On leaving the role of monitor in a High Security prison I thought that I would never have to worry again about committing the unforgivable sin which in prison terms is leaving a gate unlocked! However, I was then asked to consider being a volunteer chaplain and GOOD NEWS for Everyone! representative at a local prison. Truthfully I had thought about this on a number of occasions but thought, ‘I will wait to be asked!’ It was therefore an easy decision.
The last five years volunteering in that role have been quite remarkable and rewarding for each week I have gone in carrying a supply of Bibles, Testaments and HOPE magazines and taken away testimonies and stories to share with others. Although at times tiring and even upsetting as a result of this experience, I have grown in my own Christian life. I have seen how the entrance of God's Word truly does bring light and seen men's lives changed. As one translation puts it in Psalm 40:2, "He lifted me(n) up from the pit of despair, out of the miry clay and he set their feet upon a rock and made their footsteps firm." This week was a prime example…
Having been asked to see a man to make arrangements for him to receive communion, it was soon evident that he had been sentenced to 25 years and wanted to take communion to "make peace with God" then end his life for he had not eaten in 10 days. On seeing him and hearing his story we had a time of prayer finding he had been confirmed as a child and he was open to hearing about God's forgiveness. He accepted a HOPE magazine and a New Testament and seemed grateful, following lots of tears. In return I asked him to eat a meal and so he did, promising to go to the weekly prayer meeting on the wing telling me his only possession was the Scriptures. His life visibly began to change as he heard of God's love for him and as he read for himself about it.
I am so grateful for the Word of God to share with these men for His Word truly is the power unto salvation. Everyone was grateful that this man had begun to eat but we trust and pray that he will now be nourished by the real food which is the Word of God!
Nigel Roberts, Worcester Branch