Participants: Aaron Chancy (Host), Lemuel Vega, Donna Vega
Series Code: TNJ
Program Code: TNJ000002
00:10 Welcome to The New Journey, the program where we meet
00:12 real-life people with real-life testimonies
00:15 with real-life work and ministries for Jesus.
00:18 Today we'll meet a man and a wife that are actively involved
00:21 in prison ministries
00:22 bringing Christmas gifts to inmates year round.
00:25 Tune in for this exciting interview as we discuss
00:28 how he leads people to Jesus
00:29 as well as find out his personal journey to God.
00:32 I'm your host Aaron Chancy.
00:33 Come join us on The New Journey.
01:04 Welcome back to The New Journey.
01:05 Today we have an exciting husband and wife
01:08 that are going to be talking about their prison ministries.
01:10 Welcome Mr. and Mrs. Vega to the show.
01:12 Greetings, brother. It's a blessing to be here.
01:14 Amen, amen. Now we have some exciting information
01:17 that we want to talk about during the show
01:19 in terms of your ministry Christmas Behind Bars.
01:22 Can both of you share some information, shed some light
01:24 to the viewers of your ministry, your involvement in ministry,
01:27 your passion for ministry.
01:29 Shed some light on that, please.
01:30 Well first of all, Christmas Behind Bars is not a
01:33 once-a-year program. The true meaning of Christmas
01:37 is applicable 365 days a year. All year round.
01:39 This was not my idea... this is God's idea.
01:43 Um, 13 years ago I gave my heart to Jesus in a hospital room
01:47 sick and ready to die. OK. And so this program's been
01:50 running for about 12 years. About 12 years?
01:52 OK, so both of you all are actively involved in
01:54 prison ministries. Mrs. Vega, what's your involvement
01:58 in prison ministries? Well, I love to go to the prisons
02:01 and visit the men, but actually my main goal is to
02:05 write them letters, like correspondence with the inmates.
02:09 You know that's actually good because, myself, I spent time
02:11 incarcerated and I'm well aware of people who are incarcerated.
02:16 They don't have loved ones who are out there
02:18 They receive no mail, receive no commissary...
02:21 things like that... and it's good to get a letter
02:23 just from somebody that cares. It may not be a long letter.
02:26 It may just be a short letter or a card just saying
02:28 "I'm thinking about you. " But people appreciate that,
02:30 don't they? Yes they do. It's very humbling.
02:32 You know, I'm just one little servant but they really
02:35 enjoy it. They really enjoy it. And I fully agree. As I said,
02:38 I've seen people in there that just can get a letter
02:41 of just a paragraph long and be overjoyed that somebody
02:45 took the time to write them a letter,
02:47 send it to them, and say "Look, I just really care about you. "
02:50 Praise the Lord for it. That is good! That is good!
02:53 So ya'll have been involved in prison ministries for about
02:55 how long? Well I guess I've been involved about 30 years.
03:00 30 years, OK. Lemuel was a big Chicago boy that
03:03 came to the little Bluffton town - OK - and his name was
03:07 splashed all over the paper. And the Lord told me
03:09 to tell him about Jesus the way I know Jesus.
03:12 Amen, amen. And Mr. Vega, how long have you
03:14 been involved in prison ministries?
03:16 Well I was in prison myself
03:18 looking at 10-20 years in the county jail - OK -
03:21 and some volunteers came in. So that started the importance
03:24 of volunteerism in my life because I was the recipient
03:27 of volunteers coming in. So that's kind of how
03:29 the prison ministry has had its fuel because, you know,
03:32 like you said... they appreciate a letter.
03:34 They appreciate a volunteer coordinator or a sponsor to come
03:37 into the prison to share with them. OK.
03:39 So this program specifically
03:42 has been going now about 13 years. About 13 years?
03:45 Can you describe a little bit of your joy? The feeling
03:48 that you get when you go inside a prison
03:51 as well as the feeling that you've noticed that
03:54 other... that inmates receive from the work that you guys
03:57 are doing in the prisons? Let me tell you something:
03:59 I had one year clean. I've been out of prison for 12 years.
04:02 I had one year clean, and let me tell you something:
04:04 it was somebody else's idea to make some little tiny packages
04:08 to go down to the local county jail.
04:09 OK. Somebody else had this idea, and I had a little grocery
04:11 business and so I donated product.
04:13 OK. And so we went to this first county jail.
