Orlando’s 33rd Street Jail

As told by John Barros:

No abortions were being done today at OWC, as usual on Tuesdays. I love hearing stories of how God changes hearts and lives. I heard one today that is so beautiful.

I have the awesome pleasure to be a chaplain with Good News Jail and Prison Ministry at Orlando’s 33rd Street Jail. Stephen came into my office in the Christian dorm today, wanting a Reformation Study Bible. He has been exposed to RC Sproul in here. I try to get as many of RC’s books and resources in here as possible because there is an awful lot of garbage in here. I asked him to tell me his story.

He said he had a shameful childhood and was a drug addict from the ages of 11-31. In the middle of all that he did a seven-year prison sentence. In 2007 he had an “encounter” with Jesus but turned back to the world. By January of 2014 his father had died, every relationship he’d ever had was destroyed, and he was planning to end his life. February 18th this year everything changed. He could not go on. He had tried to no avail to get into a rehab program and thought there was no longer any hope.

A friend gave him a Bible to read. The Word through the Holy Spirit completely tore him apart and crushed him. He said everything came to the surface. Laid out before him was his wickedness, guilt, shame, lust, greed, denial, etc. He was exposed in the light of a holy God. In the midst of his loneliness and misery he cried out to God for forgiveness and help. Sobbed for hours praying for deliverance and guidance. He turned to the man who gave him the Bible. He was presented with the gospel and committed his life to Christ.

Stephen says the Lord told him to come clean with everyone. He was living in Oklahoma and there were several charges he had been running from in several states. He walked down the street to a police station and said, “I am a fugitive from God and I want to turn myself in. Do you have a place I can crash for the night?” Once he was behind bars he knew he was FREE for the first time in his life.

Stephen has been devouring God’s word since his conversion and devours Christian literature. He says he is thankful for his time in jail. He speaks of desiring to continue being transformed. He is so excited to have his new study Bible. Pray God answers his prayers and he is transformed by the renewing of his mind. If any men would like to write him, or if you are local and would like to visit him, please message me and I’ll get you the info.

I cannot encourage people enough to volunteer at your local jail. Great things happen there..