Until I go home to meet Jesus, I will never fully understand the sacrifice that He made for me. We had the opportunity to visit the prison museum and gift shop. Inside the museum is the Electric Chair, nicknamed Gruesome Gertie, that was used for several executions over the years. I stood and looked at it for a couple of minutes pondering the reality of what it was used for. As a father of three boys I also thought about the pain and anguish I would feel to know that they were executed but that is what God felt when He sent His Son to take the blame and the punishment for all of mankind’s sins, very much including mine. God’s Word commands us to take this story to the uttermost parts of the earth, including prison.
Day three included a rare opportunity to sleep in a little bit, have a good Bible study as a team, and visit Camp F at Louisiana State Penitentiary.
We played two softball games (and we won them both!) before sharing the Gospel. My Central Illinois teammate, Derek Leith, shared his testimony of how he came to know Jesus as his Savior. I shared the Gospel. The illustration from the message that I shared was about the time I was cut from my high school baseball team. The toughest thing about being cut was knowing the harsh reality that I didn’t belong. God’s Word tells us in Romans 3:23 that we have all sinned and fallen short of His Glory. We don’t belong but, in spite of our sin, God sent His Son to die for us.
After the games were over, one of my teammates and favorite mentors, Rodney Stewart shared with me that a man named Tommy had made a decision to follow Jesus after the message. He told Rodney that he had heard the Gospel several times and was really struggling to understand it. I am so thankful and happy when I can hear stories like that and I am thankful that my good friend Rodney could help Him understand the Gospel.
After the last game was over, we saw some of the woodwork and crafts that the men made and that they were getting ready to sell for the upcoming prison rodeo in April. There are several men who are incarcerated (not just Angola) that are very talented with woodworking, art, music, and several other things. My first reaction is usually that it is a shame that all of that talent is wasted behind bars but I am thankful that most have a way to express their skills behind bars and sometimes even use their skills for glorifying God!
Overall on the day, we saw 4 men indicate that they had accepted Jesus as their Savior!