Urban Report

Christmas Behind Bars Update

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Yvonne Lewis (Host), Lemuel Vega


Series Code: UBR

Program Code: UBR000187A

00:01 Stay tuned to meet a man
00:02 who spends every Christmas in prison.
00:04 My name is Yvonne Lewis
00:06 and you're watching Urban Report.
00:31 Hello and welcome to Urban Report.
00:33 My guest today is Lemuel Vega,
00:36 he's the president of Christmas Behind Bars
00:38 and he is on fire for Jesus.
00:41 Welcome to Urban Report, Lemuel.
00:43 Thank you, sister.
00:45 You've been here a few times before
00:46 and every time you come, I just love it.
00:49 It's such a blessing
00:50 because what you're doing is it's so impactful,
00:55 it makes such a difference.
00:56 Tell us about Christmas Behind Bars.
00:58 What is it?
00:59 Well, you gave me a nice introduction,
01:01 president of Christmas Behind Bars,
01:02 but it says in the Word of God
01:04 in Matthew 25:31.
01:05 It says, "When the Son of Man shall come in his glory,
01:09 and all the holy angels with him,
01:11 then shall he sit upon his throne of his glory:
01:13 And before him shall be gathered all nations:
01:16 and he shall separate them one from another,
01:18 as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:"
01:20 So we want to be on the winning side,
01:22 amen. Amen.
01:23 Praise God. For sure.
01:24 Christmas Behind Bars is a prison ministry
01:26 that was ordained by God,
01:30 been in prison myself for some years
01:32 and the sad reality is,
01:33 Yvonne, prison doesn't change someone's life.
01:36 Prison doesn't have the ability to,
01:37 and I've told the inmates time and time again,
01:39 if you take a hound dog
01:41 and chain him up to a telephone pole,
01:43 and you tell him not to chase a bunny rabbit,
01:44 you can beat that dog, you can starve that dog,
01:46 you can whip that dog, whatever you want to do,
01:48 but when you let that dog go, he's probably going to...
01:51 Chase the bunny.
01:52 Chase the bunny rabbit
01:54 and so we were born with the sin nature,
01:55 were born with that sin nature,
01:57 unless we got a power greater than ourselves,
01:59 we have no ability to change.
02:01 And so the world is bringing all kinds of medication
02:03 and programs to people
02:06 who have been incarcerated
02:07 telling them this is the way but if God's not in it,
02:10 this is not going to happen.
02:12 If God be for us...
02:13 Who can be against us? Who can be against us?
02:15 So what you're saying is
02:17 all of those things are like a band-aid.
02:18 That's right.
02:20 Because they're not getting to the root,
02:21 everything needs to get to the root
02:22 cause of something,
02:24 like what is the root cause of this behavior,
02:27 it's sin.
02:28 Right. Sin is the root cause.
02:29 And what can change sin?
02:31 What can wash away my sin?
02:33 The shed blood of Jesus Christ.
02:34 Right.
02:35 You know, I had about four years clean
02:37 maybe something like that,
02:38 and I went to the hospital
02:39 because I had this really bad pain.
02:41 It was terrible. It's awful.
02:42 They called the doctor in I was in ER.
02:44 and the doctor tells me they did some x-rays says,
02:46 he's going to admit me to the hospital for a few days,
02:49 and I said, "For what?"
02:50 And he said, "Well,
02:51 we're going to give you morphine
02:53 or demerol treatment for a few days."
02:54 I said, "No, sir" I said, "I'm a drug addict,"
02:56 and I said, "You can't."
02:57 He said, "I thought you were in a lot of pain."
02:58 I said, "Sir, I am, I'm in terrible pain,
03:00 but if you give me morphine or demerol today."
03:02 I said it, "On Monday morning,
03:04 my body ain't going to know
03:05 that I don't need that, I can't,
03:07 not supposed to have it."
03:08 And so this doctor educated in medicine.
03:11 He said, "Oh, yeah.
03:12 I used to smoke cigarettes
03:14 and if I would smoke a cigarette today,
03:15 it would make me..."
03:17 I said, "Dude, thank you very much."
03:18 And I went home and laid down.
03:19 My wife got me two Tylenol and I prayed
03:21 and the pain went away, so God is good.
03:23 So, prison ministry is near and dear to my heart
03:26 because there is no help by locking
03:29 the person away for x number of years.
