Thriving Church in a jail in India

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3 Responses to “Thriving Church in a jail in India”

  1. ian vincent Says:

    Report from Rajahmundry- Prison Ministry – sent by Bro. Thomas Achari

    Ministry among the prisoners in various jails in and around East and West Godavari districts is carried out regularly. Worship services are held regularly at four places within Rajahmundry Central Jail. As always, people keep pouring in. Two Muslim brothers were confronted by the gospel and they are attending the worship services. Several Hindu brothers are also experiencing the change by receiving the Lord into their hearts and are testifying nicely.

    Here are two such instances:

    1. Venkanna Babu studied upto M.Com. He was engaged in politics and soon was involved in a murder case. He was convicted with life sentence and came to Rajahmundry Central Jail four years ago. Even in prison he kept company among the political prisoners. He never used to like Christians. But he lacked peace in his heart with questions, ‘Why so many Hindus come to prison, go to Church, hold the Bible and their lives are changed? How do they have that joy which I do not have?’ One Sunday he secretly came and sat in the service. On that day as the Holy Spirit spoke to him about the new birth, he opened his heart and received the Lord that very same day. His questions were answered. A Bible was given to him and he started coming regularly, greatly surprising his friends.

    In the month of August he was given a parole (leave permission) for 14 days to visit his native village Enugupadam near Vinukonda. He comes from Choudhary caste. His forefathers built big Hindu temples in the past. When this man from such a family background went to his village after accepting Jesus Christ and got down from the bus with a Bible in his hand, people were surprised. Two days later he called me come there and he arranged a public meeting for one day and night for people in his village and all his relatives. Gospel was presented and he gave his testimony. Even his enemies heard this as the Lord’s name is proclaimed and honored. The villagers desired to have such meeting again.

    2. Venkata Rao hails from Nidadavolu. He is very arrogant and was a rowdy sheeter. He was convicted in a murder case and came to Rajahmundry Central Jail. After coming to jail, he came to know that he was sentenced to death. Also he was found to have HIV. Two years after he came prison, he became very weak and almost like corpse. Doctors said this man does not live long, so it is better to send him home to go and die there. But Venkata Rao said ‘I can not home, I can not bear the shame, I would rather die here.’ He was kept in the jail hospital. Some believers informed me that there is one Venkata Rao, a rowdy sheeter, with death sentence on him, and suggested that I pray for him give him the gospel. So I was taken to him. I went and gave him the gospel and said to him, ‘If you confess all your sins, you will live. Lord Jesus Christ suffered the punishment on the cross for your disease and for your sin and prepared salvation for you’ and encouraged him to do that right in his bed. He shed tears of repentance.

    Next Sunday when I went to him, he was sitting up and his face was bright. I gave him gospel clearly again and prayed for him. The third Sunday, he surprised everybody when he came to the place of worship with the help of other prisoners and sat there. After that he was coming by himself and sitting in the meeting. This has surprised the Doctors. The Church prayed for him and he used to hear the word and by prayer he was gradually strengthened. His wife came to visit him and was astonished to see him. He told her to take off the idols in their home and told her not to worship them any more as Jesus Christ alone is our saviour. She stopped idol worship and started to go to a church near her home.

    In the mean time, after about a month, due to good behaviour, he was given leave to go home. After coming out of the prison, he came to me along with his wife and requested me ‘Sir, unless I and my wife take baptizm and give our testimony we will not go home.’ After giving them some word further, we along with the local church went to Godavari river and we gave them baptism. It was an enriching time. We sent them home giving them a small gift and a dress. For a month’s time, at places where he ‘roamed like pig’, he testified about the Lord Jesus Christ among the people that knew him and his relatives. That way magnifying the Lord Jesus, he returned to the jail within the time permitted. All glory to God.

    There are many testimonies like these to write.

    I am grateful that your prayers are behind this ministry.

    Thomas Achary

  2. ian vincent Says:

    There are 400 participants each Sunday in the prison church.

    The prison staff acknowledge that the lives of the men have been radically changed.

    This reminds me of William Booth’s advice: go for sinners and go for the worst!

    As Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.

  3. milind Says:

    Praise God for His wonderful ways and works….thanks for sharing Br

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