“We were able to do something that no church has ever been able to do in the history of this prison.”
“And that is water baptize men from what’s called administrative segregation, a section of the prison that has the most violent felons, violent inmates of the whole prison.”
“These men are all active gang members. And not only were they making a decision to be baptized and to commit their lives to Christ, they knew that this decision meant, to some of them, certain death.”
Baptism symbolizes for us as Christians a new life.
We publicly proclaim our belief in our Savior Jesus Christ and we come out of the water brand new and full of conviction and the Holy Spirit.
And baptism can happen anywhere, even in a maximum-security prison.
This is what happened in Texas last month when gang members, some even from rival gangs, came together to get baptized and proclaim themselves as new men, cleansed by Jesus.
Before the baptism, “guards had to separate them on both sides so they couldn’t get close to each other just in case violence would break out.”
But as the men came out of the water, the Holy Spirit filled the room. Hostility ceased and these men could see that they were all brothers in Jesus Christ. Family. Sons of God.
The men had, “professed the same Lord and were baptized in the same water and they walked out together in a line, guards not holding onto their arms anymore because God had done something in their life.”
It was a dangerous thing for them to do. Many of their fellow prisoners and gang members watched them walk with the enemies after being baptized. It seems that this is seen as a betrayal to fellow gang members and can result in beatings or even death.
“They walked out past men who, when they were walking back, soaking wet, dripping with water because the decision, were going to mark them for death.”
However, even knowing they were in danger from other prisoners, these men knew that they had God on their side.
They are now one in Jesus Christ. A part of one family, one body.
They can face these challenges because, with God being for them, who can be against them?
God’s Love and Forgiveness is available for everyone, even for people who have made terrible mistakes in their lives, even if you have made the kinds of mistakes that get you into maximum-security prisons.
The key is to turn your life toward God and to repent and sin no more.
And this is the commitment that these gang members made when they were dunked under the water, proclaiming their Faith in Jesus and their knowledge of the sacrifice that he made to save their souls from death.
It’s amazing there are so many ways that we can see God at work. And in so many places.
We have all made mistakes and each and every one of them separates us from God. But the beautiful and powerful truth of Jesus is that He gives us the grace and mercy to be forgiven from these mistakes and to be reunited with our Heavenly Father!
He truly is everywhere. From the brightest of places to the darkest of corners. Even where we don’t expect to see Him, where we may judge that He has no reach, He is there. It is foolish of us to think that there may be a place where He cannot find us.
He is the One Who will leave the 99 to save one of His lambs. Every one of us is precious in His eyes. The angels in Heaven rejoice for each and every soul that is saved by the Holy Lamb of God.
He is in every physical and psychological place. His Love is infinite and life-saving moments like these can remind us just how amazing and awesome, gracious and merciful, our Holy Father truly is.
Please pray with us for those who need to be saved and for those living lives of hate and confusion.
Let us pray that they can find Jesus, be led to the Father, and have Peace in their lives, that they can also be heirs to the promise that God has for us.
And watch this video from the church itself whose work powered by the Holy Spirit is making these new lives possible: