Today was a day fraught with many surprises. I was happy to discover that the report of deaths that I had received last Thursday concerning the riot at Santa Adelaida was a mistaken and false report. However, the reports I did receive today concerning the riot were nothing short of miraculous concerning the protection of the prison saints, during the melee, as well as the fact that after a three hour gun battle, within the prison, nobody was killed. Lord willing, in the next few days I will try to relate a few of these stories, but let me tell you what happened as I was leaving the prison today.
I had noticed upon my arrival at the inner entrance of the prison that there were 30 or so inmates that had been separated from general population. Without speaking to anybody I knew who they were. They were the leadership of the former group of the Gulf Coast Cartel that had just been displaced from power. For their safety they have been removed from the general population until they can be relocated to another facility, just to start the cycle all over again. They were cordoned off to the side, under guard, to prevent them from having contact with outsiders. However, as I entered into the ladies section of the prison to deliver their Bible studies I had to walk by the chain link fence, within feet of these men. Upon my departure from the ladies section one of these men came to the fence to get my attention and asked if I would speak to the guard to allow me to visit them.
Though I honestly do not know all these men I can truthfully say that very few of these men don’t know of me. After nearly 20 years of ministry with both the inmates and their families word gets around, and we had just given many of these men’s children backpacks and school supplies just a few weeks ago. Though the guards know my activities inside the prison I was still a little surprised that I was permitted to visit them, especially since the mayhem had just taken place a few days ago. These men wanted nothing from me, but to talk to them about the Lord. They would not have wanted this a few weeks ago, but it is amazing the change in one’s perspective when you don’t know if you are going to live or die. What a door of opportunity!
As I drew near to these men they all in unison approached and surrounded me. When having opportunities like this thrust upon me I find that many times I find myself saying things that perhaps under normal circumstance I wouldn’t say. The first thing that I related to them was that I didn’t know the details of their predicament; didn’t need to know the details and didn’t want to know them, but one thing I did know is that God had GREAT MERCY on all of them, because there were no deaths. I was pleased to see the silent acknowledgment that they gave to my declaration. Because of such I was able to talk to them about the mercies of the Lord and God’s grace that He has for all of us. I was thrilled inside when they requested that I pray with them! We did not have a mass altar call, and I am not saying that 30 men came to the Lord, but I am thrilled at the little steps that the Lord uses to break down the hearts of hardened, sinful men. Before leaving I told these men that I would be willing to help them in any way possible. The only thing they requested was that we remember them in prayer! Every one of these men were receptive and most of them pressed upon me just to shake my hand before leaving. Please remember these men in your prayers that their hearts remain receptive, and that God can perform His greatest miracle; Salvation in their lives!