03:31 There is no change available there.
03:33 I got out of prison,
03:34 struggled with drug addiction for 12 years.
03:37 I went to treatment and the doctors tell me,
03:39 I need methadone and I need antabuse.
03:42 I said, "No, dear I don't need."
03:44 I said, "I didn't come here to get high."
03:45 I threw my narcotics in the parking lot that night
03:47 at 10 o'clock walked in the treatment
03:49 and they want to put a band-aid on me
03:50 when I was fixing to die.
03:52 I kneeled down, and prayed
03:53 and asked God for help in my life,
03:55 and by God's grace
03:56 this prison ministry started one year later
03:59 after I committed my life to Christ.
04:01 And I want people to know,
04:02 I want our viewers to know
04:03 to commit your life to Christ for me was as simple as saying,
04:07 "Dear Jesus, please help me.
04:09 I want to quit but I can't."
04:11 So it's not some long drawn out prayer.
04:13 It's a desire for change.
04:14 It says in the Word of God in Matthew 5:6,
04:16 I think it says, "Blessed are they that hunger
04:20 and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."
04:23 So whether they're red,
04:24 yellow, black, or white,
04:26 Christian, Muslim, atheist, incarcerated,
04:29 we all hurt the same.
04:31 It's terrible.
04:32 It's painful. It's awful.
04:34 And God is the only one
04:35 that can begin to mend that brokenness
04:37 that sin has created in our lives since children.
04:40 And I think is great that you said that it...
04:43 You don't have to have some long formal,
04:46 oh thou that art, it's not about that.
04:50 It's about talking to your friend,
04:52 talking to your friend
04:53 that is the King of the universe.
04:54 Amen.
04:56 So you can come before him, you know, and just say,
04:58 "I don't even know how to talk to you.
05:00 I don't even know
05:01 what to say but help me, help me.
05:04 Show me what to say."
05:06 And God's Spirit will begin to help that person
05:09 to pray and open up to God in a whole new way.
05:13 Amen.
05:14 Harrisburg, Illinois a few years ago,
05:16 we had a 16-year-old child.
05:18 We were there,
05:19 we were sharing the ministry of Christmas Behind Bars.
05:23 We gave all the inmates a gift package,
05:25 and there was this one inmate in segregation and he said,
05:27 you know, they're just crying, just crying, he says,
05:29 "I'm tired of the gangs.
05:31 I'm tired of the drugs and I want change for my life."
05:33 And so he sat on the picnic table,
05:35 I just kneeled down right there
05:36 and I had prayer with him and I said,
05:39 "Now you pray," 16 years old he says,
05:41 " I don't know how to pray."
05:43 I said, "Brother, I said, Jesus is your friend."
05:45 I said you talk to him just like your friend."
05:47 You Know, you know how to ask your mama
05:49 when you want something.
05:50 You know, how to ask your daddy
05:52 when you want some.
05:53 You know how to ask adult man
05:54 when you need another pile of dope.
05:56 So we know how to speak and converse to one another
05:57 to convey a message to somebody.
05:59 He's standing at the door knocking, waiting,
06:01 asking you today, to come to him just as you are.
06:05 When we come to Christ, that's called justification.
06:07 You come to him just in your sins,
06:09 just in your situations,
06:10 whatever it is, no matter how painful,
06:12 no matter how unmanageable, no matter how lonely,
06:14 no matter how desperate,
06:15 you just call out to Jesus
06:17 just as you are and that gives him
06:18 the opportunity to come in
06:20 and be your attorney to be your friend.
06:22 That's right.
06:23 And we have to invite him. Amen.
06:25 It's different from Satan
06:27 who just barges in just, you know,
06:29 just does whatever he will, now Jesus is a gentleman.
06:33 That's right.
06:35 He is going to wait for you to invite him
06:36 and then once you do,
06:37 he said, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock."
06:40 I'm knocking at the door of your heart.
06:41 Amen.
06:42 I'm knocking, now open the door.
06:44 And if you open the door,
06:45 I'll come in and I'll sup with you,
06:48 I'll come in and share with you.
06:50 We will get to know each other.
06:52 When you eat with somebody that's an intimate act,
06:54 you know, you're going to break bread with somebody, eat.
06:57 That's an intimate thing.
06:58 Jesus said, "I'll come in, I'll sup with you,
07:02 I will give you your needs, just open the door."
