You visited me in prison
Beit Immanuel Congregation   February, 2014

Prison Doors Open for Gospel

Dear Friends,


Over the past year some men from Beit Immanuel have been visiting prisoners. Many of them are serving life sentences. We want to share with you what Aleksey had to say about his visit this week.


It must be difficult to show compassion to these men knowing that they have committed terrible crimes even murder. How do you overcome 


I know what it is like to be a criminal. In my life before I was a Messianic Jew I got into a lot of trouble. These prisoners receive no visitors. Family, friends, everyone has completely abandoned them. We are the only ones who come to see them. We see the regret and sorrow on their faces. Some have even asked for forgiveness and weep before us.


Still, how can you be sure that they are really interested in the gospel and not just faking it?


Sometimes you can't, but let me tell you a story. I meet with a 50 year-old doctor, a cardiologist who is serving a life prison term. His stepson used to beat him almost daily until one day he just couldn't take it anymore, snapped and killed him. He is a very intelligent man, but things just went wrong for him.


Eventually he realized that he needed God's forgiveness for what he had done. I have seen him crying in repentance for what he has done asking God to forgive him. Now he also has cancer. He has nothing else to live for. He gave his pension away to his other son, even though he refuses to visit or even speak to him. Now he comes with us to visit other prisoners to share God's love with them.


Are you ever in danger visiting with these men? Aren't they hardened criminals?


We visit in the ward reserved for the most difficult prisoners. Many are serving life terms. Some of them are only 20 years old. We speak to them through a telephone while they are in a secure cage. They certainly are criminals, but we also find that they are lonely and sad. Most of them don't want to speak with us. They say, "When will you cast me away just like everyone else?"


There is one of the hardest criminals that we have been trying to get through to for a long time. He refused to talk or respond to anything we said or did. We sent in two brothers who have themselves been working with prisoners and told them, "You go and see if you can get through to this tough guy." I have no idea what they said, but within just a few minutes we saw this light appear on his face and for the first time in months he was smiling and talking. We told him, "God has called you to go and be a light to the other prisoners."


Are you seeing fruit from this work?


There is a small group of prisoners who have come to faith in Yeshua. They are sharing with others who are showing interest. The police guards keep thanking us for the prayers and the help that we give the prisoners.


We are broadcasting our Shabbat services from Beit Immanuel over a telephone inside the prison. This is the only means of communication they have with the outside world. We are praying that the seeds of the Gospel will bring comfort and hope to those in need.


This comes with much love and appreciation to all of you who have been so faithful over the years standing with us in prayer and support. 

In His Fellowship,

David and Michaella