Another precious memory from jail ministry:
Remember Jose, the 20-year-old who came to Christ at the county jail? His cellmate was Stephen, an angry young man.
Every week I would talk with Jose through the small pass-through opening in his door. I could see Stephen quietly reading on his bunk. I’d say “Hey Stephen!” and invite him to join us. Sometimes I’d ask if I could pray for him. Consistently he’d mumble, “No.” Yet I often felt he was listening to us.
One evening after six months, Stephen was waiting at the door when I arrived. He said, “I have a question. I’m reading about Judaism. Can you tell me the difference between Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews?”
I didn’t have a clue! But I’d try to find an answer. The next week he was again waiting and I explained what I learned. “Sephardic Jews are those from Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the Middle East and their descendants. Ashkenazic Jews are those from France, Germany and Eastern Europe and their descendants. Most American Jews today are Ashkenazic.”
He thanked me and had another question: “I’ve been reading about the religion of the ancient Egyptians. What do you know about Isis, Osiris and Horus?” Again, I returned home and did more research. We continued this way for weeks and with every question Stephen asked, I learned more and more myself!
One evening he said, “I’ve been reading the Bible and I believe Jesus is not only the Son of God, I now believe He is God the Son. I want to give Him my life.”
I said, “Stephen, you have been searching for truth for some time now. I believe God Himself has revealed this truth to you.” We prayed together and his tears flowed freely—as did mine!
Meanwhile Jose was in the background and joined in praising God and cheering Stephen on. “I knew you were close! I KNEW it!”
Stephen’s born again experience was genuine. He was no longer angry, but had peace and joy that was evident to all. A few weeks later he was transferred to a state prison where he promptly enrolled in Crossroad Prison Ministry’s correspondence course for prisoners. He continues his study of God’s Word today.
- But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29
- The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:25-26
- For more information on Crossroad Prison Ministry see: https://cpministries.org/
- SONG: GIVE ME A HEART – Lyrics by Liana Wendy Howarth; Music 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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