07:06 And so that's what you do with Christmas Behind Bars.
07:10 You take information, and you take gifts to inmates
07:14 and you are inviting them to open the door to Jesus.
07:18 Oh, amen.
07:19 We were in...
07:21 We were in this huge prison, it wasn't, it was last year,
07:24 we were in this huge prison and it's a voluntary program
07:28 that inmates come out to the program,
07:29 they don't have to come so.
07:31 So the chapel is full of inmates,
07:32 it's a last program
07:33 and I have the chaplain come up to me
07:35 right before the program started
07:36 and inmates were already seated,
07:37 already started talking to me,
07:39 chaplain come up and he whispers in my ear,
07:40 he says, "You got the main Muslim,
07:42 the main Muslim leader in the whole prison
07:44 in the service here."
07:46 And I'm thinking, "Why are you telling me that."
07:48 And we talked and then we did the program,
07:50 we talked, we closed with prayer.
07:51 All the inmates left but there were two inmates
07:54 sitting in the middle of the chapel
07:55 and they come walking up to me
07:57 and the big guy says,
07:58 "Hey, would you have prayer for my mama,
08:01 she's really sick."
08:03 We go in the back room,
08:04 we kneel down, we had prayer,
08:05 she got cancer and you know I had prayer for,
08:08 I said, "Lord, we know you can heal,
08:09 nevertheless not our will."
08:10 And he left,
08:12 chaplain come running up to me said,
08:13 "What did he want? What did he want?"
08:15 I said, well, he wanted to have prayer.
08:16 He said, "That's the guy."
08:17 And I'm thinking, "Wow, Lord, what a awesome opportunity."
08:20 But the guy left, I said,
08:21 "I'll probably never meet him again.
08:23 He's gone left."
08:24 And then just a few weeks ago sister,
08:25 we were in that same prison
08:27 and I'm thinking about this guy,
08:28 I don't know his name. I don't know his number.
08:30 I don't remember what he looked like.
08:31 Right.
08:33 Last service in the prison,
08:34 the last day, the last program
08:36 this man came walking up to me and he said,
08:38 "You probably don't remember me."
08:40 He said, "But last year you had."
08:41 I said, "Yes,"
08:42 I said, "I had prayer with you about your mom."
08:44 I said, "How she doing."
08:45 And he said, "Mama doing so much better."
08:48 He said, "I'd like you to have prayer with me this year,
08:51 I'm thinking about being a Christian."
08:52 Wow.
08:54 So the fruit that was in,
08:55 the seeds that were sown
08:56 begin to produce hope or a spark in his life
08:59 and now he want to have prayer.
09:01 He's considering being a Christian
09:02 and so wherever they are,
09:04 we all hurt the same and Jesus is the answer,
09:06 the common denominator
09:08 for the pain of sin in our world.
09:09 There's some pictures that maybe we could show,
09:11 I don't know if we have time for those.
09:13 Oh, sure.
09:14 Let show them. Okay.
09:16 Tell us what is that?
09:17 This picture here is actually the cell house,
09:18 where I spent my years in a maximum security prison,
09:21 and now I'm on the steps of that
09:23 ministering to the inmates,
09:25 so we have opportunity to go into that prison.
09:26 The next picture here is just kind of one of the corners
09:30 where I'd see from day to day,
09:31 it looks really, really rough and it was a,
09:33 it is a maximum security prison,
09:35 it's an old prison.
09:36 But now the next picture here, this is phenomenal.
09:38 This is actually my wife
09:40 and we're standing in the guard's hall
09:42 and she would come and visit me in the prison.
09:44 Every two weeks, she'd come and visit me.
09:46 She'd send me letters of encouragement,
09:48 "Don't give up, God loves you, you're not forgotten."
09:50 So God has brought up a full circle, amen.
09:52 Yes, amen.
09:53 So, and I know he's kind of done
09:55 some neat things in your life,
09:57 because you come and helped us at a prison in Indiana.
09:59 And it was such a blessing.
10:00 I loved it,
10:02 it was a women's prison in Indiana,
10:04 and it was a Christmas program.
10:06 That's right.
10:07 And you had some other volunteers there,
10:08 and Jason and I went and we gave our testimonies,
10:11 and I saying...
10:13 Amen.
10:14 And always just such a beautiful experience,
10:15 I mean really it's...