04:15 I had one year clean, and on the way home that night
04:18 I took my wife's hand and I said: "Baby,
04:20 you couldn't give me a brand new Corvette
04:23 for the blessing that I received.
04:25 So that's the transforming power of God.
04:27 Because when I got out of prison it was ski boats, it was
04:29 motorcycles, it was gold, it was cars, it was all this
04:32 stuff... but I was still empty. So the power of God
04:36 working through the volunteer's hearts.
04:38 The volunteers are blessed as much as the inmates are blessed
04:41 I believe, but how I don't... Or more... or more.
04:43 Talk about your experience going into the prisons,
04:45 Mrs. Vega. There's just a total blessing.
04:47 They're like your neighbor next door, and it's a total blessing.
04:51 So a total blessing. Lemuel, when you all go into
04:54 the prisons, what's some of the work that you do
04:57 inside of the prisons?
04:58 Aaron, when we go into prisons we want to bring them
05:01 a message of hope. You yourself were in prison, and somewhere
05:04 it sparked a change and a desire to follow Jesus.
05:07 Yes. And so that's what we do in the prisons.
05:09 We have different services. Our Christmas Behind Bars
05:12 ministry visits many prisons and county jails throughout
05:16 the states. OK. What we see here
05:19 is a maximum security prison right here.
05:21 These people... they have a death row here
05:24 and they're in prison for many, many, many years -
05:27 OK - and yet they can find hope and truth.
05:29 Here what we're doing is we're using a big warehouse
05:32 which someone donated. And what you see here is...
05:34 is months worth of planning. And we are putting together
05:38 15,000 of those brown paper sacks going down the line.
05:42 We are putting together 15,000 packages.
05:45 And let me tell you something: that's three semi trailers
05:48 full - OK - from the top to the bottom, from side to side.
05:51 So here we have about 300 volunteers
05:53 which came from throughout the state. OK.
05:56 There's products that's been...
05:57 some of it's been donated, a lot of it has been purchased
06:00 at a very minimal amount. So we're always trying to watch
06:05 and be very good stewards of stuff that's been donated.
06:08 So during the footage we see that there's some food items
06:12 that are being given. We actually see some Pathfinders
06:15 involved as well. What are some of the things that are in these
06:18 packages that you give to the inmates?
06:20 They have devotional books in there.
06:21 They have an opportunity for Bible studies.
06:23 They can send for a Bible if they want a Bible.
06:25 And then here we're finishing up here at this point
06:29 and everyone is just like closing out and saying goodbye.
06:31 OK. So it's even a good experience for the volunteers.
06:34 They get to get involved; they get to help out.
06:37 And they get to be a blessing to inmates as well.
06:39 Any time we can be of service to Jesus, whether you're
06:42 in the prison system or out,
06:44 we are blessed somehow through God's providence. OK.
06:47 So Mrs. Vega, are you also involved in helping gather up
06:50 the food and gather up the materials
06:52 to be able to send them out to the prisoners?
06:54 I do some. I basically just stay at home
06:57 and write the letters - OK - and keep the house.
06:59 Lemuel has volunteers that help him.
07:01 OK. So you have a lot of correspondence going on
07:04 between the inmates and yourself.
07:06 They write a lot of letters; you respond to a lot of letters.
07:08 Yes. Now here there's a bunch of volunteers who are taking
07:10 the packages off of the truck and we're deciding which part
07:12 of the prison we're going to right now.
07:14 These volunteers have taken the specific number of bags
07:16 that go to that cell house. And in that cell house there
07:19 they are stacked five high - five rows high.
07:22 And then they're in a little tiny 6x10 cell.
07:26 And it's just a pretty solemn time in their lives.
07:29 So on the footage it looks like some of the volunteers
07:31 are going inside of the prisons and handing out the stuff.
07:34 Is that correct? Yeah.
07:35 So they get to see the actually inside of the prison. Yeah.
07:37 They are the hands and feet of Jesus.
07:39 I tell them: "You've got 10 or 15 seconds to share God's love.
07:43 Whatever it is: a smile, a handshake.
07:44 Whatever it is, let them know that you care about them. "
07:47 So you don't have time to sermonize when you're giving.
07:50 No. Just give a 15-second sermon on the love of Jesus,
07:53 the gospel. In this particular prison...
