Victory For Troubled Youth
Missionaries to the Juvenile Delinquents of America
Ralph (R.E.) and Sandy Stokes

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VICTORY FOR TROUBLED YOUTH

Greetings once again to all our friends, family, and supporters…including those who pray for us and this ministry, but are not financial supporters. 

   First, I’ll tell you about the work that has been going on since we got home to Alabama. In Thomasville, AL there is a juvenile facility there, and I was allowed to hold a service there. We had 23 boys in the service, and 11 of them said they got saved.   Now, that facility is about 160 miles from where we are parked (Millbrook, AL), so I’ve been looking for a church to take that work.  I’ve contacted Walker Springs Road Baptist Church in Jackson, AL.  The pastor there is David Webb.  He has expressed interest in the work there (and has a bus ministry that goes to Thomasville).  Pray that this will come to pass that some folks in his church will not only be interested, but actually take this work.

   Then here with my home church I get to go on Monday nights to the Autauga HIT program in Prattville, AL.  This has been a very fruitful field for many years.  Youth are sent to this program from all over the state of Alabama.  Most are very open to the truth of Jesus Christ. Pray for my church as they continue this work.  Then on Tuesday nights, I get to go with my church to Mt. Meigs Youth Detention Facility in Montgomery, AL.   We have 3 dorms we go to on that night, and we’ve seen several saved since we’ve been home. This past Tuesday night, April 15, in one of the dorms there was an actual devil worshipper that said he got saved.  That youth was brought up in devil worship AT HOME! It’s bad enough that the government schools teach the kids that they are animals, but when the home tells them that Satan is the true god (I won’t capitalize it!) it’s unusual for one of them to get saved.  At this same facility, but a different dorm from that one, some years ago (before I went full time in the ministry) we had Wiccan worshipper get sentenced there.  He never did get saved while in there (9 months) but he took control of that dorm. There were 24 boys, and before he came, we were having 19 and 20 boys in the service. After he was there about 2 weeks, the number dropped to 4 and 5, and did not rise above that until the Wiccan worshipper left.  He had them 24/7; we got to go one hour a week.

  My church also has services at Mt. Meigs on Thursday nights; going to the ITU building. The boys there are separated from all the other boys out there. The facility has chapel services on Thursday nights, so we get to have a service with boys at ITU. And. In there, the staff only allows 5 to go to church each week.  Pray that the men in my church that do this work will not get discouraged in it, or weary in well doing.   Our church also goes to Montgomery on Sunday mornings to the Montgomery Youth Detention Center.   And, there are several other works going on in the jails around here.

   My plan coming home was to work this state, Georgia, Mississippi, and wherever else we could find an open door.  My wife has an appointment with pulmonologist on April 28.   She has difficulty breathing, and all the asthma medicines have not helped much. Pray that the doctor will be able find what is wrong and prescribe what will fix it.

      However, my plans have changed somewhat. (Or rather God has changed my plans somewhat).

Since coming home there is a public park near us with a ¼ mile walking track.  My wife, our daughter and our two grandsons here (when they don’t have school) go walk that track in the mornings. This past week our grandsons were out of school, so they were with us.  Tuesday morning, April 15, my wife, our two grandsons, and I went to walk. When we got there, my chest and arms were hurting. But, I thought walking might help. So, I went one lap, and the pain was worse.  Well, if walking didn’t help, maybe jogging would…I thought.  I went about ½ a lap, and sat down on a bench.  My wife and the kids caught up to me, and I told my wife we needed to go.  By the time I got to our truck, the pain was gone, but I was scheduled to see my doctor, Dr. Steve Allen, that day. So, I went home, showered, and went to his office.  I told him about the pain and he did an EKG.  I had done one there about 3 years ago, so he compared them.  He then said I needed a stress test because he saw some differences.  The stress test was scheduled for the next day at Prattville Baptist Outpatient at 8:00AM. I drove myself there.  They hooked me up and got me on the tread mill. The pain started again. As the tread mill sped up, the pain got worse, and finally the nurse saw something and stopped it. By then the pain was so back across my chest and on the inside of each arm that tears were coming out unbidden.  Dr. Williams, the heart doctor that was administering the stress test, saw pretty quickly that I was in bad shape. He called for the EMT’s to transport me to Jackson Hospital in Montgomery, and there he did an emergency heart cath on me.  I was in the midst of a severe heart attack.  My doctor, Steve Allen was there too. They found the main right artery of the heart completely blocked. Somewhere during the time the stint was being emplaced, my blood pressure dropped to 60/40., and I was slipping out to meet my Saviour!  The same voice that spoke to me 26 years ago and told me how lost I was, and which has spoken to me many times since then through the scriptures, spoke again…Psalm 119:165  Great peace have they which love thy law… and Luke 21:26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear…and that loving voice began to speak… GREAT PEACE…NO FEAR, and then I heard Dr. Allen saying, “Brother, are you still with us? And I came back…”uh, yes, still here.”  And, by the grace of God, I am.  Now, I am at home recovering.  I feel pretty good, but don’t have much strength.  I know our Lord left me here to continue his work on this earth.  Please keep my wife and me in your prayers.

Ralph and Sandy Stokes Thank you for your March support.

 

 

Contact info:  Support:  Victory for Troubled Youth

                                            Victory Baptist Missions

                                            PO Box 1090

                                            Millbrook, AL 36054

Phone 704 798 9906.  Email: rs1611@mindspring.com