10:17 for me it waters my spirit to be able to share
10:20 what Jesus has done with women that are hungry
10:24 to know what Jesus can do for them.
10:27 What, how he can change their lives,
10:29 so it was, it was a wonderful experience.
10:32 What would you say to the viewers
10:33 because they've done...?
10:35 When you go to prison, you made headlines
10:37 and it's for the negative.
10:38 What would you share with the viewers about
10:40 how these women were
10:41 because they were like really bad
10:43 supposedly by society standards to be put in the prison?
10:45 But how did you feel and sense their spirit?
10:49 Oh, beautiful.
10:50 I mean they look like they're just regular women.
10:56 I don't mean that in a pejorative sense,
10:58 in a negative sense,
11:00 I mean that there wasn't anybody that
11:02 looked like some know,
11:04 raving lunatic or some terrible criminal.
11:08 They just looked like women that were incarcerated.
11:12 Women who were broken,
11:14 women who were hurting,
11:15 women who could smile,
11:18 women who would appreciate
11:20 just a word of encouragement, just a song,
11:23 that can point them to heaven.
11:26 For me it was like,
11:29 it was such a blessing to be able to share
11:33 what God has done for me
11:34 and know that they were
11:36 so appreciative of receiving it.
11:38 They just, they just appreciate your being there
11:41 and they're hungry for it.
11:43 They need it.
11:44 One of our friends
11:47 who is also in prison ministry said,
11:49 "People are either in prison.
11:51 Either they're going to have Christ or crime."
11:55 Right.
11:56 You pick, as Christians we want to give them Christ.
11:59 And that's what you're doing them,
12:01 when you go into the women's prisons,
12:02 when you go into the men's prisons,
12:04 you are bringing them not just literature,
12:07 you're bringing them gifts too.
12:09 And so many times they don't have any family.
12:12 They have nobody visiting them.
12:14 People have given up on them, right.
12:15 Absolutely.
12:17 For some this will be the only visit they get.
12:20 For some they don't have money on commissary,
12:22 they can't buy things in the prison,
12:24 and so it's just a beautiful thing
12:25 through our sponsorship
12:27 of the Christmas Behind Bars ministry.
12:28 You know we're able to give them
12:30 sometimes toothbrush, toothpaste,
12:31 soap, shampoo,
12:32 and you know you would think
12:34 that the prison provides that for them
12:35 and some prisons do,
12:36 but it's called an indigent toothbrush,
12:38 and so after you brush your teeth
12:39 about four or five times,
12:41 the bristles are all flat and it's just of no value.
12:43 So it's just a blessing to give them tangible gifts,
12:46 and at the same time let them know
12:48 that there's hope for their life...
12:50 And these are things we take for granted.
12:51 That's right.
12:53 You know,
12:54 we take our toothbrushes for granted.
12:55 That's right.
12:57 We take soap and deodorant for granted.
12:58 Right.
12:59 And yet these are things that are so important.
13:01 I want to go back a bit to the Muslim
13:04 because look at how God used you...
13:07 Praise God. Yes.
13:09 When you prayed for his mother and his mother got better.
13:13 So he was able to see that that prayer was answered,
13:16 that prayer that you prayed
13:18 in the name of Jesus was answered.
13:20 So now, his heart is softened.
13:22 Now he's open to more,
13:25 he is considering being a Christian,
13:27 so we want to ask you viewers to pray for that man,
13:30 pray for him, pray that
13:32 God will continue to move on his heart,
13:34 to open his heart to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
13:37 And more and more people are like that
13:40 if we can just share this word with everybody in there.
13:45 I mean my heart just breaks for those that are incarcerated
13:49 because so many times they're like throwaways
13:51 Amen.
13:52 And the first year, you know,
13:53 I don't remember him praying, we prayed together.
13:56 Now just a few weeks ago,
13:58 we kneeled down in the same room
13:59 in the back of the auditorium there,
14:01 and I prayed and I said, "Now you pray."
14:03 And he did pray.
14:05 You know, he shared a few words
14:06 and my wife sent him a study Bible.
14:08 Thanks to our sponsors that make Bibles possible.
14:10 So now he has a study Bible and it's just,
14:13 we just leave it in the Lord's hands,
14:14 so it's a real blessing.
14:16 Amen, amen.
14:17 There's a few more pictures if we have time for those.