07:55 but now some prisons they'll do it in the gymnasium
07:57 or the chapel, so you'll have a group of 300 or 400 inmates
08:01 sitting there, so then you have an hour for the program.
08:03 OK. So different prisons are different.
08:05 OK. That's amazing. That's amazing work!
08:07 I can tell that the people are actually richly blessed
08:10 by this. It seems that you're getting to shake hands.
08:12 You're getting to pray with people. I'm sure people give
08:14 prayer requests. I'm sure through the correspondence,
08:17 Mrs. Vega, people mention a lot of what they need prayer for.
08:20 Things like that, correct? They do.
08:22 OK. So throughout the letters, Mrs. Vega, do you see many
08:25 people that are wanting a relationship with God?
08:29 And are asking - yes - "How do I do it?
08:31 What do I do? " Things like that? Yes, yes.
08:32 And when you write them and tell them, it's like they can't
08:35 quite hear what you're saying.
08:37 OK. They need a lot of prayers. OK.
08:39 Tell us what's going on a little bit right now.
08:42 This is in the dorm, and this is dormitory there.
08:44 And we had an opportunity to actually share 10 minutes
08:46 in that dorm setting. OK.
08:48 So it's just an amazing amazing blessing, brother.
08:52 OK, yeah. Looks like an amazing blessing to be inside
08:54 of the prison. Now I heard you mention something that you go
08:58 throughout the US into different prisons.
09:01 How do you get inside of other prisons?
09:04 Because your ministry is based out of Indiana
09:06 so how to you get involved in prisons, jails, juvenile centers
09:10 around the nation? Through God's providence.
09:12 Usually there's a family member or a church that says:
09:14 "Hey, how can we get involved in this ministry? "
09:16 They'll call. We'll dialogue with them.
09:18 We'll check out what prisons are close to them.
09:20 They'll check it out for us, and then we'll get with them.
09:22 Maybe come and share with their church
09:24 or send a representative of Christmas Behind Bars
09:26 and let them know to get the groundwork started
09:28 'cause it takes months of planning.
09:29 Not months... but it takes a lot of planning.
09:32 OK. So when, Mr. Vega, you go inside of the prisons
09:35 around the country, Mrs. Vega, do you go along also
09:38 into the other prisons? Yes, I do.
09:40 So are both of you guys involved in going into juvenile centers,
09:44 jails, prisons? Both of you are actively involved in that?
09:47 Yes. So it's a husband and wife team that you have here?
09:49 Yes it is. It's amazing to be able to work together, isn't it?
09:51 With a multitude of volunteers. OK.
09:54 It's God putting people together in the right place
09:56 at the right time that's the blessing. Amen.
09:58 Do you encourage? There may be people out there
10:00 that want to get involved in prison ministry
10:03 but may be a little bit leery about going inside of a prison,
10:06 especially as a female.
10:08 Maybe if they haven't served time themselves
10:10 or maybe not know the workings of what's going on
10:12 inside of the prison. Do you all actually encourage
10:15 people to get involved in prison ministries, Mrs. Vega?
10:18 Absolutely - OK - yes. OK. How about you Mr. Vega?
10:21 Do you encourage people to get involved in prison ministries?
10:24 100% because we are not going to go to heaven
10:26 filling a church pew. That's true. We need to be actively
10:30 involved in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
10:32 And as we are actively involved in a relationship with
10:34 Jesus Christ we will want to go out and serve. OK.
10:37 Jesus specifically talks about "when I was in prison
10:40 you came and visited Me. " Yes. Not that Jesus was in prison
10:42 but that we had done it unto the least of these our brothers.
10:44 Done to Me, my brother, like. OK, now you have
10:47 many years, Mr. Vega, involved in prison ministries.
10:51 Can you tell us about an experience of somebody that
10:54 was blessed by the work that y'all are involved in
10:56 with prison ministries? You know, the first maximum
10:59 security prison that we went into I received a $3 donation.
11:04 So an inmate sent a $3 donation, and I cried, dude.
11:08 When you're in prison you know what it's like to give up money
11:10 that you've got in your book. And I cried.
11:12 It brought tears to my eyes that someone would care
11:14 that much about wanting to help further the cause.
11:17 And so with that in mind, the value is just unbelievable.
11:22 There's a maximum security prison where I was imprisoned
11:25 at - OK - and Three Angels Broadcasting Network
11:28 they helped sponsor and connect and set up a satellite dish
11:32 in this prison that inmates could begin to experience truth.
11:36 OK. That they could begin to see in their little tiny cells
11:39 that they don't have to come to service.
11:40 And if we could just watch that - OK - just watch that
11:43 right now. The roll in of this guy. Gave his heart to Jesus.
11:48 And his ministry on the rec yard grew from one picnic table
11:52 to three picnic tables - wow! - because of 3ABN sponsorship
11:57 combined with Christmas Behind Bars.
11:59 So 3ABN's work inside of prisons
12:01 is being... with the satellites in side of prisons...
12:03 is becoming a real blessing to inmates all across the nation.
12:06 Correct? That is correct. And we have a roll in right now
12:10 of a friend of mine dear to my heart: Dion.
12:13 Yeah. And it's a real blessing. OK, well let's go ahead
12:16 and roll that footage so that the viewers can see what's
12:19 going on inside of the prisons.
12:22 I promised you to come up here. You've got 3 minutes, brother,
12:24 to share a whole sermon. Dion is one of your own.
12:27 Dion, would you come up here and we appreciate...
12:35 Praise the Lord.
12:38 Bro. Vega wanted me to speak a little bit on wheat and tare.
12:43 He brought these illustrations for you.
12:46 First I would like to go to Matthew 13.
12:50 Excuse me. I'm sort of losing my voice.
12:52 This is where the parable... where Jesus gives 7 parables
12:55 in Matthew 13 and one of them is about the wheat and the tare.
13:01 And I'll just pick up... I'll just sort of explain
13:05 what the parable is about: sowing a seed.
13:08 And when that seed grows up, when that wheat is produced
13:12 and tare is produced with it,
13:15 and Jesus said He didn't want the reapers to come
13:18 and take away the tare because it looks just like the wheat.
13:23 First thing I was thinking about when Bro. Vega asked me to
13:27 expound on this I was thinking about something I'd seen on TV
13:30 where they were looking for a mummy and they found a vase
13:35 with some wheat in it 4,000 years old.
13:39 They took that wheat out of that vase and by faith
13:42 they planted it. And it grew something.
13:45 But the reason the wheat would not grow was because it was
13:48 in a dark place. This is the same way that the seed of God
13:54 and the Holy Spirit that I believe indwells everyone
13:57 that's come here tonight. But the Holy Spirit
14:00 cannot grow if it is in a dark place.
14:03 And I'm not talking about a place that don't exist
14:06 with natural light. I'm talking...
14:08 you can be in natural light and be watching porno
14:11 and be in a dark place.
14:13 You can be watching a movie full of profane speech
14:17 and violence and sex and be in a dark place.
14:20 You can be plotting against your brother
14:23 to do something evil or to extort him
14:27 and be in a dark place.
14:30 You can be selling something to your brother
14:32 keeping him addicted and be in a dark place.
14:37 Any of these dark places that exist in us
14:41 will inhibit the Holy Spirit from growing just like it did
14:44 the grain. If you go to Matthew 13
14:49 go to verse 40 where it says:
14:53 "Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned
14:56 in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.
15:00 The Son of Man will send out His angels and they will gather
15:04 out of His kingdom all things that offend. "
15:08 That word offend in the Greek is scandalize.
15:11 That's where we get the word scandal.
15:13 Any time we do anything to cause scandal to our brothers
15:17 it offends God. And here's what He said:
15:21 "And those who practice lawlessness... "
15:23 If we claim to be under the new covenant
15:25 of Jesus Christ where the law is written in our hearts,
15:29 then we should live like that.
15:30 We know that there's no amount of keeping the commandments
15:33 that will save any of us. It is only through the faith
15:36 in Jesus Christ, but keeping the commandments should be
15:39 a result of that faith.
15:41 We know that through the grace of God that's what Jesus Christ
15:44 died for. He shed His atoning blood on the cross.
15:48 This is what saves us and this is what redeems us.
15:51 But if we are redeemed then we should look redeemed
15:53 and live redeemed.
15:56 I wrote something down, and I'm going to leave after this.
16:05 It says: this fellowship with Christ
16:07 brings an end to a life where sin is too strong for us.
16:11 It is the beginning of a life in which Christ is
16:14 too strong for sin. God bless you and thank you, brother.
16:17 Thank you very much, brother.
16:19 The wheat and the tares will grow together until the end
16:23 of time. And Dion, at the end of time,
16:26 what is going to the kingdom of heaven? Only the wheat.
16:29 Only the wheat. The choice is ours tonight.
16:35 That was some amazing footage we just saw, Mr. Vega.
16:38 So Bro. Dion is a person that you minister to
16:41 in prison and now is ministering to others.
16:44 That must be an amazing feeling to know that you have
16:47 an impact... Actually, that you and Mrs. Vega
16:49 are having an impact on people's lives in prison
16:53 and now they're ministering to others.
16:55 That must be a very powerful feeling, isn't it?
16:58 Amen. Hey, dude, you know what? We're only there for a moment
17:00 of time. OK. And when we leave that if they can grasp
17:03 the gospel that will be innervated in and throughout
17:07 the prisons. And it doesn't stop within the prisons
17:09 because they're going to want to send that home through
17:11 messages, through letters, through notes,
17:13 through visitation. And that gospel message is
17:15 going to continue to flourish - yes - until Jesus comes back.
17:17 OK. Now, we want prison ministry work to continue
17:21 not only in your own ministry Christmas Behind Bars
17:24 but in the many various prison ministries around the nation
17:28 and around the world. Amen. And I know that your ministry
17:31 has needs as well as many other ministries have needs.
17:33 Can you tell us a little bit about the needs that are
17:36 are really needed to continue to further the gospel
17:38 with the work you're doing? Prayer is number one. OK.
17:40 OK. Prayer. Bibles... used or new Bibles.
17:43 For $300 you can buy 100 brand new Bibles
17:45 to give to these people. They're asking for Bibles...
17:47 new or used Bibles. OK.
17:49 Um, computer. We need a computer, lap-top computer.
17:52 OK. We definitely need... and I've just found out that
17:55 the importance of it 'cause we've just come back from
17:58 Arkansas just two days ago and in the high temperatures
18:02 we need a refrigerated box truck - OK - for perishables.
18:06 So viewers: you heard some of the information
18:08 that... what this ministry needs to continue to further
18:12 the gospel inside of prisons.
18:14 You yourself watching this show: you may not be able
18:16 to go inside the prisons yourself
18:18 but you have that dollar. You have that several dollars.
18:21 God may be impressing upon your heart to give to a ministry
18:24 to donate somewhere. And I encourage you
18:27 at the end of this show we're going to give the Christmas
18:29 Behind Bars contact information.
18:31 If the Lord is moving upon your heart to help this ministry out
18:35 with their needs - their necessities - to further the
18:38 gospel, we encourage you to go ahead and do that.
18:41 To contact this ministry.
18:43 Well we're going to shift gears just a little bit
18:45 and we're going to focus on a different aspect of your life.
18:50 And I want to talk a little bit about... Mr. Vega, you have
18:52 not always been involved in prison ministries.
18:55 You were actually in prison yourself,
18:58 and we want to talk a little bit about that as well as
19:00 Mrs. Vega, we want to talk about when you met your husband.
19:03 Were you involved in prison ministries prior to him being
19:07 incarcerated? At what point did you two meet together?
19:13 When Lemuel was around 18 years old he was a big Chicago boy
19:18 and he was very much in drugs and he was in trouble.
19:21 And he came to Bluffton... a small rural town.
19:25 OK. And he just raised havoc. He and his brothers
19:29 pictures were in the papers. It was havoc.
19:32 And the Lord just touched my heart to tell him about Jesus
19:35 like I knew Jesus. And he was put in prison
19:38 and I wrote him and visited him.
19:40 My dad had a fit. And so I prayed and I opened up to
19:44 Romans 28 and I went forward. OK, AMEN.
19:48 Amen. So you met Mr. Vega prior to him being incarcerated
19:53 in prison. Just before he went in. OK... just before.
19:55 Now Mr. Vega, what was some of your involvement in...
19:59 in the street before you went to prison...
20:02 things that led to being incarcerated?
20:05 Well brother, let me tell you something. I learned early on
20:07 in my life, at least I thought, that money could buy happiness.
20:11 OK. And so you're trying to gain all this materialistic stuff.
20:14 OK. And you know, by the time you're 18
20:17 you have thousands of dollars you actually set up shop
20:20 selling drugs. And you know... So that's what led me to prison,
20:24 OK, is a life of sin... not necessarily narcotics.
20:27 Now you know it's interesting that you should say that.
20:29 We seek for money, for happiness, things like that.
20:32 You know, God has created each of us - each human being - with
20:35 like this little specific keyhole in our hearts
20:38 that only God's love... only God can fill that.
20:42 Only Jesus Christ can fill that emptiness, that void.
20:45 But a lot of times as human beings we try to
20:47 put money in place of it. We try to put drugs in place of it,
20:51 entertainment, things along those lines.
20:53 But those really don't actually satisfy that void in the life,
20:56 do they? No, absolutely not.
20:58 We have little of nothing today, brother, by society's standards.
21:02 But we have joy, we have some peace, we have hope,
21:04 we have happiness. Nobody in this ministry gets paid a dime.
21:07 OK. It's all volunteer, and it's just amazing how God
21:11 has paved the way that we can go encourage the brokenness
21:14 in our society - Amen, Amen - in and OUT of prison.
21:18 OK. So Mrs. Vega, were you also incarcerated at any point
21:21 in your life or have you... you've never spent time
21:24 in prison? Tell us a little about that.
21:26 I was raised in a Christian home. We weren't perfect, but -
21:29 OK - we knew Dad and Mom loved us, they loved God.
21:31 And I didn't know families just survived.
21:35 I thought they were all like our family. OK.
21:37 OK. So that's pretty interesting that y'all are basically
21:42 two different people from two different sides of the tracks.
21:45 And God has brought you together working in ministry together
21:49 from two different sides of the field.
21:51 How is that? How is that in your marriage?
21:54 It's a blessing. It's a blessing.
21:56 The Lord has continued to perfecting in my character.
21:59 No longer just narcotics or alcoholism or sexism
22:03 or Hollywoodism or secularism but my character -
22:06 OK. That I can have patience and kindness at the end of
22:08 the day. And so it's been a blessing. And I pray that my
22:11 wife has been encouraged through it all too.
22:13 Amen. Amen to that!
22:14 Now when you went to prison you were sentenced to...
22:17 well you were facing a charge of ten to twenty years.
22:20 Right. Can you talk a little bit about that experience?
22:23 How it was facing that amount of time? It was traumatic!
22:25 Because in Chicago when you grow up, first time,
22:28 second time, third time. First time you get out.
22:30 Second time you get out. Third time you can buy your way out.
22:32 OK. So I thought I could like buy my way out.
22:34 But as a young man 18 years old, walking in the back gates
22:37 of the prison, man, shackled and handcuffed
22:39 with some dude you don't even know doing life in prison,
22:41 and the first word you hear up inside the prison is
22:45 "I'll give you a shank for your watch. " Wow.
22:47 That's like real. Wow. I mean, that is like...
22:50 Now for the viewers that don't know prison terminology -
22:54 uh-huh - you use the word "shank. "
22:55 I know what you're talking about when you say shank,
22:57 but the viewers may not understand what a shank is.
23:00 Can you explain? A shank is an instrument to do damage -
23:02 bodily injury - to someone whether to kill them
23:05 or just wound them really really bad.
23:07 So whatever form the shank is it's something to cause
23:10 some kind of bodily harm. OK.
23:12 So there are weapons in prison.
23:14 You know, people generally have this fear
23:17 before they go to prison. You hear many stories of
23:20 different things that happen. Before you went to prison
23:23 you were facing the 10-20 years, did you have any fear?
23:26 Or was it kind of like well, you know, I've talked to many
23:28 people that say: "Well it's just like going home.
23:30 Just like a family reunion to me. "
23:31 Did you have that fear of going in not knowing
23:34 what was going to happen? I did... I did.
23:36 And when I left the county jail I took all the narcotics
23:39 I could find in the county jail or get before I went off
23:42 to prison. And I OD'd a few weeks before I actually entered
23:46 the prison system because I was scared.
23:48 OK. And when I got into prison...
23:50 You know, many people walk around in prisons on thorazine
23:53 and mellaril. And you know what? They still ain't satisfied
23:56 no matter how much they try to medicate them. OK.
23:58 So you overdosed on drugs. Was that intentionally?
24:01 Was that an accident? It was because I was going to prison
24:04 and I knew it. And I was scared because I didn't know
24:06 the unknown. I didn't know what to expect - OK -
24:08 when I got there. OK. And I just want to share a little bit
24:11 that that's scary for our viewers today that don't know
24:15 how it's like to life live without drugs or alcohol.
24:17 So that's scary for them because it's the unknown.
24:19 Yeah. It's the unknown of what may happen when you go into
24:22 prison. I remember myself when I was being transported
24:25 from the county jail to the prison just as you stated
24:28 that they shackle you to a bunch of guys
24:30 that, you know, you don't know.
24:32 And they transported me over there, and here I am
24:34 sentenced to five years and don't know how much
24:37 of that five years I'm going to be sentenced to.
24:39 And you know, I know you hear so many stories
24:42 of things that happen inside of prisons.
24:44 And you get to the intake unit
24:46 and they make everybody strip down.
24:49 You've got 50 guys in front of you; 50 guys behind you;
24:52 50 guys to the side of you.
24:54 And it's just you don't know what's going to happen
24:57 and there's an overwhelming fear that comes upon you.
25:00 But there's something that you can't show in prison...
25:03 and that's fear.
25:04 That is one thing that people prey off of is fear in prison.
25:09 Is that correct? That's correct.
25:11 And there's also a fear, bro. I don't know if it was in your
25:14 life, but when you get out of prison it's fear
25:16 because you don't want to come back and yet you're powerless
25:19 to change your life on your own, right? OK, yeah, yeah.
25:21 And that is true. You know, many times people
25:23 believe that, you know, I have to get myself right first
25:26 before I come to the Lord. I need to get everything
25:28 in my life... I need to clean myself up
25:30 before I come to Jesus Christ.
25:32 But actually Jesus says: "No, don't do that. "
25:34 Satan will whisper in the ear and say:
25:36 "That's what you need to do first, " when Jesus is saying:
25:39 "Don't do that; you can't even do it on yourself.
25:41 You need Me. " And many don't know that.
25:44 Talk to the viewers for the families out there that have
25:48 ones incarcerated that are saying that same thing of
25:51 "I need to get together first before I come to Jesus. "
25:55 Talk specifically to the viewers of what they should do
25:58 and give them some words of encouragement.
26:00 I want to encourage you at home today that whatever you're
26:03 problem, whatever your trial, Jesus is the answer.
26:05 As He's been my forever friend and He's changed my life
26:09 from the inside out, He will help you, I guarantee you.
26:12 Whether you're in prison today or whether you're free
26:15 by society's standards, a relationship without Christ
26:19 is emptiness.
26:20 I have a couple Bible scriptures I'd like to read.
26:22 And the first one is Jeremiah 29:13.
26:26 "And you shall seek Me and find Me
26:29 when you shall search for Me with all your heart"
26:31 Christ says. So please I appeal to you today...
26:34 I John 1:9... "If we confess our sins,
26:37 He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins
26:42 and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. "
26:44 And a favorite Bible scripture in closing is Philippians 4:13
26:48 which says: "I... " - we, you -
26:49 can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth us. "
26:53 Please pray today and ask God's presence in your life.
26:56 Let Him know that you want His help
26:58 with your unmanageability. God bless you and we love you.
27:01 Thank you Mr. Vega.
27:03 Mrs. Vega... some brief words of encouragement to the viewers?
27:06 If they would have a chance to go to a prison or a jail
27:09 it would be a great blessing. Amen, amen.
27:13 Viewers, you've just heard a powerful, powerful story
27:16 of a husband and a wife that are actively involved
27:20 in prison ministry.
27:21 You yourself can get involved in prison ministry.
27:23 It may not be with Christmas Behind Bars...
27:25 it may be with another ministry.
27:27 It may be a ministry that the Lord is encouraging you
27:30 to start on your own.
27:32 We encourage you, though, to get up, get out,
27:35 and to do something. The Lord is calling you to a work.
27:38 Each Christian - each man, woman, and boy and girl -
27:41 God has called to get involved actively in prison ministry
27:45 work or any other kind of ministry work
27:47 to help usher in the soon coming of Jesus Christ.
27:51 Mr. Vega, can you please provide the viewers with your
27:53 contact information so that they can learn more
27:56 about your ministry? Yes. www. christmasbehindbars. com
27:59 www. christmasbehindbars. org
28:01 The e-mail address is contact@christmasbehindbars. com
28:05 So the website is www. christmasbehindbars. org
28:08 www. christmasbehindbars. com
28:10 We respond to each communication personally.
28:15 Folks, you've been watching The New Journey.
28:17 We encourage you to tune in next time for the next show
28:20 of The New Journey.