"I was in prison and you came to visit me" Matthew 25:36 NIV

"I was in prison and you came to visit me" Matthew 25:36 NIV

Those of you who minister with me know my passion for reaching the lost and
hurting especially in the prison system. It may seem like a paradox to
many; a police officer who has a heart for reaching out to many who have a
disdain for authority, but I think that may be one reason the Lord gives me
grace and favor to operate this way. I can not do this on my own strength
or of my own will. I can remember joining CMA in 2008 and being told by our
President Grace Loewen that we would be doing a prison visit that Fall. I
was explained the details and how large groups of inmates would be coming
out to meet with us. I was told there would be only a couple of
Correctional Officers present if anything happened. My first thought was
that I had an excuse for not participating. There would be inmates that I
had dealt with as a Police Officer and they would recognize me. I have felt
the hate and rage from many that I have arrested and I thought it would be
foolish to now enter their environment unarmed. I had visions of being
shanked but even worse putting fellow ministering bikers at risk just
through association with me. I pictured my presence there being a catalyst
leading to a courtyard brawl and a fellow CMAer laying dying and myself
alive and having to live with the knowledge that it was my presence as a
police officer that instigated the whole tragedy.

Were these God ordained thoughts or were they thoughts precipitated by the
father of all lies. Of course you know the answer to that, yet at the time
as a baby Christian discernment was difficult. I can recall President Grace
extending grace towards me and explaining that because of my occupation it
was totally understandable why I may chose not to participate. She gave me
a humble way out and her words were truth. After spending much time in
prayer I knew the Lord was calling me to do this and I had to step into
this to overcome the fear. The Lord had already been working in my heart
and I had done weekly visits with an inmate so my heart was becoming more
tender. However one on one ministry is vastly different then facing a crowd
of inmates. I knew this was something I could not do on my own strength. I
knew I would have to trust in the Lord and follow His leading. That leading
included spending time in prayer before the visit, putting on the full
armour of God as listed in Ephesians 6, and walking in a place of trusting
my Daddy God.

I agreed to step forward knowing that God had to meet me where I was. It is
in the moments of our weakness when there is no one but the Lord who can
deliver us that we are made strong in His Might. No wonder the Lord tells
us that in order to enter the Kingdom of God we must be like a little
child. A child trusts in their caregiver to protect them and meet all their
needs. As an adult we learn from the world to be independent however our
Heavenly Father wants us to be dependent upon Him. A father delights in
knowing his child still wants him and even needs him. This is called
relationship. We can know all these things but in order for these things to
have any depth in our heart we need to walk them out by faith. I knew I
needed to trust the Lord that He would protect me and my fellow Christian
Light Riders but it was only until after walking it out would I know that I
had truly trusted in Him.

On August 30, 2008 I did not sleep well. I prayed and told myself to trust
in God. I knew the Holy Spirit was leading me yet the enemy kept telling me
I was just trying to be a hero and prove something and it was going to cost
someones life. Images of pain and death kept coming to my mind. Then August
31st arrived. I kept telling myself to trust in the Lord and He would
protect all of us. I rode to the jail praying and talking to myself. I met
with our group; we were a small group of 7; President Grace Loewen was at
the helm along with her big and strong husband Hank, Roger McCannel, Pastor
Scott Allen and a friend, and the ever faithful servant Leo Boivin (see the
attached photo from 2008). We prayed together and waited...I can remember I
was trembling. I was feeling fear and I was scared. I didn't have a strong
prayer language at that time but I was silently speaking anything I felt
was from God.

