A Heart of Flesh

Welcome to “A Heart of Flesh!”

A Heart of Flesh is a new website dedicated to sharing my and others’ experiences of mental health issues as they interact with faith. I originally began this journey of documenting my experiences and thoughts on these subjects on the blog Of a Mind to be Reformed, which was far more concerned with relating mental health issues to the Reformed Theology doctrines.

Welcome!
Church Interior [Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/church-christianity-cathedral-3481187/]

My Faith

In the course of time I have grown in my faith to embrace many tenets more traditionally associated with forms of Christianity which lie outside of the Reformed Theology or Calvinist branches of doctrine. Although I am a regular member at an evangelical, reformed Anglican church I no longer consider myself a strict Calvinist.

In addition I have discovered, with some great counsel from others including an online friend and brother who moved to the Eastern Orthodox faith some years back, that the evangelical perspective is not always the most conducive to recovery from all mental health disorders, though I myself belong to a local evangelical church and intend on remaining committed to this church.

Thus I have, after some very profound researches and experiences, started this new blog which is intended to be far wider reaching.

My Own Mental Health Issues

My own personal mental health situation is a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia for many years before this was – in my belief erroneously – re-diagnosed as drug-induced psychosis. I recently spent two periods under a Section 2 incarceration which had the labelled diagnostic reason as a psychotic relapse.

I have also suffered greatly from depression – resulting in numerous half-hearted suicide attempts and two actual, serious attempts on my life which were nearly “successful” – and from intense anxiety, especially social anxiety.

My Intentions for A Heart of Flesh

My intentions for this blog are five-fold:

  • To encourage and comfort those of the faith who suffer from or have mental health issues
  • To spread the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, especially among those who have mental health issues
  • To encourage where appropriate and to challenge where needed the generally accepted norms and philosophies regarding mental health, mental illness and psychological and psychiatric thought and practice
  • To share my own story of mental illness, mental health disorders and my own journey of faith and how Jesus has been faithful and true and has never abandoned me to the evils of utter madness and wickedness
  • To help Christians, especially those in church leadership, to better understand those with mental disorders and how to facilitate their entry into and continued participation in the Body of Christ and to be beneficial and vital parts of a local church, the whole Universal Church as well as their local and wider communities

A Warning About Me!

First, a warning! And it is a warning about me and my own journey and experiences.

I am far from a theological expert. I am far from being a wise man. And I am far from being a perfect man who is without sin! 

And, due to my own sinfulness and my own life experiences and choices I have engaged in many beliefs and practices which are not beneficial, not convenient and, in fact, have caused both myself and others great harm.

Yet I am saved by the gracious mercy of God through His Son Jesus Christ. This through His righteous sacrificial death upon the cross and through His glorious resurrection, and that alone. (Though I do believe that works are vital – if one is able to perform them – and do not subscribe strictly to the common understanding of what are known as the Five Solas nor strictly to the common understanding of the Doctrines of Grace, though on both matters I am looking into the summations much more intently than hitherto, and I am not well-versed in the deeper doctrinal basis for these summed-up lists, so cannot state that my perspective on these will not change.)

I do, however, believe in the ancient philosophy of the Celtic Church – the predominant Church in the British Isles prior to Augustine’s mission to England – in regard to the belief that all that can be redeemed should be redeemed, and that to trapple underfoot that which is compatible with the Holy Scriptures in other cultures and religions, even if those religions as wholes are riddled with error, is wrong and even hinders evangelism. Nevertheless, Holy Scripture should be the test as to whether things are accepted or rejected.

If I speak of doctrinal or church matters please do test them against Scripture under the guidance of a mature brother or sister (depending upon your own biological sex) or a minister at your church.

With that introduction given, do read what I will share here and, if you find anything helpful, please do share with brothers, sisters, church leaders, friends and family and, perchance, even enemies whom we are called upon to love and bless.

Spiritual Attack or Godly Discipline?

Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/sea-sailing-vessel-ocean-sunset-1101168/

The Apostle Paul speaks in his letters about coming under spiritual attack. He speaks in Ephesians about taking on the whole armour of God: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit. (ref: Ephesians 6:13-17)

Sometimes our trials and tribulations come from this. And yes, we should do battle, not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual wickedness. At other times our distresses come from a discipline for our own sins or weaknesses which need correction, as the Apostle Peter relates in one of his own letters. (I was told on the journey back from evening fellowship/teaching/prayer that this is likely 2 Peter.)

