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September, Issue 9

2014: Volume 3

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 1 John 3:1

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September, Issue 9

Letter from the Editor

Church, I pray that you will join us in praying about how God wants to end this 2014 year for His glory in regards to Inspiration Ministries. This past month has been amazing and bittersweet. August 24th was spent celebrating during our 2nd Annual MusicFest with testimonies, great music, and fundraising for the ministry, just to be reminded days later that ministry, at least the kind that centers on ministering to the “least of these” is messy, complicated, and downright difficult.

MUSICFEST 2014

At about 10:30am I grabbed the microphone to address the volunteers. Including the food handlers, sound techs, ministry folks, and gamers, there were around 30 people I had the privilege of thanking for their participation to make this day happen. I read a testimony that reminded me of the loneliness that can so quickly surround you in prison, and I said these words through trembling lips and voice-inflected words,” When I was in prison not even three years ago and God gave me a vision for this ministry, I didn’t know any of you were going to be here. Thank you for helping to fulfill God’s vision for Inspiration Ministries.”

Just as last year, our friends Sam and Tess, along with their worship band, Fear Not, kicked things off followed by The Matt and Jason Band, who together made it clear that Jesus Christ was going to be worshipped at that outdoor theater all day. In between the running around and relaxing, I found myself in tears as I thought about many of you, my brothers and sisters behind the walls, praying for your opportunity to be here with us. I thought about how miraculous and gracious God really is to choose me, a convicted felon, the least of these, even in prison, to do His work and proclaim His Gospel.

Between each music set, a representative of Inspiration read your testimonies of appreciation for the newsletter and encouraged the crowd to sponsor a month for your prison to receive the newsletter. The bands all donated their time and talent that day to worship and raise awareness of the ministry. Live 4:1, The B-List Boys, The Jondo Trio, and Regeneration were all a part of making that day happen and when the day was all over and expenses were accounted for, the Lord blessed us with $3,000 to put towards your Behind the Walls ministry. What an awesome blessing. Hallelujah!

MINISTRY STAFFING

It is fascinating to see God build Inspiration Ministries from the ground up. We have seen the Lord literally make a way when there was no way, and He has made provision according to His promises and vision. Interestingly enough, it can be difficult to fill in the gaps with ministry-minded folks that will allow God to lead and direct, even when the path doesn’t seem all that clear. Some of our best days at The Cup are when we get to serve with our best friends behind the counter. So, with that said, Kirsten and I are officially going to train our staff members from the beginning…while in the womb! That’s right, after a wonderful June 21st wedding, the Fosters are 10 weeks pregnant. We feel so incredibly blessed, and covet your prayers for health and preparation over the next several months. Thank you, Jesus!

A LOSS

As mentioned in the beginning, the ministry experienced a reminder that life is fleeting, a mere breath. A friend of the ministry lost his life recently. I won’t use names this time to respect their privacy. It’s tough to take in. Even as I type, I am seeking God as to what I should glean from this. One thing God is teaching me through this is that the enemy is out to kill and destroy people. The tricks of Satan are real and they are volatile. In the midst of miraculous transformation stories, we also interject ourselves into lives that struggle with addiction, torment about past sins, and forgiveness. Any one or a combination of these things lead to behavior that literally has us praying that our next meeting is not at their funeral or court hearing.

It wasn’t long ago that I was talking with our recently departed friend at the café after he jumped off the wagon. He said, “Andy, people just expect me to stop doing drugs as if it is some kind of coat I can just take off. This is all I have ever known.” Those words have never left me. Even then I probably wondered why he just couldn’t get off the juice. However, there was much pain to mask, and the enemy was perfecting his wiley tricks. But, Satan will not celebrate this day over this loss of life because those of us who knew this man know that he is finally in a place that has silenced the torment and set him free indeed. Today my friend is in the loving arms of Jesus, worshipping and serving the way he always wanted to: unashamed.

PRESSING FORWARD

God has made it clear that He has built Inspiration Ministries to be used for His Kingdom work, and we trust the results of this year into the Lord’s hands. 2014 has been an unbelievable year already, but we are excited to see how it is going to end. The IM team is praying about how we can best serve you behind the walls and the folks out here in our surrounding community. Please pray that each step along the way is one that glorifies God and prepares us to most effectively share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Inspired to keep pushing,

Andrew L. Foster

Inspiration Ministries, Director

Newsletter Features

  • Letter from the Director by Andrew Foster
  • What Inspiration means to Me...by Leonard Rera
  • A Call for Help by James Summeres
  • A Reason to Suffer by Josias Martinez
  • Life without Condemnation by Dan Evans
  • God's got my Back by Kris Taylor
  • My Testimony by Chris Bachmann
  • Light that Breaks the Darkness by Anthony Ponds
  • Dios es Bueno by Wilson Gonzalez
  • The Wilderness, Part 3 by Chris Bachmann

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Testimonials

  • wilson gonzalez"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
    Wilson Gonzalez
  • james rogers jr"When I met Anthony Ponds, James Summers, and Rigdel De Lardilles back in 2011, I heard a lot about Brother Andrew Foster, and the Inspiration Ministries movement here at Quincy. But not only did I hear about him and ministry events...read more
    James Rogers
  • robert miller"A year ago my world was shifted. I was discouraged, alone, and in need of something/someone to embrace me. It would be pious to say, “All I needed was the assurance that the Lord was with me,” because reality is sometimes you don’t feel that way...read more
    Robert Miller
  • david owen"The newsletter is an integral part of my daily spiritual walk in prison. I don’t say that lightly and here’s why: “For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV). The newsletter is primarily written by prisoners and ex-prisoners for prisoners...read more
    David Owen
  • rigdel de lardilles 01"In one word, the Inspiration Newsletter to me means Hope. If anyone has ever done time behind the walls or been down and out, you can relate; there is always someone there to let you know just how bad you messed up, or how impossible it's going to be to bounce back...read more
    Rigdel De Lardilles
  • christopher bachmann"The newsletter means so very much to me because it has been and continues to be a great source of encouragement and inspiration to me. I am so thankful to Brother Andy for his faith in following God’s vision. In turn, he gave it to us...read more
    Christopher Bachmann