What? Me … Go into Prison?
By George Lollis | May 29, 2019
I remember the day like it was yesterday, the day my friend shared with me that he had just gone into prison. My question to him was, “Prison, why would you do that?” He told me that he shared the “Light of Jesus Christ” with those behind bars. My mind began to race. Wasn’t he afraid? What did he actually say? What did he have in common with them?
But as he shared his story, suddenly he was filled with a quality that was very attractive. He was exuding a sense of peace and he had a presence about him. I found myself wanting those same qualities, wanting what he had, wanting the peace that was radiating from him.
And then it happened. He asked me to go into prison with him. I said, “What? Me … go into prison?” My mind was screaming “No Way”, but my heart was being stirred. I still had a million questions, but the next thing I knew I was committing to go with him.
I signed up and weeks passed by. Finally, the Bill Glass DFW Weekend of Champions was here. The first night was the Prison Ministry training. I still had questions, but I took a leap of faith as my heart was still being stirred. The training emphasized that only the Holy Spirit could change a person’s heart. All I needed to do was be faithful, and the Lord would do the rest.
The next morning at 6:00 am I showed up at the TDJC facility. It was an unseasonably cold November morning and I felt very alone, even though I was standing in a line with 100 other Teammates. I remember praying “Lord, I need you now” as I could hear the security gates slam shut behind me.
Hundreds of offenders began to come into the yard where the events of the day would take place. The program began with a former NFL football player sharing his testimony of how Jesus Christ had changed his life. The offenders were then gathered into small circles with a Teammate who would share materials with them. All of a sudden, I had eight offenders circled around me as I began to lead them through the materials. As we began the prayer asking Jesus Christ to come into our hearts and life right now, one offender was visibly bothered. We stepped to the side and he asked, “What is this?” He was troubled and confused.
And then it happened. Words just came to me, as if they were sent from above. I said to him, “This is the peace that passes all understanding. This is what we are all longing for.” Looking at me, he said that this is what he wanted. We stood there praying the prayer asking Jesus to come into our hearts and lives right then. His whole demeanor began to change; his face changed, his body language changed, his voice changed. Suddenly, he was filled with a presence that looked like peace. I saw this man change before my very eyes. As he was being led off the yard, I could see him look back at me, a changed man. Standing there alone, I wept tears of peace and joy. This experience of leading a man to Jesus Christ and seeing him change before my very eyes has forever changed my life.
That was fifteen years ago, and I have now been into prison 68 times to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I continue to learn what Jesus meant in Matthew 24:36–40. “… I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you … in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’