14:19 Yeah, let's get them. Yeah.
14:20 What's that?
14:22 This is secure, maximum security prison,
14:25 and it's a pick up truck, we pull a trailer
14:28 and we're delivering packages, this is at the back gate.
14:31 We should have a couple more pictures
14:33 of just some prisons.
14:34 This is another prison.
14:36 It just shows the security is high,
14:39 but on the other hand,
14:40 God is opening doors in great ways.
14:42 So we can go to many countries and share the gospel.
14:44 But right here in our own community,
14:46 and you know, I told my wife,
14:48 it's been a few months ago.
14:50 I told her on the way to our prison
14:51 very early in the morning.
14:52 I said, "Baby,
14:54 I said, I believe that
14:55 this is one of the last reachable people groups
14:57 in the United Sates of America,
14:59 " because they're in prison, they want change,
15:02 but once they out in the world,
15:04 they're thinking about more foods stamps,
15:05 better job, better wife,
15:06 better car, all this temporal things,
15:09 but when they are incarcerated,
15:10 they hurt, they feel terrible,
15:12 they feel rejected, they feel ashamed.
15:14 And we can go in there and say,
15:15 bro, we love you, it don't matter what.
15:17 It don't matter your nationality,
15:19 your religious,
15:21 we love you and we come for all people.
15:23 And that's the gift of eternal life
15:24 through Jesus Christ,
15:25 he came and died for all people
15:28 that whosoever that every nation,
15:30 kindred and whosoever,
15:32 looketh, believeth in him shall be saved.
15:35 So that's the power of the gospel.
15:36 And if we don't tell them now,
15:38 then they'll die and they'll perish
15:41 without the plan of salvation.
15:43 So we want to go
15:44 and we appreciate your support for that.
15:48 What you're doing is just...
15:50 I mean it's just phenomenal because you're reaching,
15:52 you're doing what Jesus did,
15:53 you reach people where they are, right.
15:56 And then, you know,
15:58 you move forward from there, they need,
16:01 they are hurting, they are alone,
16:03 they are lonely and you're going in
16:06 and you're showing them love and that's what Jesus did.
16:08 And I do want to say something,
16:10 there's many different prison ministries out there
16:12 and we appreciate everyone.
16:13 But a lot of times, folks would go down to a prison
16:16 and they volunteer their time.
16:17 And so they have a designated time,
16:19 you come down here every Monday evening
16:20 or every Friday evening or every Sabbath morning,
16:22 whatever, you come down to prison,
16:24 you have a time slot of an hour
16:25 and 30 or 40 peoples come out of the prison
16:28 out of 2000 that's great.
16:29 So you have a Bible study with those 30 or 40,
16:31 but with Christmas Behind Bars when we go in,
16:33 we've a gift package for the whole 2000,
16:36 the whole 3000,
16:37 the 1700, the 1400,
16:39 so everyone gets invited to come out.
16:42 And by God's grace we're able to put the books,
16:44 The Desirer of Ages, The Great Controversy,
16:46 Steps to Christ throughout the whole prison,
16:48 and I want to tell you the fruit of one book,
16:51 in inmate's hands.
16:52 Yes, tell us.
16:53 We're at this county jail, it's a huge county jail,
16:56 and we're there with some volunteers.
16:57 It's two stories,
16:59 and I had these guys look over the range
17:00 and they locked over and they said,
17:01 "Are you a Sabbath keeper."
17:03 I said, "What you know about Sabbath?"
17:05 I said, "Hold on,"
17:06 and I went up there and they got this book.
17:08 The Antichrist Agenda
17:10 by Danny Shelton and Shelley Quinn,
17:12 and they pulled this book out and they said,
17:14 we got the truth.
17:16 We understand, we see what's going.
17:17 I only had a few minutes with him,
17:19 I said, "Brothers, you keep seeking."
17:21 And they were great big dudes.
17:23 I said, "You keep seeking and keep studying.
17:25 I said, God's gonna use you in a mighty way."
17:27 So one book put into these people's hands.
17:29 Multitudes of material going there,
17:31 but one book put into these people's hands,
17:34 they receive the gospel.
17:35 So if any of the viewers want to donate a case of books,
17:38 they can call 3ABN.
17:39 They can say donate Christmas Behind Bars.
17:41 They call 3ABN, they can donate cases
17:43 and we'll get them into the prisoner's hand, so...
