Changing lives through God's Holy Word
Please help us get the Gospel into prisons.
ABOUT USContact Our Prison Ministry
PRISON OUTREACHRehabilitation Statistics
GET INVOLVEDYour Prayer Requests
We need your help now so that our Christian
prison ministry can get the Gospel into prisons
nationwide. Lives can be changed and crimes
can be reduced.
Please contribute what you can and if possible
try to donate on a monthly basis. Thank you in
advance for your financial support.
Copyright © 2017 Bible Believers Fellowship, Inc. All rights reserved. Our Christian prison ministry is a 501(c)(3) tax-
Do you have a prayer request? Are you a prayer
warrior and want to pray for others? Check out
our Prayer Requests page.
Stay in touch. Sign up to receive email
updates of our Christian prison ministry.
The following testimonies were originally published in our periodical, “The Good News Letter.” Most were unsolicited, and were sent to us as a gift by Christian prison inmates who read our newsletter. As most of them are several years old, it is unlikely that the authors are still incarcerated at the same correctional facilities. Some may have been released by now.
We provide these testimonies purely for the interest and edification of our web viewers, and make no claim to the current physical or spiritual condition of the various writers. Nevertheless, we hope that you will keep them in your prayers. We hope the following will be a blessing to you!
I started using and selling drugs when I was 13 years old, and when necessary I was also carrying a gun. I grew up in a tough environment. If you weren’t into crime in my neighborhood, you weren’t “in”. I offer no excuses however, I made all the choices. I was a hope-
I could care less if tomorrow never arrived as I was growing up on drugs. I did not care. This went on for years as I was selling heroin. I would tell the junkies to rob, or steal and bring me the money. They would! I have seen a few overdoses and die from what are called “hot shots”, because they were late on their payments or “burned” someone. I saw the narcotic business over the years turn into all out war.
During my years in the gang I saw the
illegal drug business change also! At first we were just a gang until a constitution was drafted, that is when things began to change. Under the constitution, members all over were ordered to place all personal feelings and obligations aside until the purpose and goals of the gang were accomplished.
Members were not to spill the blood of a fellow gang member. We were to carry out all orders of the appointed leaders on the power ladder of the gang as mandated by the constitution. Members were to do battle for the gang without question. Many gang members were highly respected and were given positions of power for gang “hits” they had made.
One of the things I remember most among the many years of gang activity is that it was a life where you constantly lived in doubt. I was in charge of a regiment and during times of full alert, armed body guards were assigned to me. I was a high-
I have seen many of my friends die from overdoses of heroin because the dope was too raw. Gang members were not allowed to use any drugs, it was a death sentence. I was stunned when I learned of a situation. During an internal power struggle, a Captain I was close to was lured into a room by another gang member for a hit.
Two gang members were waiting for him, one grabbed him with an extension cord around his neck and another stabbed him 37 times and then cut his throat! Why? They learned he had been chipping heroin.
I don’t mean to disrespect any gang or any gang member but I, myself, would never want to lead another dangerous life of gang activity. I simply offer my testimony to warn anyone to think twice before joining a gang. And, I say there is a better way through Christ Jesus. I have seen so many lives torn apart by gangs.
I went into the church. Church members put their arms around me and started to pray. Some of them wept as we prayed the sinners prayer. I was just so sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was to the point that I was abusing narcotics and I thought if I was going to get out of it I was going to go all the way!
It seemed that up to that point all my life revolved around drugs and doing whatever it took to get them and sell them. I had come from a familia of heroin dealers, so I knew the game.
When I left that service I was sober & alive. During the time of my conversion to Christ, I was awaiting trial on my criminal case. I could have easily fled the country, but it was members of this church, who really didn’t even know me, that posted bond for my release. They told me if I was innocent to go to court and face my trial. I told them I would go to trial and no matter what happened I would take Christ with me... even to prison! Amen.