How do we discern between the two? I suspect that the truth is that they both run alongside each other. Every rod of discipline can be taken too far and received beyond its intended measure. This is an attack from the enemy. Not from people – though the wicked shall love to persecute the believers, especially those who are weak and isolated.

If at all possible seek fellowship at these times. Face to face is by far best, though sometimes a phone call or text is sufficient. If worst comes to worst then online communication is still a recourse of action for those with internet access.

Seek out the brethren, seek God in prayer, however faltering your own prayer life may be, seek to read Scripture, even if you are far from an expert in theological matter and Bible study. It can be quite astounding where help coms from if we prayerfully wait for it and remember the words of Jesus and the saints, especially the words of the Apostles recorded in the New Testament.

(Written on the afternoon of the First Sunday of February, edited during the night the first day and the second day.)

The Situation with Myself

As I am writing this I have come to use internet access which does not belong to me. It is my sincere hope that the hackers, of which I am aware, will understand my motives and, as I am convinced is the case, my history both of mental illness and severe difficulties with gross sin.

As an initial return to A Heart of Flesh, therefore, I desire to offer apology of sort. Final judgement belongs to God, but my intention all along has been to comfort the mentally distressed, provide help and prayer where possible, and introduce those who are able to receive to the glorious knowledge of salvation in Jesus Christ the Risen Lord.

I had started to exalt myself in my heart, again, and, professing to have a string wisdom, I became like unto a fool. Due to certain other hackers and criminals, as I suspect though sure evidence is scant, my telephone, personal communications and personal internet access has been cut of. This is the justice yet also the mercy of God. “All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are the called according to His purpose.”

I cannot post much here. My words need to now be few. My other websites may or may not continue, depending upon the will of the Lord and my continued survival both spiritually and physically.

Apologies to the mentally ill, and others, who may have been seduced into sexual miscreancy by my stories. Maybe the nature of that would be lost on many, yet there is a great danger when talking about spiritual matters in real-life related fiction.

My stories are my perspective, not to be taken as court of law statement nor as spiritual truth. My Twitter feed does still survive as at last look.

I shall hope to post more in due course.

Misty Moon

[This is the first of the Misty stories. Come on children, let’s make this a team effort!]

Misty was a silly cat, really. Never the mind, as Orinoco would say, we love him, for he lives with the Berry’s now. Everyone agreed, apart from Smokie. Well, Smokie, otherwise known as Great Uncle Bulgaria, often disagreed when people didn’t agree with him.

Smokie accused people, but this isn’t a story about Smokie. This is about Misty and Orinoco on a particular date. (I know, Fern, one of the treatment centre cats, often said silly things in front of children. “For their own good!” Big Nanny would say. But Greenfeather would shake his head and sit under Fern.

Well, Orinoco knew better, for he had spent the night with Misty and said with a giggle, “Sick people need treatments, what we need is a good roast dinner!” Everyone agreed. Agreed is good, but a greed is not. The Fruit Bat had told him that one, one night when they had prayed in the bedroom together with Smokie’s stuff whilst Elfin played around with the apple.

Misty had seen it all, except for the Sea of Love, which was the beginnings of The Mission. That night she was busy with the Fruit Bat as well.

Greenfeather always provided, even for himself. You see, Greenfeather was a good elf.

“He’s not a good elf!” said Smokie as he was burning the oven. And quite right he was, too.

“Let us forgive and forget!” said Elfin, but Orinoco and Misty couldn’t forget, for they had had guilty pleasures. “And a good job they did!” was Greenfeather’s response, but it was the first time any of them had seen Big Nanny cry.

“It’s okay, Nanny, I love you,” said Elfin.

“I love you too, very much!” said Big Nanny, and they all gave three big Hurrah’s to the Wise Men.

The River of Life

I have tweeted how this year I intend on publishing my short stories on a new blog along with my poems and hymns. Here I present my first short story of my battle with mental illness in a fictional account.

Part I

Merryfield awoke late for him. Five o’clock by his timepiece. The larks were already sounding their song. He got up and went into the Holy Place – his lounge – for the waking cigarettes and cups of tea. First couple of rollies in silence, then the Mac would go on to play suitable tunes.

Two cups of tea; several cigarettes; a few tunes: Toby Mac, Elements; Shai Linne, Doxology; Paul Wilbur, Praise Adonai; and Rebecca St. James, One and Universe. Then prayer. He prayed his most selfish prayer to date, for his spiritual wife was due to be engaged this day with a man who purported to be a Christian yet at this time she was still married to her third husband.

