For this young man it means the freedom to worship in spite of the hostile environment in which he lives; a maximum security prison just south of Baltimore Md. As a professing Christian he is constantly under attack from the rampant gangs as well as the large Muslim population. His faith is challenged daily and is often scrutinized by prison officials as well as his family and friends who consider it a “jailhouse religion.”
And though the incarcerated women usually aren’t subject to the violence that the men endure, the separation from their children takes it’s damaging emotional toll. But thanks be to God, He is able to heal their pain. I wish every Christian could get a chance to fellowship with these brave brothers and sisters. In Luke 7 Jesus teaches us that whoever has been forgiven much loves much and the Holy Spirit confirms that inside prison. Some of these people have committed serious if not heinous crimes, many are serving life sentences, yet when they receive and grasp the grace bestowed upon them, they are as humble and grateful as anyone I know.
Then there are the heartbreaking suicides. Though his hands are raised in praise this dear brother is no longer with us. Just a few months from release, after serving nine years of a twelve year sentence, he hung himself. He was a faithful member of the men’s choir, and excelled as the top student in his G.E.D. class but because of the stigma of his crime he chose to end his life rather than suffer what awaited him upon release. You may have guessed it… he was a convicted sex offender having fondled his own child while high on crack. His mother lived next to a school so he was prohibited from living with her. Halfway houses refused him, even Christian rehabs will not intake sex offenders. He was a dear friend of mine. Fear overtook him. Please check out our Vision Page as I hope someday to provide housing for any Believer.