Since then and my coming to prison I have done much study about this Jesus. I find
life is a lot deeper than most of us wish to accept. One thing is for sure, there’s a God above in a place called Heaven. I would not say I understand it all, but if God created the world and everything that lives then what problem would this same God have in raising the dead? Seems clear to me.
I just give thanks and praise to the True and Living Lord Jesus that has spared me from death, hell and the grave. God has been so good to me allowing me to live this long. I was a violent person years ago. When I accepted Christ, it was as if I had a new nature.
Drugs change a person’s nature, I witnessed junkies & prostitutes getting gunned down in the streets for not paying their drug bills to the pusher. I had no pity for anyone, yet the Lord Jesus has shown me so much pity, I have learned it is God’s agape love, real love. He has plans for all who heed His calling. I now have life eternal.
Why I loved drugs so much is beyond me. Drugs are a tool of the devil, drugs change and destroy our human nature. I became violent. I was insane on drugs. I can say without hesitation that coming to Christ will change anyone’s life. It reduces crime and changes the moral attitudes of mankind. Christ provides moral direction for people encouraging them to avoid criminal behavior. That’s the bottom line
To those of you who are suffering, you can pray this prayer: “Father God, I have acknowledged Your Son, Jesus Christ as my Lord and Redeemer. I am a sinner and I am ready to receive the Light of Your revelation that comes from Him. Let that Light find out every part of me and remove the darkness. Let it make me pure and alive for Christ and let it shine through me to others in Jesus Name. Amen.”
My name is Walter Paul Oswald Jr., I’m a man of God bought by the blood of Jesus Christ the Lamb of God who was slain for the sins of mankind. I’m a forgiven man because of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for me. I’m currently in prison reaping what was sown in the flesh by the child I used to be.
In our society, man is the center of the world and not God Almighty. And that thought-
Later on, as I was getting ready to go into High School, I got involved in drugs and alcohol and the rebellion just got steadily worse. At this point in my life, church, the Bible, and God seemed not hip or cool (boring). I got in a lot of trouble because of my involvement with drugs and alcohol -
Imagine what a parent goes through when their child turns from all that they were taught (God and right from wrong), and turns instead to a life-
Towards the end of High School I got very interested in the occult and Satanism. Of course listening to Heavy Metal helped to cultivate an interest in occult ideals and demonic attitudes and desires. A lot of the Heavy Metal music is based on lyrics that are totally evil and dangerous to the mind. I started reading books on the subject and pretty soon I was a practicing Satanist. I had given myself over to the enemy without a fight. I was consumed by the darkness and had no control of what was to take place in my life.
It was inevitable that my life was going to get worse. Eventually I came to the point of taking a persons life, Kevin Merfeld. I betrayed a friend and his family’s trust. I got so depressed about my life and the inability to make something positive come of my life that I had planned on taking my own life. I wasn’t thinking very rationally at all and I knew that my Dad would have a hard time dealing with me killing myself, so I ended up taking his life too.
I loved him very much and wish that I could have done better in my choices in the past, but we have to live with the choices we make, no matter how foolish they are. These were not rational thoughts, it was idiotic and this is what happens when God, through His Son, Jesus Christ, aren’t the total motivation of our lives. I failed in my attempts to take my own life and prison was to be in my future.
After coming to prison I continued on my path of ignorance of God by choosing my own path of unrighteousness and evil. About four years after coming to prison I started to realize the mistakes that I have made in rebelling against God, His Son Jesus Christ and His creation. I knew that if I continued on my own path, that Hell was my destiny. And when in the past I thought that I wanted to go to Hell, I realized how real Hell is and that it is a place of torment and not pleasure.
I was awakened to the reality of my sinfulness and the need to give my life to God and accept His plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. I didn’t have control over my life and knew that in order to do what is right in life God had to be in control of my life, not me.
After recommitting my life to God I thought that the biggest struggles of life were over -
These things that I’ve written about I am forgiven by the grace of God Almighty and only through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We must have faith in Christ and His atoning death, burial and resurrection. The things that I’ve done and gone through are no joke.