17:45 That will be tremendous.
17:46 In fact I think we need to tell them how they can...
17:49 What's your website,
17:50 so that they can go and donate financially
17:53 or they can find out
17:55 where to send books or whatever?
17:57 What if they want to volunteer?
17:58 That would be a blessing to have them volunteer,
18:00 they can make cards
18:01 or get involved in their own jail or prison.
18:03 We'd like to help other people network and do that.
18:05 So you're all over the country, right?
18:08 Is your ministry all over?
18:10 Where is it?
18:11 Yeah, Oklahoma, Candes,
18:13 Illinois, Arkansas, Minnesota,
18:15 Georgia, Tennessee,
18:16 new prison coming up in Tennessee,
18:18 Virginia,
18:19 so wherever the Lord opens the doors
18:21 and it's through sponsors that make it possible for us
18:23 to come to their state or their area.
18:24 So you are 100 percent donor supported.
18:27 100 percent donor supported,
18:29 and we're 100 percent volunteer,
18:30 so we don't get paid a dime for what we are doing,
18:32 so every dollar that's donated goes right into the ministry
18:35 so praise the Lord.
18:36 Amen, amen, so what's your website.
18:38 It is ChristmasBehindBars.org.
18:40 Great.
18:42 ChristmasBehindBars.org
18:43 and they can go online and look
18:44 and get my email address or calls us
18:47 or whatever that would be great.
18:48 Tell us, give us a couple of stories of how
18:51 Christmas Behind Bars has impacted inmates?
18:54 Well, there was one lady in the county jail.
18:57 And someone had told her about the Sabbath.
19:00 She got locked up,
19:01 she is in this pod with 10, 15, 20 girls
19:03 and someone told her about the Sabbath.
19:05 Said, yeah, yeah whatever.
19:07 She did something really bad and she got put in segregation.
19:09 So she goes to segregation...
19:11 Explain segregation to those who don't know.
19:13 Segregation means you can't function in the pack.
19:15 You've got to go into this little room
19:17 by yourself with nobody.
19:18 You don't get anything, any privileges,
19:20 all your stuff is taken away
19:21 so you're in solitary confinement
19:23 with a bed, a toilet,
19:24 and your meals come through this little slot,
19:26 no communication with nobody.
19:28 So she got moved from the pod, was told about the Sabbath,
19:31 gets put in segregation lockdown
19:33 and was written on the wall
19:35 about the Sabbath is the Seventh-day of the week
19:37 was written on the wall.
19:39 So she's icon it, she heard this.
19:40 Now she sees it and in her bag,
19:43 she got the Ten Commandments Twice Removed.
19:45 She wrote a letter said,
19:46 "I now know that the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week
19:50 and that's Saturday.
19:51 So praise the Lord.
19:52 So, so little things are going forward
19:54 and that we don't even,
19:55 you know, we don't know about it.
19:57 There have been baptisms, you know,
19:58 people make commitments to Christ.
20:00 Many study Bibles have went out and so it's just,
20:04 it's just phenomenal, it's a great blessing.
20:06 That is so great.
20:08 Did you bring more pictures?
20:09 Do we have more pictures or was that it?
20:10 We have a picture that's really,
20:12 a really solemn picture,
20:13 it's near and dear to my heart
20:14 and we'll look at that picture right now.
20:17 This picture here is what happens to people
20:20 when they die in prison
20:22 if they don't have any family members
20:23 to come and claim their body.
20:25 So it's a graveyard,
20:28 a cemetery outside the prison
20:29 and all these tombstones represent somebody
20:32 that didn't have nobody,
20:34 but if we can just connect them with Christ
20:36 during their time of incarceration
20:38 and if Jesus be for them, who can be against them.
20:42 So if God be for us, who can be against us?
20:45 And so, we want to give them the everlasting gospel.
20:47 We want to let them know there's pardon and forgiveness
20:50 before they're laid to rest.
20:51 Because so many times,
20:53 we go to, we go to memorials,
20:54 and we go to funerals
20:56 and the pastor says all these good words over,
20:58 "Billy Bob that died with a nine millimeter in his hand,
21:01 a pocket full of dope, doesn't kill somebody."
21:04 And the pastor wants to say, he's in heaven now.
21:06 It don't go that way, is today in this life
21:09 that will prepare for the judgment.
