- Live by the Sword, Die for the Sword, by Chad Anderson
- Reach Out, by Wesley Fullard
- Letter to God, by Richard Pullings
- Too Many Altar Calls, by Rigdel De Lardilles
- Right Expectations, by John Kuhle
- My Blessed Friend, by Joe Bonito