Merryfield justified his own position: she had been brutalised by her former and present husband, as had her five children. One had possibly been stillborn because of the abuse. She had had to leave. Why did he then covet her? Because. Because love. Because mercy. Because grace and, he hoped against hope, because truth. She needed a steady hand, her sons and daughter needed a good role model as father, they all needed comfort and good Christian teaching. Was he a hypocrite? No, for he had no sexual desire; even kissing was forbidden between them because he was a eunuch by choice. This other man? A so-called Christian who intended on fulfilling his sexual desire with seeds planted whilst she was still married. A very different kettle of fish.

He prayed:

“Heavenly Father, prevent this engagement. Stop any marriage of my spiritual wife with any man other than myself. I know this is a selfish prayer. I pray in Jesus Name. I know you hear my prayers. I know you will answer this one. I know that I have just denied my wife her greatest desire, yet it is a sinful desire and so I pray this selfish prayer to you.”

The Sun was now starting to rise. The false dawn, as the sailors call it, was showing. A little bit of respect to the letting agents; the next cigarette must be outside. He made his coffee. Two cups of tea then an instant coffee; full wakefulness would have been achieved by then, especially with the dawn coming and the Daybreak to occur. A Sabbath day, time for a rest, if that transpired to be at all possible.

He had been promised his rest, yet he knew that would come at the Final Trump, not before. He had his work cut out. Personal battles with demons, spreading the Gospel, watering the seed he had sown, nurturing and cherishing his wife and her children, providing for himself and them through his allotment and writings and art. Then the housework. A woman’s work is never done! He wasn’t a woman, but his wife had enough to cope with than to be troubled by his housework and he could only afford the cleaner for his elderly Nan. No, as well as the other work he had to be his own helpmeet, too.

Mourning took hold. “Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” He lied to himself. No sexual desire, my hat! It was why he desired a wife. It was why he could not have one. Yet never did the lust depart, and so he bent the rules and as a committed celibate he took an adulteress to wife. He took her daughter and called her his daughter. The scent of her menstruation aroused him yet he knew his vow of celibacy was firm for he had been tested. This was an holy eroticism, never to be fulfilled yet always present when he thought of his wife and damsel.

He thought of his cricket-loving cousins, partial Irish by decent. Better to bowl a maiden over than hit a triple six in a batting. He really was a naughty, naughty boy. No getting around that one. But Lilith his first wife was gone into the outer darkness now.

Joy returned. The battle was in darkness for the succubus. Yet the joy of Zion and the peace of Jerusalem was paramount. Yet not all had ascended and one was needed. He sent the call. And that one dwelt in the belly of the Beast. Babylon will fall. She must.

Frankie. That dog with the devil in him, as Mum always said when he ran around wildly. Welby was his first suggestion, then Francis of Assisi. But no, Mum chose Frankie. Did his Mum really return from death to speak to him? Ask of him a request to save her loved ones? Who could be sure? But despite the chemicals and excessive alcohol he had told that voice in his head that he would do his utmost. He must descend to the dead now. Yet those who are Christ’s shall never die. “A weeping heard in Ramah! Rachel weeping for her children, for they were no more!”

Part II

“How?” asked Diana. “How else?,” answered the bearded man she now regarded as teacher, “Mind control? Brainwashing? Propaganda? Mass media? Advertising?”
“You speak as if you doubt those?” queried Diana with a slight smile illuminating her face. Beardy looked upon her. A puzzlement? A possibility? A sudden dawning of a way forward? He could be unsure of the signal. Diana herself puzzled at the Beardy One spending so much time studying her mouth.
“No, not doubt. All of those are real and are already in play.” The Beardy One smiled and even grinned. “But Truth shall prevail! Hurrah! Hurrah! Three cheers to the Wise Men! Hurrah!” Diana felt uncomfortable.
“Continue,” she said matter of factly. “Continue I shall, but another time. Other people require my attention and my span is short.” He arose from his cross-legged position by the tree and walked off. Diana called after him. He turned. “You are indeed a Queen of Hearts,” he smiled again, “but there are fifty-two cards in a deck and I cannot spend all day with only one.”

