This past Tuesday was very hot. The air was thick, heavy and musty. As we walked up the gloomy dark winding staircase to the third floor where the Zeta’s are being held and punished in isolation by the Gulf Coast Cartel, it was hard to see because there were no lights. The only light provided was coming through the built-in air vent slits in the sides of the cellblock.
As Manuel and I walked down the small corridor it was as if men were rising from out of the darkness to surround us. Men with no hope; men full of fear visibly in their eyes were gathering around. I had never been permitted to enter this area before because it is under lock and key by the Gulf Cartel, and, as a foreigner, no one is to see their activities towards incarcerated enemy cartel members. However, 13 of these Zetas are presently involved with our Bible Studies. The Gulf knows that I am the preacher with the Studies, but they allowed me to pass in order “to view the handcrafts” of these punished ones because the present Gulf leader, in the prison, has sympathy towards “religious things”.
These men all had been captured by the Federal police and the military for their illicit activities. There is no telling how many men that these men have killed, but each and every one of them has a soul. After only a few minutes being with them the questions starting coming. The main question received was, “Will you please pray for me?” It isn’t hard to pray; to pray an evangelistic prayer with the message of the cross with such men. They do not know if they will be alive tomorrow. So many of them have accidents; accidental hangings, accidental drug overdoses and electrocutions. As Gulf members watched we availed ourselves of this opportunity. Hearts were definitely touched; especially mine.
Though I have ministered in this prison now for nearly 17 years this was the first time I was permitted in this area. It gave me an even greater perspective of the urgency to which we have been commissioned. Please pray for these hardened men that now find themselves willing to listen.