Remember the Prisoner

By Esther Schaeffer, serving in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso

“As we have begun devoting a day each month to fasting and prayer for our new prison ministry,” Esther wrote recently, “we have seen God begin to work.” The following is an adapted excerpt from her report.

“Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering” (Hebrews 13:3).

Madame Ye, an Alliance pastor’s wife, has felt a great burden to provide practical assistance to the women in our local prison. She is on our team of women that began this outreach after the Lord opened doors for this ministry in June 2013.

soap photoDismal Conditions

Most inmates depend on their families to bring them clothing and food. Families more quickly reject women than men, so few women prisoners have visitors or get enough to eat. Madame Ye prayed specifically that the Lord would make a way for her to provide sustenance for these needy women.

The Lord answered this prayer, and Madame Ye found the means to bake cakes to sell to her neighbors. With her earnings, she’s able to buy food to bring to the inmates.

“Jesus Will Protect Me”

One young woman, Mama, has accepted Christ. She faithfully attends church in the prison and leads others in prayer and singing. Last month, when she was in the small prison courtyard, a black plastic bag flew over the wall and landed at her feet.  Guards and prisoners came running to see what it was and immediately knew it was something quite evil.

For security, the bag’s contents needed to be examined, but everyone was afraid to open it. “So, if your Jesus is so great, you open the bag,” the guards told Mama.

Outreach LeadersAlthough quite fearful, she said loudly,“I know that Jesus will protect me!” As Mama began praying boldly, the bag—difficult to open because it was wrapped with rubber ties—ripped, spilling what appeared to be items used for witchcraft.

The guards told Mama to throw the contents back over the wall. She did so and began praising the Lord. Everyone thanked Mama for her Christian faith and her courage in handling the mysterious bag.

New Life

Another young woman, Sally,* imprisoned because she had abandoned her newborn baby, also has accepted Christ as her Savior. She asked us to pray that her family would negotiate her release. We all committed to intercede for this.

Recently, Sally’s family visited the prison, secured her freedom, and took responsibility for the baby. As a result, Sally has returned to school and attends one of our Alliance churches.

Finally, we praise the Lord that Alliance Women are now ministering at the women’s prison the first Sunday of each month. Many more women are now aware of this work and provide prayer support.

*Name changed

What You Can Do


Join the Alliance family in praying for our team in Burkina Faso and worldwide, who serve in often challenging circumstances that require courage, wisdom, and God’s unconditional love. Use the weekly Alliance Prayer Requests to assist you.


  • Give to the Great Commission Fund (GCF) and support Alliance global team members who are pushing back the darkness as they introduce lost people to the light of Jesus.
  • Give now

Learn More

Watch a video about God’s blessing upon 90 years of Alliance ministry in Burkina Faso.


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