Testimonials

Below are some testimonials from former members of the Community of St. Dysmas
as well as some success stories from Pastor Rickel.


A St. Dysmas Blessing -- a 3-page testimonial from someone who was recently released (PDF)


When I came to prison it was the most upsetting  time of my life—I felt hopeless!  I knew I had fallen out of fellowship with God and desired His reconciliation.  My prayers were answered when a faithful inmate member of the Community of St. Dysmas shared with me the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.  Through my four years with St. Dysmas, I have become strong in my Christian faith and understanding of scripture.  I enjoy assisting the volunteers with worship services and spending time mentoring and teaching new believers.  I can see my life becoming more conformed to the image of Christ everyday.  I am eternally grateful to the faithful volunteers of the Community of St. Dysmas, which have brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ into this prison to bring men like me hope.  Thank you. 


Luke 15: 1-10 "Lost and Found


By her own description, she grew up in an average American family. She was an army brat brought up in Oklahoma. Both her parents served in the armed services.

As with many other young people she followed "other voices" when she was around twenty. She found herself in New York City and later Baltimore. That is where the trouble began that eventually landed her in the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women (MCIW).


While at MCIW the Holy Spirit led her to the worship services of The Community of St. Dysmas. Through those Word and Sacrament services God gradually took hold of her. But she was not perfect yet and she ended up in solitary confinement for three months. While there she used her time wisely. She read through the Bible twice and memorized Luther's Small Catechism. She underlined and cross referenced passages in the Catechism with Scripture. When she was released from solitary, she returned to The St. Dysmas services and asked to be baptized.


Pastor Rickel got to know her. After she was released to a transitional house in east Baltimore, he visited her in her new "home". During the visit she said, "Pastor, I am a Christian thanks to the Lutheran church. I would like to attend a Lutheran church. Is their one nearby?" Pastor Rickel connected her with Amazing Grace Lutheran Church. He arranged transportation so she could get to the services, and she started to worship there every Sunday. Within a few months, she had taken the new member class and joined the congregation.

   

Notice what happened!. Someone who had no faith and was down and out  came to faith in Christ Jesus by the grace of God working through CSD. The lost was found!




Greetings,  I would like to share something about St. Dysmas that is not yet known by the outside world.  In July of 2009 my mother went to be with the Lord.  I have been incarcerated for 15 years now and was not allowed to go and see her in her last days on this earth.  I was filled with anger because of that fact.  If it would not have been for the love and support of the members of St. Dysmas and the volunteers of the congregation that I attend, I would still be lost in bitterness and resentment.  God used people to help me to heal.  I am proud to say that our congregation has been growing at a fast rate.  Our Bible study has also been gaining new members.  Jesus is truly at work in the lives of the men in this prison.  May the love of the Lord fill your heart as it has mine.