The inmates arrived and group after group were addressed and received
ministry. I think there were 6 or 7 groups ministered to that day. I can
not recall the numbers or even how many received Jesus as Lord and Savior.
There were some that did I do know that. I know I didn't lead any to the
Lord but I prayed over many and I felt the Father's heart moving through me
even before I knew what the Father's heart was all about. All those that
were there that day were so very encouraging and it was easy to follow
having such a wonderful leadership. In my opinion Grace Loewen was and
still is the best president that has served the Christian Light Riders. It
is true that I am only in my fifth year with this ministry however Grace's
impact upon my life as a leader in this ministry has forever solidified
this in my mind. This is not to take away from others who have led CLR in
amazing ways in the past, however our personal experiences are what
influence our opinions and feelings. My personal experience is that Grace
as President is the best. The Kingdom of God is about honor and we should
not shy away from honoring those who merit it.

Obviously myself and the other six who ministered on August 31, 2008 left
the Brandon Correctional Center unscathed by the enemy. I did see men whom
I had dealt with as a Police Officer but even with those who had been the
roughest in the past, there was no conflict. The Lord's will of abounding
love, not the enemy's tactic of hate, prevailed and since 2008 we have made
several trips back to the prison. I even had the honor of leading a
Correctional Officer to the Lord months after he watched me minister one
afternoon and realized what a different man I had become since giving my
heart to Jesus.

After stepping out and trusting in Jesus that first time, the anticipation
of future visits have aroused in me a sense of excitement and great
expectation that our Great I Am will move in mighty ways. He also does and
He never disappoints. September 22, 2012 was no different. 

The September 2012 group as appearing in the attached photograph are from
left to right; Area CMA Rep Gene Rankin, Secretary Grace Loewen, Road
Captain Hank Loewen, Area CMA Rep Helen Rankin, Ingrid Wilson, Chaplain
Merl Isaak, Lorraine Laing, Ken Laing, yours truly President Bruce
Ewanyshyn, Treasurer Leo Boivin, Hubert Muckle, and Jim Stremel. 
 On September 22, 2012, the Lord Almighty delivered in every sense of the
word. He blessed us with a beautiful warm sunny day. He blessed me with
11 CMA members to minister alongside. For this I praise the Lord over and
over and can not thank Him enough. I know that not all in our group share
the same passion for this ministry that I do, however they attend and put
their heart into it and that makes all the difference. We are the Body of
Christ and we need each other. The ear can not provide the same function as
the eye. We need each other and I rely on these men and women to serve as
they are led and directed by the Holy Spirit. 

Four large groups were brought out throughout the afternoon resulting in
around 112 hearing a message and a testimony. From the 112 there were 28
that received personal prayer through the laying on of hands. From the 28
there were 3 that gave their heart to the Lord for the first time!! Many
Bibles were handed out thanks to Leo being a member of the Gideons. The
three who received Jesus also received the CMA Hope for the Highway NIV

There were times while we ministered that I felt the Spirit of God fall. I
know this was because of the prayers of the Saints and the love carried in
our hearts to see the Kingdom of God here upon the earth. To varying
degrees I feel each of us carries a mantle of compassion and a deep longing
for the lost to feel the Father's Heart. We are graced with this each time
we visit the prison and for me personally it is how I am able to minister
to persons who have had negative dealings with legal authorities. I don't
claim to walk in this all the time and many times on my own I fail but my
heart is to be more like my Jesus and He does give us a measure of grace to
walk in this if we chose to, He softens my heart as I pray for Him to break
my heart for what breaks His. Whatever is good and right and loving in me
is ALL His workmanship and He truly deserves all the honor and glory and

Thank you Abba Father for your love; thank you Lord Jesus for your
strength; thank you Holy Spirit for your counsel; thank you Lord for the
Chaplains and Administrators of the Brandon Correctional Center; thank you
God for the ministry of CMA and for the men and women of the Christian
Light Riders. May Your will be done and Your Kingdom come! May unity and
growth abound. Even now we say come Lord Jesus; "blessed is He who comes in
the name of the Lord" Matthew 23:39 NIV; yet until that day comes may we be
led and used of You, all for your honor and glory Lord Jesus.

Bruce Ewanyshyn
President - Christian Light Riders of the CMA