Merryfield walked far that day. Yes, he had told the lady the truth, but he was also being true in that his span was short. He couldn’t talk with people all day. At times he needed retreat. Soon the stars would be out with the moon which strikes. A poor show for one who once worshipped the Queen of Heaven. A poor show. It would not do and so he stopped at the local Co-operative store for some tonic water; a good antidote. Plus the tobacco, of course, for the spiritual warfare.

He approached the local park and the memories kicked into play. Shock, pain, tears, emotional outbursts. Drink and poppers had had that effect on him in days past. Here, in the Gardens. With Eminem in his ears. Foul-mouthed Illuminati male whore, as he knew full well now. He would battle Marshal, that false prophet who had deceived a whole generation. He would use DISL. The other who see through the charade of Slim Shady and his alter egos. Maybe Shai Linne also, for Biblical balance. The tablet from Magog would come in useful once more.

Demons – Identification and Casting Out

The matter of demonic possession of persons is a dangerous topic. Even the mentioning of the possibility that someone is demon possessed can bring about judgementalism and condemnation from Christians and non-Christians alike. On the other hand, some parts of the Church revel in their “demon bashing parties” where they verbally and sometimes, though rarely in the UK, physically beat up the suffering and afflicted person so suspected of being possessed. Both approaches are grave errors.

Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/winter-coach-castle-cold-surreal-589600/

As previously stated, the mentally ill should be treated with compassion where at all possible. In addition, the Orthodox Church – the church branch most experienced and successful in treating the mentally unstable – suggest an extremely gentle approach when it comes to the casting out of demons.

The denial of demonic possession at all is in direct contradiction of the vast majority of the Four Gospels. Those who say demon possession doesn’t exist; that it’s merely a chemical imbalance or a physical disease, are in direct contradiction to the teachings and deeds of Jesus the Messiah.

Identification of Demonic Possession

Discerning if someone is possessed by a demon is fraught with danger. A mistaken identification can cause untold harm to the sufferer of some other condition, even to the destruction of their faith or of a church. 

A non-Christian, or a Christian with their own unresolved issues, might end up being badly beaten or even killed by the demon, which the legal system would them blame on the demon possessed victim rather than dark spiritual forces. Again, untold harm.

The primary thing to bear in mind is that spiritual matters are spiritually discerned. It is this same reason why some think the Bible is full of contradictions: the fleshly mind cannot comprehend the spiritual.

I can, however, point to some signs which may well indicate demonic possession rather than a physical cause or a more benign form of mental illness.

“Illuminati signs” from a person, if they clearly appear to be involuntary, are telling. Such signs are the “devils horns” (the two outside fingers raised with the two middle fingers folded.) The “AOK” or the “6” sign can also be telling if involuntary. The “pyramid” sign also is another as it indicates allegiance to the Evil Eye. 

Other manifestations may be guttural or childish voices (the “Simple” which some mental health professionals actually encourage vulnerable people to connect with!) especially if intermittent; twitches; rolling of the head, especially rolling the head to look with an evil eye and then rolling away again. 

All of these may indicate demonic possession. Certainty, however, can come form only two methods of which I am aware.

  • The Use of the Gift of Discerning of Spirits – A rare spiritual gift these days. Speaking in tongues and prophecy are well known, but the discerning of spirits often goes under the radar even of charismatic churches and is thus not encouraged nowadays, despite its great benefits to church and society.
  • The Testing of the Spirits – Simple tests. Ask the spirit who its Lord is. Ask it where it comes from. Ask it to say “Jesus is Lord.” This must be done with care. Remember, Satan is a deceiver. He is an expert at it and he can make you think he is a sheep when he is a wolf and he can make you think he is calling Jesus Lord when he is really denying him.

Gentleness in Deliverance

Compassion. That is our watchword. Another is gentleness. That is key to driving out demons because we are not only talking to a demon but talking to a suffering person at the same time or, more commonly, we are talking to a demon one moment and a suffering person the next, and then we are talking to a demon again, and so on.

I quoted from Mother Melania in my previous post. Here I quote again:

“The Fathers in general pitied the mentally ill and possessed – and even at times admired them. St. Augustine speaks of the compassion of those who minister to “those whom they greatly love as if they were their children, or some very dear friends in sickness, or little children, or insane persons, at whose hands they often endure many things; and if their welfare demand it, they even show themselves ready to endure more …” (St. Augustine, 1980, p. 25). St. John Chrysostom says, “Physicians, when they are kicked, and shamefully handled by the insane, then most of all pity them, and take measures for their perfect cure, knowing that the insult comes of the extremity of their disease …. If we see persons possessed by devils, we weep for them; we do not seek to be ourselves also possessed” (St. John Chrysostom, 1978, p. 127).

