Miracles in Connersville

A few months back, a story was shown on the local news about Connersville, IN and their heroin problem.The news reported 36 drug overdoses in just 60 days. Immediately, Bobby Hayden, Jr. (Founder of Cardboard Box Ministries) felt led by the Holy Spirit to contact someone in that town and was led to an eight-bed recovery house called the “House of Ruth”. A few days later after emailing them, the director of the house, Sharon Cranfill, contacted our ministry. They had been praying and asking God to send an outsider in to help with the drug problem. They were asking for someone who had been through it and overcame it by the Blood of Jesus Christ. Bobby had also been praying about sharing his solution to the same problem, which is Jesus Christ, to the Connersville area. We all prayed earnestly about a visit.

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A week before the Connersville events, at a routine Celebrate Recovery in Greenfield, IN, a lady pointed out to us that, Sharon Cranfill, the director from the “House of Ruth”, had been invited by Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana to attend the President’s State of the Union Address in Washington, DC. Bobby and I were silenced by the work of God. He took a woman with eight beds in a little town in Indiana to the White House!!!

Zechariah 4:10 says,

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord delights to see the work begin.” We were already beginning to see how the Lord was completely orchestrating the whole trip.

Preparation with the Lord for our trips is always key. Often times, the Holy Spirit reveals to us information that we need to know so that we will be prepared to face the events to come. As we prayed, the Holy Spirit began to reveal to us the seriousness of the drug problem in Connersville. He showed us the spiritual warfare taking place over that city. He revealed to us that we were heading to the front lines to attack the problem head-on.

Friday, January 30th, 2015
We awoke early that morning. I remember praying and saying out loud, “I put on the whole armor of God!” I literally felt like I was preparing for battle, making sure I had my helmet of salvation, my breastplate of righteousness, my shield of faith, my waist girded in truth, my feet prepared for the Gospel of peace, and my sword, the Word of God, all with me.

As we drove to Connersville, we watched the sunrise and how the light of the sun was breakingthrough the darkness of the clouds. God speaks to us in many different ways and it was almost as if He was showing us what was going to occur on that trip. Victory. Overcoming in Jesus’ Name. Success.

“The light shines in the darkness, and thedarkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5.

Our first stop was at Community Christian School. At the end of the service, Molly Keener (the Principle) had the student prayer leaders and the other children surround us in a circle and pray over us. Community Christian SchoolCommunity Christian SchoolThey prayed for protection and victory in Jesus’ name for the whole weekend. It was only God to send us to prayer warriors to protect us and build us up for the weekend to come. Molly Keener, the Principle of the school, also gave us an open invitation any time we were in the area to spend time with the children.

Connersville Senior High SchoolConnersville Senior High School After that, we went to Connersville Senior High School. By an act of God, we were in an auditorium in a public school speaking about Jesus. As Bobby started to preach, with Bible in hand, you could tell that there was a certain amount of tension in the room. As the meeting continued and a number of the students became emotional due to the effects of drugs on their families, Bobby began to use the name of Jesus in his story. Without interruption from the teachers, he continued to tell the children how he was delivered from drugs by praying in the name of Jesus. These children are desperate and are looking for answers. We watched the seeds being planted in their hearts. You could tell their hearts were very receiving. We invited them to come that evening to The Haven to learn more about our faith.

We then went to our hotel rooms to rest. As I was waking up, God said, “Look”. I looked and saw a lamp that was always on.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on amountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

Then, I looked directly across from my room and saw a white cross on the school. Then I looked up and saw a silver cross on the top of a church’s steeple. Then, He said“Look” again. I looked down and there was a cross on the ground, as if it was placed there by God. He was showing me that He is with me always.

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“I will not leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5)

We prepared for the next two events. We went to Celebrate Recovery at Calvary Baptist Church and spoke to the folks about their Heavenly Father. We built them up, encouraging them in the Lord. Calvary Baptist ChurchCalvary Baptist Church At the end, we prayed together in a circle, to claim Jesus for that city. We were also praying about the start of a men’s recovery house. In casual conversation, Bobby and one of the leaders at Celebrate Recovery were talking about how the city gave Sharon (Director of House of Ruth) three new houses. A day later, that same gentleman came up to us and told us that Sharon gave him a house to start a men’s recovery house. AMEN JESUS!! God also provided abeautiful, warm meal that evening.

We then rushed to “The Haven”, a youth meeting for teens, ran by Ms. Holly Dunn. Children from the public school showed up! Even a Connersville police officer was in attendance. We started to recognize more people and observed that their hearts were receptive to what we were saying. We started to realize how on FIRE for Jesus each person was and the momentum started to pick up towards Jesus. The idea of spiritual warfare became a reality in their hearts. Bobby & I both gave our testimonies. Then, a young man raised his hand and said, “I want to grow in my Christian faith.” After the meeting, that young man and another young man surrendered and gave their lives to Christ, starting a whole new chapter. JESUS is the ANSWER!

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Saturday, Jan 31st, 2015
We awoke the next morning and went to breakfast at a place called “Stacks”. A group of four people walked in and Bobby took notice. He felt led by Holy Spirit to talk to them and tell them about the community event planned for that evening. Now, timing with the Lord is everything, so I reminded Bobby to wait upon the Lord’s voice when to go. When the Lord said go, he went and urged the complete stangers to come to the event. God then told him to give them $10.00 for gas to get there. This is a testimony received by text message from Ms. Holly Dunn on what happened:

“Bobby just gave $10 to a man named Derek at Stacks. Last night Jonah (another young man, on fire for Jesus) begged him to come to The Haven because he is not ok and evenstruggles to believe in God. Derek immediately called Jonah and asked if Bobby was guy he was talking about. They are both trippin’! As a new Christian himself/fresh from prison, he is working hard to lead others and God just used Bobby to really build his faith even more. FYI: Derek acknowledged that there is no way that Bobby running into him could have been an accident! Praise The Lord! God is good!”

We went to the community event that evening and the group of four were in attendance. They were also aware of the so-called “coincidence” that God orchestrated earlier that day.There also was another woman’s recovery house group that came from Richmond, IN, another troubled area in Indiana. The Holy Spirit brought people all over who needed to hear the message. We were then blessed by a “cardboard testimony” by the women staying at the House of Ruth. They wrote on cardboard boxes old labels they used to have such as “addict, depressed, lonely” and then turned the boxes around to show us who they had become: “set free, alive, joyful”. We then entered into prayer with the community about Connersville. After the meeting, Jessa Lee (a woman staying at the House of Ruth) came up to us and gave us a beautiful drawing of a cross with chains broken off with each woman’s name signed on it. It was such a beautiful gift and we have it hanging up in our Cardboard Box office at home! That night, Sharon gave the house to the men’s ministry to start a men’s recovery program.

Sunday, Feb 1st, 2015
That final morning in Connersville we went to a church, Growing Branches for Christ. We joined the praise team in praise and worship and the Holy Spirit flooded the church as we worshipped our one true King. Growing Branches for ChristGrowing Branches for Christ Two gentlemen, fresh from prison, gave their testimonies of coming to Christ, one of which had shown nine bullet wounds and lived the life of a gangster thug, not only on the streets, but also in prison. Leaders of the prison ministry approached Bobby and told him of the miracle that has taken place in this man’s life. This man now works for the ministry of Jesus Christ, all from the work of a prison ministry. Only God could have designed this modern day tool to preach the Gospel and reach those as stated in Matthew 25:35-36

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty andyou gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me,ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.”

After that, Bobby gave his testimony of total transformation, coupled with an emphasis on the importanceof praise and worship. “Prayer brings angels and praise brings the Presence of God,” he says. It is all about praying in agreement. We then went into prayer for the city. This church rose to the occasion as we all prayed in agreement for the darkness to be lifted in Connersville, IN. You could feel the change coming, a presence of light coming into the darkness, the victory for Jesus. We then fellowshipped in the cafeteria and enjoyed a great home cooked meal, with testimony after testimony at every table completely showing the works of God manifesting in this city. The people came together as the body of Christ to take back what was theirs in that town.

We were then able to go over and finally see the House of Ruth. Upon entering, we could feel the presence of God’s love all throughout the house. This is truly God’s prototype of what each recovery house should look like. It has a healing atmosphere. You walk in and it is not an institution. It is an actual house where you can feel comfortable, heal, and be loved. If God has led you to start a recovery house, we urge you strongly to witness this place yourself.
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Front to Back & Left to right: Cody, Julie, Paige, Skylar, Roberta, Brandy, Bobby, Lexi, Jessa Lee, & BrandyFront to Back & Left to right: Cody, Julie, Paige, Skylar, Roberta, Brandy, Bobby, Lexi, Jessa Lee, & Brandy

As we drove home, we knew that we would have to return. Just as a farmer maintains his plants, we would also have to return to see how everyone was “growing”. We felt as if God was saying to us, “A job well done. This is what I have designed you to do.” Even the scars on Bobby’s legs are there to prove that he had been through this bondage of addiction and freed from it by the power of Jesus Christ. This always reminds of us Doubting Thomas.

John 20:25,“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into thenail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Sure enough, Jesus showed up a week later and told Thomas to put his hand onto His side. We believe God allowed the scars on Bobby’s body to be exactly that, so people would believe in the word and the testimony (Rev. 12:11)

Miracles are all around us, every single day.Amen.

We love you all! In Jesus’ Name,
Lexi Lee Laconi

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