21:11 You know we were at the hospital ward
21:13 not so long ago,
21:14 and this, I went in the cancer unit
21:16 and there were three individuals laying in the beds
21:19 and they were all very, very sick.
21:20 The first guy, I began to tell about Jesus
21:22 and the guy said,
21:24 "Oh, I read my Bible every day for half hour."
21:25 But the programs
21:27 he was watching was all the sex
21:28 and the drugs and the drama
21:30 that you see on Main Street
21:31 and I just, there's nothing I could say.
21:34 He reads his Bible but that's his choice.
21:36 Second guy, I walked up to
21:38 and he looked like he should be in a concentration camp.
21:40 His body had wasted away, he couldn't talk
21:43 and what do you say to a man that you've never met before,
21:45 and I just open the Word of God and I begin to read Psalms 23
21:49 and I said, "The Lord is my shepherd,
21:50 " I was right there by his bed.
21:52 And I said, "The Lord is my shepherd,
21:53 I shall not want."
21:55 And something inspired me to ask him,
21:57 "Is the Lord your shepherd?"
21:59 And he shook his head and he begin to cry
22:03 and then I begin to tell him that,
22:04 "Yea, thou we walk through the valley
22:05 of the shadow of death,
22:07 and surely goodness and mercy..."
22:08 and he couldn't even talk
22:10 and I don't know what decision he made
22:11 but as we prayed he clung to my hand.
22:14 And I know that there was
22:15 something more positive than what he had.
22:17 And so, we may never meet these people on this earth,
22:19 but girl, I look forward throughout eternity to looking,
22:23 speaking with the rejected in this society,
22:26 in this life throughout eternity with Jesus.
22:28 Yes, brother, you know, as you were talking...
22:32 First of all the pictures of those graves, you know,
22:35 when you think about
22:36 people going to the grave without knowing about Christ.
22:39 See I think, we think that
22:41 everybody knows about Jesus.
22:42 No, they don't.
22:44 Everybody doesn't know about Jesus.
22:45 We have to take Jesus to them. Amen.
22:48 And even if they die,
22:50 even if they're buried in that cemetery,
22:52 they die in the Lord.
22:54 They'll be resurrected in the Lord.
22:56 They'll be resurrected in Him and have eternity with Him.
23:01 So to me it's like, it's a no-brainer.
23:04 We have to get the word into the prisons.
23:07 They are a captive audience so to speak so,
23:10 they have time to study,
23:12 they have time to learn about Jesus,
23:14 and really, I mean
23:15 not only is it helping them spiritually,
23:17 it's helping us socially because when they come out,
23:21 they are changed people
23:22 if they've gotten converted in prison.
23:25 So now, we won't have recidivism.
23:27 We won't have the same burden on society.
23:29 I mean it's like what.
23:31 it's like what is there to think about?
23:33 We need to get the word in
23:35 and everybody can't go into the prisons themselves,
23:38 but that's why we have programs like
23:40 Christmas Behind Bars
23:42 where you're doing the work,
23:44 you got volunteers to do the work,
23:46 and if people want to volunteer they can,
23:48 but you still are handling that,
23:51 we should support you in that.
23:52 Amen.
23:54 Well, thank you very much. We should support you.
23:55 I had a guy that got out of prison,
23:57 he got a book, he got a packet
23:58 when he was in the county jail,
23:59 he begin to understand reading the Bible
24:01 and he got the phonebook out
24:02 and he looked up at Seventh-day Adventist Church
24:03 and he started sending tithe to the Adventist church.
24:06 He got out, he joined the church,
24:07 he was baptized,
24:09 the church want to have a revival in the community.
24:10 And he said,
24:12 "Before we can have a revival in the community,
24:14 we need to have a revival in the church."
24:15 Oh, wow.
24:17 And so this man was willing to read
24:18 and study the Bible with him
24:19 after potluck and after church
24:21 and we do need a revival in the church.
24:22 And as we are in active service,
24:24 it may not be prison ministry.
24:26 We are in active service for your neighbor,
24:28 babysitting for your neighbor's children
24:29 and helping out,
24:31 active service is what God wants us
24:32 to evangelize the world through one heart at a time.
24:35 So prison ministry is valuable, near and dear to my heart
24:37 because I was there,
24:39 I appreciate your support for prison ministries.
