And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the
scriptures. Now these inmates are saved and on their way to heaven. They start
learning in our discipleship program how they are to live as a child of God.
Now apply 2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new
creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new, and
you have an excited person in his new relationship with the Lord and other
inmates see the difference. Bible studies and prayer groups were started. What
an impact that made in the lives of sincere Christians and on the unsaved
population in the Confinement Center!
There were many things for which we praised and thanked the Lord. He
always brought people into our services. We were not permitted to go to the
cells and invite people to come. God mostly used other Christians and newly
saved individuals to encourage others to come. There were times when no
one came, but in eleven years these times were few and when they did start
coming there seemed to be many that accepted Jesus Christ as Savior. I believe
the reason was not only that we desired for souls to be saved also but that we
lifted up Christ. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto
me. (John 12:32).
We met a man who had no place for God in his life. He was in Iraq and got
into trouble and was sent to the Confinement Center. He attended our service
because he was invited and it gave him something to do. After three or four
services he accepted Christ into his life. This was before his trial. He admitted
that his trouble was his own fault and that he deserved his punishment. He
became faithful in his attendance, witness and life for the Lord. When his trial
came, he was willing to accept whatever was handed down. God intervened
and the man received a ten-year sentence with the possibility of parole after
seven years. After he left, I heard that his crime could have brought him a life
sentence. Another man attended our services because of the changed life of one of the
new Christians. He came for several weeks and accepted the Lord as Savior.
His life showed an amazing change. Satan began to attack him through his
family. Sadly, his wife went to jail in Tennessee and his children were sent to
live with his mother—that was not a good situation. His wife wanted a divorce.
Things progressively got worse for him. We continued to pray for him and
his stand and his wife's salvation. Then one day we heard that his wife got
saved and things began to turn around for him. On Tuesday he was in our
discipleship session and on Thursday I was told that Tuesday night this man
made a decision to surrender his life to do whatever God wanted him to do.
Wednesday his attorney came and told him that all charges were dropped and
by Thursday he was on his way home to Tennessee.
I was excited by a missions conference we had at Rhein River Baptist Church.
I went to the Confinement Center and God changed my message for that
day. I preached a challenging missions sermon to these inmates. Two were
saved and one surrendered to whatever God wanted and one surrendered to
be a missionary. I was walking on “cloud nine.” I stopped in the commanding
officer's office and thanked him for allowing us to be there. He said that he
was glad that we were there and appreciated the impact that we had among
the inmates. I asked about his salvation. He shared that he was saved because
of God's intervention when he was in Iraq. Under his direction his convoy
took a different route that God had impressed upon him to take. There were
no casualties. The convoy that came after him suffered heavy casualties. Based
upon this he believed that God saved him. I mentioned that God did save his
physical life and then that day I took the Bible and showed him God's plan and
God saved his soul. He placed his trust in Jesus Christ and became a child of
God. After eleven years of being used of God to preach the Gospel and minister
to US Military in confinement, I have many things for which I can praise the
Lord. One of them is being able to hear inmates praise and thank the Lord for
being caught and sent to the Confinement Center in Mannheim, Germany.