Finding Jesus Behind Bars

By TEAM Isaan

eqEditor’s Note: Team Isaan, a ministry of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, has a vision for an indigenous church-planting movement in three provinces of northeastern Thailand, where the largely unreached Isaan people live. A prison ministry has been introducing many incarcerated people to the gospel, and they are evangelizing their home villages upon their release. The following story shows the unexpected ways in which God has been at work through this dynamic ministry.

Two prisoners learned about Jesus through an inmate who, before he was incarcerated, had heard the gospel from EQ, a former inmate who now ministers with TEAM Isaan. EQ received Christ while in jail and has led 12 people in his home village to the Lord following his release.

Since the 12 people in EQ’s village were baptized, God has been using them in the most obscure ways to share His love with their fellow villagers and in neighboring villages. One of the most recent opportunities has led to a group of 15 people actively studying God’s story.

Scared and Hopeless

The 25-year-old son of one of the families that came to the Lord in EQ’s village was arrested with his friends. Though this young man had studied about God in some of the meetings, he hadn’t been attending regularly and had not accepted Christ. His friend was in possession of drugs, so both men were placed in a county prison cell while they waited to hear if they would appear before a judge. While in the cell, the young man met many other people who were scared and felt hopeless.

He began telling these prisoners about the hope that the people of his village had found in Jesus, even though he still has not chosen to believe in and accept Christ. Two people in the cell who were arrested for gambling became very interested in learning about this hope that he mentioned. So the prisoner told them to call EQ when they got out, and he would share with them about Jesus Christ.

Ready and Willing

A few weeks ago, the gamblers were released from the cell and called EQ. He challenged them to get their family and friends together, and he began sharing with them about God. For the past couple of weeks, 15 people (ages 25-45) have been learning stories about God. After they finished the story of Creation and the fall of man, EQ shared his personal testimony with them.

At first, he was a bit unsure if they would still respect him after he shared with them about this own past and formerly having been imprisoned. But as he challenged them to think about committing their lives to Christ, he said every single person in the group was ready and willing to make that decision. He even questioned them to make sure they knew what this choice meant, and all of them were able to explain that they knew they needed Jesus to save them and give them new life.

On October 14, this group will begin meeting together as a church. Pray that God will use this new fellowship of believers to reach others in their villages and in neighboring villages.

Learn More

Read an alife article about TEAM Isaan’s ministry.

What You Can Do

To help keep our missionaries in Thailand on the field, support Alliance Great Commission Ministries.


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