The testimony of this worker is in a New Zealand setting and is a true story that demonstrate how God can use a person in an ordinary job for His purposes. We can all take heart from this, realising that no matter how menial our job may seem, if it is done as to the Lord, it will bring glory to Him.
All the names used in this series are not the people’s real names for obvious reasons, but the events all happened as described.
We will call our prison worker Harold….he started off his career in the police force for some years, and then moved on into prison work looking after the welfare of the prisoners and seeing to their needs. He had been a Christian for some years and always had a desire to speak for the Lord whenever he could and in his younger days on his time off, went with an experienced Christian worker, watching and listening as this man talked with people.
One time he attended a weekend retreat learning how to use the “Navigator” booklet called “The Bridge to Life”. This booklet was widely used by the “Navigator” organisation, and clearly showed how a person could become a committed Christian. This retreat was specifically for those who wanted to learn how to use this booklet effectively.
A typical story happened early in his career as a young police officer, when he was given the job of supervising a young man who was sent to prison for attempted murder. He was adamant that it was purely accidental. He might have been trying to hold a man up while handling a shotgun, but he had never meant to kill him. But it had gone off and the other man was now dead.
Harold was given the job of watching him overnight as the authorities were afraid that he might be suicidal. It was normal practice in such cases to assign a sergeant to be with the prisoner in his cell.
Harold talked with the guy for a while and heard his story, then turned the conversation around to spiritual matters. He invariably found that prisoners didn’t need to be told they were sinners….they already knew that or they would not be in jail! This man was very receptive to what Harold was telling him, and by 2 a.m. he was not only convicted of his sin, but convinced that he had to do something about it. He confessed his sin to the Lord in a simple prayer and asked Him to be His Saviour.
But he still had the trial to face and the heavy charge of attempted murder. Harold told him that he believed his story, and that he would pray with him that that charge would be dropped. They did this, and when the time came for his trial, the murder charge WAS dropped, with a lighter one being given. This was a wonderful answer to prayer for both Harold and the prisoner, and it was something they never forgot.
Truly, the prisoner found that God did indeed hear his prayer and deliver him from his fears just as the Bible says in Psalm 34:4; not only that, but he also found that God is near those who have a broken heart and saves those with a contrite spirit as it says in the same Psalm in verse 18.