“Chrysostom admires at least some of the possessed because “the demon makes men humble. … Great is the admiration it calls for, and many the praises, when struggling against such a spirit, they bear all thankfully …” (St. John Chrysostom, 1979a, p. 254).

“The Orthodox prayers of exorcism are remarkably gentle towards the possessed person. The prayers are directed to God, or they sternly command the demons; there are no harsh words for the demoniac. In one place, they even refer to the possessed as the Theotokos’s “faithful servant” (St. Tikhon’s Monastery 1999, p. 17).

“This is not to say that all the mentally ill were admirable. In various cases, the godless and the persecutors of the righteous became mentally ill as a result of their evil deeds. However, at least a few of them benefited from their mental illness. Nebuchadnezzar lost his mind because of his pride, but was restored to his senses and gave thanks to God. King Tiridates of Armenia became mentally ill as a result of persecuting martyrs, but later repented and became a saint (commemorated on November 29). In many other stories, though, the persecutors who became mentally ill never showed any repentance. In looking at these stories, though, we have to remember that they are from the “Lives” of saints; the writers were extolling the saints, not talking about mental illness.

“In short, the Fathers did not generally look on the mentally ill and possessed as the worst of sinners, but rather with compassion. At least some of these people seem to have developed great humility and thankfulness to God through their afflictions, and they are to be admired.”

Each case shall be unique. Every person is unique; every demon is a particular case. No single approach will work in every instance. In order to perform deliverance ministry one must be extremely in-tune with the Holy Spirit. Even the Twelve Apostles, all in unison, were unable to deliver one person from a demon and had to wait until Jesus came down from the mountain to do the work, for in that instance, “this kind comes out only through prayer and fasting.” 

Every instance will be a unique spiritual battle where compassion and gentleness are paramount. Few are those who are so equipped to do this in this present day. And if you attempt it blindly or foolishly you may destroy a person’s soul, his body, the church, yourself or those around you. Be warned!

Dealing with Paranoia

Paranoia is that strange thing: something which we can never really be sure if we have. Why is this?

What is Paranoia?

Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/analyzing-people-brainstorming-3441040/

Paranoia is when we think people are talking about us, or when we think people are watching us, or listening to us unawares.

Yet people talk about other people all the time, and often in earshot. “People watching” is a modern pastime. Eavesdropping has been going on for aeons. So, are we really being paranoid to think people are doing this to us?

In addition, in this modern age of mass surveillance we are constantly being recorded and bugged; on CCTV, by mobile phones; by numerous other devices dotted about the home and street. Police routinely use such techniques as covert surveillance, covert photography and listening, and “buzzing” which is when there is insufficient evidence to arrest someone yet the police want to “send a signal” so will make a special excursion on a patrol to deliberately cause a person to see them and get slightly paranoid.

So can anyone truly be unreasonably paranoid?

The Distress Paranoia Causes

Of course, paranoia causes distress. Even mild sensations of people listening can cause an uncomfortableness and when extremities are reached severe distress can be experienced. This can often act like a snowball effect; a slight twinge of thinking someone is talking about you can lead one to get carried away and then, suddenly it seems, the whole world is whispering behind your back! This can then cause serious distress which is often mistreated with dangerous chemical drugs when a change of thinking is all that is required.

How to Deal with Paranoia

I have tried a number of methods of dealing with paranoia:

  • Listening intently – the worst of the methods. It can be very tempting when slightly overhearing something which may be about you is to try and listen more keenly to be sure whether to dismiss it or not. Yet you hear what you hear. You cannot “rehear” something you did not and you cannot increase your hearing of a past event. Such increase in intensity of attention can actually heighten the paranoia rather than diminish it.
  • Dismiss every overheard word – this can work, sometimes. Saying to yourself “they have more important things to talk about than me” has helped me enormously in the past. The danger comes when you overhear people actually talking about you. This can cause the house of cards built through denial to come tumbling down around your ears and cause you to question every past dismissal. Thus the distress can end up only being delayed.
  • The Scriptural approach – King Solomon, the wisest man to have ever lived, said in Eccesiastes:

“For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.” 

 –   Eccesiastes 7:20-22 (KJV, Emphasis mine.)

This advice acknowledges that people do curse us. And yet it does not say “close your ears” but rather “take no heed to all words that are spoken.” (Heed means to “take to heart.”) In other words, avoid their words, don’t listen more intently, and accept that “talkers will talk, haters will hate.” Really, if another wants to spread rumours or otherwise spite us they will, and we can’t stop it. Just let them get on with it and sometime God will bring justice to us if we wait for Him patiently.

My Christmas

Christmas was very difficult for me.

I travelled down to Dorset on Christmas Eve with my Nan and uncle (who was driving) to visit my brother and family. An intense time of trial ensued, culminating in my freaking out during the evening of Christmas Day. I am not proud of that, and I now owe my brother a new door as I headbutted it intending to release my pain through self-harm (sadly the door was cheap and broke rather than giving me the desired bruising.)

The Blessings

There were many blessings, including a game of Ludo on Christmas Eve which we agreed was the best game of Ludo EVER! (I had a huge giggle fit thanks to my niece which required the first of two “halftimes” in the epic game.)

Gift giving was also a huge blessing, especially being able to bless my niece with a beautiful painting I had bought.

The Devil Was Present

I explored the garden and surrounding area a little and it is a dark place.

My brother’s rented property has a hideous graven image of the Devil by the back door. It didn’t disturb me too much but explains well the haunting my brother and his wife told me about in the house. Spiritual warfare ensued most fiercely.

In Summation

I intend on visiting my brother again, mainly because I want to have Christian input into my niece. She suffers from mental health issues including demonic oppression.

I do not think, however, that I can celebrate Christmas with my family anymore. The majority of them pay either no regard or are openly hostile towards Christ.




Update on My Mission Field

I have been writing periodically on those I have been ministering to whilst at the local DOP (Department of Psychiatry). Here is a quick update.

Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/prayer-cruz-evangelism-christ-1143598/

My Own Mental Health Situation

As I am sure you are by now aware, I do not regard myself as “insane” though I do freely admit that I have a disorder of mental and emotional state. As such I felt that my forced incarceration and medication under Section 2 of the Mental Health Act to be not only unjust but also illegal as I had insisted quite forcefully upon admission as a voluntary patient. I do not, however, intend on pursuing this through legal recourse any more.

I have now been discharged and have stopped the medication except for the depot injection of Haloperiodol, which is causing dribbling and lethargy as well as shortness of breath. I hope to reduce this swiftly as the dose is quite huge compared to my usual amount (double).

I am in a fairly stable state mentally right now after a good day’s Sabbath Rest, the first real rest I have had for a few weeks apart from sleep. I am still battling such things as the seductress from the early chapters of Proverbs and there are possibly still some inner demons which threaten me as well as the accuser of the brethren which haunts me. Prayers for me very much appreciated.

The Men

JH

Please pray for this man. He has met a lady who is experiencing the Apocalypse though I do not believe that he himself has yet entered it. They are close and I have blessed them and advised them both.

JH is reading through a number of Biblical books as well as a teaching book I gave him as a Christmas present. He is charming, lovely and full of worldly wisdom, though obviously he is only just beginning to learn about godly wisdom.

He I regard now as a brother in Christ. Please pray for him!

Ragi

He has been taken off Section 3 with an explcit threat to place him back on it should he attempt to leave.

Please pray for him as he and I call each other brother. He is a true Muslim, though, and smokes to cough out the “Lamb.” I cannot confess too much more to you about him as the rest I shall keep covered out of respect of brotherhood both Muslim and Christian.

L.

Claimed by Ragi as a son. Yet I also have ministered to him with a Shai Linne song and a book on the Gospel by Glen Scrivener. Please pray for him as he appeared at last spekaing to be still refusing the message of the Gospel.

The Women and Girls

I use the word “girl” wisely, as one is no more than a child in demeanor and nature, yet stuck on a ward intended for adults with predatory men freely roaming at times in communal areas.

Hel.

Hopefully she’s been discharged now. She and I pray together and I’m hoping to see her tomorrow for dinner with my Nan. She has troubles with her sons. Husband gone and I have no idea where but I know enough to know it is God’s doing that he is gone.

Helena.

She has restarted smoking after I advised her, backed up by her husband, that moderate smoking would be preferbaly to vaping. I gave her a Christmas present of Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis but have not been able to minister to her to any real degree.

Lauren.

A blessing to me yet delicate and vulnerable so I had to tread very carefully. Please pray for her!