A recent testimony from our Trailblazers DTS on outreach in Papua New Guinea.
The story that follows is a true showing of God’s mercy and grace.
In a previous visit to a local Transit Center (a place where travelers can come for a short stay while they are getting supplies to take back to nearby islands) we came to the aid of a woman who had just been beaten by her husband. Once we got back to our flat that night we spent a while in prayer and wanted to pray into all that we had seen in the day. We prayed for that marriage to be mended and that his addiction to alcohol would be broken.
I did not think much about the situation the following day but two days after the fact we were back at the Transit Center. I did not see either of them but
something inside me had the crazy idea that I should try to find this man in the police station.
It wasn’t just my idea but it was a thought placed in my mind by the Holy Spirit. I was able to find out his name from some people around who knew him.
Later that day a friend an I went to try and find this man. We went into the police station and asked how we would go about speaking with somebody who was in the holding cell. We were told we would have to speak with the police chief in order to get access. We waited a few minutes and we were directed to his office.
He welcomed us in and had a confused look on his face as to why we would want to speak with a criminal.
We told him that we simply wanted to speak and pray with him. As soon we said “pray with him” the police chief’s demeanor completely changed. He got up and started to lead us towards the holding cell. We asked if we could run to the store to get this man a snack to give to him and the chief said that was totally fine.
So we ran to the store across the street and got a cold drink and some chips. We came back and were taken down a hallway towards the cells. We stood and waited while a guard went to get the man we were looking for. When they said his name and that we wanted to speak with him he was very confused as to why we would have any reason to speak with him.
The guards put the three of us in a room with some chairs. The guard left and it was just the three of us.
So there we were… Sitting face to face with a man whom we had seen attack his pregnant wife.
We didn’t know him or how we would respond to us bringing him the snack but we figured that since the Holy Spirit was able to arrange this meeting then why not share the gospel with this man.
We introduced ourselves and told him that we knew of the incident that got him in trouble. He didn’t seem angry with us or anything like that. He just remained rather quiet and somber. I asked him if he could tell me a little bit about himself. He started to tell us why the incident had happened but I stopped him and told him that I wanted to know about himself and not the incident. He was confused but started to tell us about himself. He also told us that he had been praying that someone would come for him. He basically wanted God to prove Himself to him. I thought that was so cool.
This man didn’t request us, he didn’t even know us. BUT he did pray that someone would come and that was us.
When God asks us to do something that may seem crazy you should probably obey. This man’s eternity was on the line and God chose to use me.
At this point we were able to fully go into the gospel. I knew that the Holy Spirit was working in this man’s heart while we were speaking. We were able to show him how God feels about him and how God isn’t mad at him. He grew up in church but had not been for years. We were able to lead him in a prayer of repentance and salvation which was one of the most powerful things I have ever been a part of. This man was starting to tear up and was seriously feeling the grace of God.
I then had the idea that perhaps we could do communion with this new believer.
We explained and led him through his first communion as a believer. We used BBQ chips and orange Fanta.
I know it’s not your standard juice and stale cracker but I do know that he understood the symbolism and the power behind communion. At this point we asked if there was anything anything else that we could do/pray for him. So we spent a few more minutes in prayer with him before we had to leave and return him to the guard.
Once we were finished we walked out of the room we were just in and looked all around for a guard… There no guards to be seen anywhere. So Jacob went to find a guard while I waited with this man. We waited a good 10 minutes before a guard showed up to put him back in the holding cell.
We were waiting outside of the cell which held nearly 30 men. All eyes were on us. Not sure what to do or say I asked if there was anyone who wanted me to pray with them.
Little did I know that every single hand would go up.
I took this opportunity to pray out loud over all of the inmates.
Then I started preaching to them. I’m not totally sure what came over me or where these words even came from but I do know that Holy Spirit was so present in this place. I then asked if there was anyone who wanted to pray and ask God into their heart. At this time many men raised their hands. So I had the ones that wanted to pray a prayer of salvation come up to the gate so I could lay a hand on them and lead them in prayer. I prayed with two other men and had the privilege and honor to lead these men to Christ. I would have prayed with more men to lead them to Christ but the guard came back and told me that they did not allow people to speak with the prisoners let alone speak with them for over an hour! I also found out later that there was a big sign that said that no food or drink was to be brought in. I found that rather funny seeing that the chief gave us full permission! That’s the grace of God!
Their situation was desperate. Their conditions are not good. They were rarely fed or let out to use the rest room. Some of these men had been in there for months on end just waiting for a court date to be scheduled. It was too crowded inside the building so the newest inmates were kept in a cell that had no roof. When it stormed these men got soaked. It was hard to find the words to say to encourage these men. The only thing I could think to say was, “God has NOT forsaken you!”
This is is a day that I will never forget. There are certain conversations and images that get burned into your mind. This was one of them. I ask that anyone who reads this prays for these men. They are in a terrible situation but they have some of the strongest faith I have ever seen.
And I have to say this because I truly mean it from the bottom of my heart, thank you to those of you who have made this possible. I want you to know that through supporting missions you are changing the world. God is doing majorly big things here.
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