One of our volunteer chaplains, Margaret, shares an inspiring story of how God is changing lives inside Queensland correctional centres:
As a prison chaplain, I entered one of the secure units and chatted briefly with Mandy*, a keen Christian. Mandy then introduced me to her new cellmate, Judy*. As Judy started to exit the unit to the exercise yard, I asked her if she would like to sit down and chat.
Judy was wary, not knowing what to say to a chaplain, but I assured her that I did not bite and that she could talk to me about anything. I could see that she was struggling but she decided eventually to stay and chat.
I invited Judy to talk about her life outside of prison. She shared that before her prison sentence, she lived with her mother and her two young children. She would give her partner (now in the men’s prison) her money. In return, he would ‘inject’ her. Judy admitted that her life was inevitably heading towards a very bad end.
I asked Judy what she thought about Jesus. She explained that she knew very little. Her mother attended church at Easter and Christmas, but she didn’t. Yet Judy seemed very open.
Then God reminded me about Mandy, her cellmate. Coming to prison had turned Mandy’s life around as she met Jesus inside. I asked Judy if Mandy had talked about Jesus to which she replied, “Yes, she talks about him all the time!”
When the guards indicated our time was up, I suggested that Judy chat with Mandy about Jesus. It seemed to me that God was doing something special in Judy’s heart.
When I next visited the prison, Mandy and Judy couldn’t wait to tell me the good news: Mandy had led Judy into a relationship with Jesus, and Judy had given her life to the Lord.
Judy was released the following Monday. She left prison with a new eternal purpose.
My heart is full of joy, and I trust that the Lord will look after Judy as she journeys towards a new life free from the guilt of sin and free of her costly addiction. God is truly the Lord of the harvest (Matthew 9:38).
Neither Judy nor I would ever have guessed where our conversation would lead when we first sat down to chat.