04/14/2018: An Angry Inmate

An Angry Inmate

A prisoner becomes upset when presented with the truth.

The country of Russia has denied Jehovah’s Witnesses the right to congregate and distribute literature. As Seventh-day Adventists are also considered fundamentalists, we may be subject to similar court orders in the future. 

A statement written by Ellen White could be closer than we think. “Those who honor the Bible Sabbath will be denounced as enemies of law and order…” The Great Controversy, 592. How much time do we have before our ultimate test of loyalty becomes a reality? 

As we send Bibles to the prisons, we feel that time is running out. We have had the privilege of baptizing twenty-one inmates in local facilities so far. Some of these babes in Christ have life sentences, and we admonish them to be faithful witnesses. Thanks to the influence of these converts, we see new faces at our services every week, where all are offered a free Bible and Bible studies. 

We receive requests for Bibles and corresponding study materials from inmates stationed across the country. As inmates send us notes of appreciation, we are reminded that God’s Word will not return unto Him void. (Isaiah 55:11)

“Why was it that Christ went out by the seaside, and into the mountains? He was to give the word of life to the people. They did not see it just that minute. A good many do not see it now, to take their position, but these things are influencing their lives; and when the message goes with a loud voice, they will be ready for it. They will not hesitate long; they will come out and take their position.” Evangelism, 300, 301.

Maybe sooner than we would like to think, some of us could be imprisoned for our faith.

When this does happen, I feel confident that we will find fellow believers sharing the harsh environment of the prisons with us, because God’s Word was taken to them beforehand by this ministry. To God be the glory! 

About two years ago, I ministered to those in a particular facility with my friend Brian. An inmate became very upset over what we were teaching from the Bible. Rising to his feet, he loudly declared that our doctrine was faulty, and vowed that he would prove this. He had a strong personality and wielded a lot of influence over the other inmates. For this reason, we were concerned that his attitude would negatively affect our services. 

We prayed often about the situation. Around two months later, the same inmate not only humbly apologized, but he stood in front of the congregation and testified that while he had studied the Bible to prove us wrong, he had become convicted that we were right.

Since then, he has faithfully attended our services and even leads out on occasion. Recently, he took a stand to follow Christ, and this public declaration stirred another inmate to request baptism. 

This inmate’s story illustrates the process of witnessing in a nutshell. We planted the seed of truth. Weeds in the form of preconceived ideas began to suffocate it, but the water of the Holy Spirit softened the hard ground of the human heart for the seed to grow. 

Our method for reaching souls behind bars with God’s Word is simple, but the Department of Corrections can be difficult to work with. Bibles must be mailed to the prison directly from a publisher or bookstore, so we work with a publisher. Many prisons require inmates to fill out a form requesting the ordered item by name. Inmates wait sometimes 2 or 3 weeks for the Department of Corrections to give them approval, and then mail us the request with the approval document. We can only send the items that are approved, and are not allowed to correspond with inmates on a personal basis because we are considered a supplier. Thus, we pray and trust that God’s Word and His Spirit will do the rest. We will see the whole scope of the harvest someday, but until then we will keep sending and praying. 

Pray that as the inmates read, Jesus will reveal Himself to them. Perhaps they will request more study materials, or sign up for a Bible Study correspondence course. Also pray that the requests we receive will never exceed our funding. If the Holy Spirit impresses you, we will accept your tax-deductible contribution with thanks. 

May God give you strength for today and hope for the future. 

Location: Virginia

Author: Johny Carmouche 
Brother Carmouche is a prison missionary who also gives quality Bibles free of charge to prisoners who ask.

How You Can Help:
Pray for the prisoners reached by this ministry to experience a new life in Christ. 
Donate for the purchase of Bibles at www.bibles4prisoners.com or mail your check to Johny Carmouche, PO Box 972, Locust Grove, VA 22508
Purchase Brother Carmouche’s autobiography and share it with friends who may be struggling! Proceeds will be used to sustain Bible 4 Prisoners.