*Another precious memory from my years in prison ministry.
Thomas is 17-years-old and incarcerated. Because of his criminal background he’s to be deported to Mexico. He came to the U.S. when he was six months old—this is his home. His family is here. He has an uncle in Mexico whom he’s never met—he’ll be living with him.
Thomas gave his life to Jesus Christ several months ago and insists he is not the same person he was before. The peace and joy God has given him is real. He’s reading the Bible and memorizing portions of it on his own.
Thomas read the book of Daniel in the Old Testament and was re-telling the highlights to the others in our Bible study group. His accuracy and his ability to tell the story so clearly were impressive. Thomas does not speak much, but when he speaks the others listen. Recently I asked him to explain the gospel message to the new arrivals who joined our group. He explained it with clarity and wisdom.
Last week he was lamenting over his situation—feeling sad and fearful over the news of his upcoming deportation.
I said, “Thomas, didn’t you tell me that your heart’s desire is to tell others about Jesus Christ so they can be saved?”
“Then why don’t you return to Mexico as a missionary? There are some unreached people groups in remote places in Mexico—they have never heard about Jesus. You are not too young to begin serving the Lord.”
His face lit up. “Do you think so?”
“Thomas, you would be perfect! Remember Daniel? He was about fourteen when he was taken captive to Babylon, never to see his homeland again. He trusted God his entire life and became a mighty man of God. Think of yourself as a modern-day Daniel.”
I went home and did an online search. I found a church and contact information for the region where Thomas will be living.
He was so encouraged to receive it. He said, “I have been thinking about this all week! I’m so excited about going to Mexico now! I’ll probably be emailing you with lots of questions. Is that okay?”
“Please do. I will count it a privilege to try to answer your questions and to pray for you in your important work for the Lord.”
- For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Addendum: A reader of this blog contacted me about a ministry in Mexico that helps deportees. They provide temporary room and board, Christian counseling, job counseling and transportation to the deportees’ final city of destination. I was able to put them in touch with Thomas and they are now expecting him. How good is our God to put together the pieces of this puzzle!
SONG: JOHN 3:16-17 – Music and Arrangement by Kathleen
[This life is temporary. This life is short. When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever. Where will the “real you” live? Will you live for all eternity separated from God? Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven? Learn more so you can make your most important decision: http://www.godlife.com/gospel/ and http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity
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