24:41 But active service wherever they are
24:43 and if they'd like to help, help the prisoners.
24:45 You know they can sponsor us at Christmas Behind Bars.
24:47 Yes.
24:49 That is awesome.
24:50 How does your wife feel about Christmas Behind Bars?
24:52 I know that it's super important to you
24:56 because you had that experience.
24:58 How does she feel about it?
25:00 How much time do we have?
25:03 Got about two minutes. Two minutes.
25:05 Well, my wife visited me every two weeks
25:06 in the visiting room
25:08 so she understands the family side of it
25:09 before we were married.
25:11 Got out of prison,
25:12 we got married about nine months later
25:14 and I wanted to do what was right,
25:16 but I was powerless because I didn't have Christ
25:18 in my daily as my focal point.
25:20 So for the next 12 years of our marriage,
25:21 I struggled with addiction.
25:23 She went through a lot of painful moments in her life,
25:25 weeks, months in her life.
25:27 But when I gave my heart to Christ,
25:29 she was so grateful
25:31 and now to work for the incarcerated is phenomenal,
25:35 to write the letters
25:36 that she once wrote to me to encourage,
25:38 "Don't give up. You're not forgotten."
25:39 So the letter writing ministry and in every aspect of it
25:42 and the ministry grew,
25:44 it started one year with a jail of 350 inmates,
25:46 then it went to 400, 500, 600, 700
25:49 that was about 3000 inmates a year.
25:51 It would always finish
25:53 at Christmas time but Christmas,
25:54 you can't do them all so
25:55 it would be October, November,
25:57 December, September, October
25:58 and she said, "We can't grow no more.
26:00 3000, 5000, we can't grow no more."
26:02 And finally, she said,
26:03 "You know, I just left it up to the Lord."
26:05 So, so now I guess
26:06 it's probably 40, 50, 000 inmates
26:08 that are visited a year through our sponsors
26:11 that make it possible
26:12 and the Lord keeps the doors open,
26:13 so it's phenomenal.
26:15 40 to 50,000.
26:16 Three years ago, three years ago,
26:18 we had the privilege of visiting every inmate
26:20 in the state of Virginia and that was 30,000 inmates.
26:22 Every inmate in the state of Virginia
26:24 received the package from Christmas Behind Bars,
26:26 a devotional book, material,
26:29 that they could send for Bible studies
26:30 and so it's just phenomenal that
26:32 and it's run on a volunteer basis,
26:34 all the people at the warehouse.
26:35 Most of them have gotten packages,
26:36 most of them been incarcerated
26:38 and they come every day to help out
26:40 and volunteer their time
26:41 because they know
26:42 the value that was given to them.
26:44 How beautiful is that.
26:45 And there's no gift that's too small, right.
26:47 No, no.
26:48 Somebody might watching might say,
26:49 "Oh, I only have $5 on my desk."
26:51 We get brand new Bibles
26:52 from Remnant Publication for $3,
26:54 the red letters edition,
26:55 they have some study helps in the back.
26:56 So $3 is,
26:58 is and if you can only give a buck and a half,
27:00 two buck and a half make makes a Bible, amen.
27:02 So, absolutely.
27:04 Amen. Amen.
27:05 Well, thank you so much, brother,
27:06 'cause what you're doing.
27:08 It's you are changing lives
27:10 under the power of the Holy Spirit...
27:12 Praise God.
27:13 And we give God the praise.
27:15 He is using you to change lives.
27:16 Thank you so much.
27:18 Oh, God bless you, girl. For being with.
27:19 God bless you and continue to do
27:20 what you're doing
27:22 'cause we really, really need you
27:24 and what you're doing and Dona,
27:26 give her a hug from me too.
27:27 All right.
27:28 Well, we've reached the end of another program, you know,
27:30 we really need for you to support
27:32 Christmas Behind Bars.
27:35 Send any amount, any amount to them,
27:37 go to the website, you can donate from there.
27:40 But do something,
27:41 even if you can't go to prison yourself,
27:44 you can send something to this program
27:47 and make a difference for them.
27:48 I can't believe our time is up.
27:50 Whenever Lemuel is here, it is just...
27:53 We can just go on and on.
27:54 But may God bless you,
27:56 may He richly bless you
27:57 as you continue to serve Him and join us next time,
28:00 because you know what,
28:01 it just wouldn't be the same without you.


Revised 2016-10-10