If we give in to the ways of an ungodly world (of which Satan is using to destroy billions of souls) then we are allowing Satan access to creating even a greater mess of our lives & God knows how many others we influence in our day to day activities.
God is calling everyone to His Son Jesus, to accept by faith Jesus’ Death-
Don’t get involved in the New Age of astrology and spirit guides, secular music and movies. If you let these things into your life, then you are sure to have more trouble than you can imagine. There are Christian alternatives to the world and its ways. Life is the beautiful gift of God through His Son, Jesus Christ, and we should not take for granted what God has done for us.
The Bible is the written Word of God and sheds Light to guide & teach us. We should take heed of God’s Word before we listen to anyone. God is unchangeable and won’t lie. God’s Word is sure & we should eat of God’s Words and continue in it, not being swayed by what the world is saying. We had better listen to God rather than man.
We are close to the “Day of the Lord” and we all need to repent and turn to God with a pure heart. If we are not rooted and grounded in God’s Word then when the storms of life come we will fall and be destroyed. Let the love of God rule and reign in your hearts.
There is another thing which I would like to share. I have a Christian brother here in prison with me who is from Yugoslavia and lived most of his life there. He is one of the most sincere and dedicated Christians that I have met and God has put it on my heart as to why we in America are so lukewarm in our Christianity.
We have become undisciplined in living as Christians at all times (we’ve allowed sinfulness to be accepted into the church without a fight). We aren’t committed to our commitment to God. We have taken for granted the Bible, our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, and all the rights that our Constitution was meant to stand for. Now that we are losing our freedoms we see the possibility (reality) of losing our Christian freedom.
A time is coming when martyrdom will again be a common word among true Christians. I’ve seen in my Yugoslavian brother a commitment to God and a disciplined attitude to live a holy life for God that we as Americans should have. We should be setting an example to a dying world of Christ living in us and through us. If we truly believe that Jesus Christ is coming soon, we should be doing everything possible for God. Let that Light shine!
I was raised in a lower class environment as a child and given the standard education in Christianity. Even though I understood on an intellectual level, I never truly understood or felt in my heart a true relationship with God. At a very early age I was introduced to the gangster mentality, and so began my personal little crime spree. It lasted almost 20 years. During those years I was involved with everything from prostitution to extortion, from armed bank robbery to international smuggling.
It was all quite grand and glamorous, the Devil’s work always is in the beginning. It never can last because Satan is ugly as is all he puts his hand to, and I had become a part of that ugliness. The last two years of my spree were spent on street corners trying to sell the only thing I had left. But most times using a gun because what I had left wasn’t worth paying for.
I suffered from severe drug addiction, “gangsteritis,” but most of all complete spiritual and moral bankruptcy. I had hit bottom. I really don’t want to get into the things I saw or did or what was going on out there. Trust me when I tell you it was beyond the most horrid of nightmares. What I do want to tell you about is the night God touched me and I awoke from the horror of what was my life.
I had gone to the dope house to collect money and drugs. When I walked into the back room, I saw a very young girl being used by three men. In payment they were throwing little pieces of crack cocaine onto the floor. I stood watching as she crawled around naked on the floor, shaking and crying, searching for the drugs.
I was sickened, disgusted, and seething with internal rage. I felt the gun in my hand without even realizing I had taken it out from my pants. To this day I believe that the only thing that had saved me from committing murder that night was God, and that I could not decide who should die, her, them or me.
I began to walk. I didn’t know where I was going. I didn’t care. I was lost. I remember sitting down on the curb and thinking, “Some work of art you are, a gun in your jeans, a pocket full of dope, cash in your sock, and so sick and miserable that death would be a blessing. Maybe it was me who should die.”
It was at that moment I surrendered and my darkness became light, so bright, so complete. The light of God filled me with warmth, love and peace, and I heard a voice that has no words but speaks directly to your heart. It called to me over and over again, “Have you had enough? Are your ready?”
I sat for a long time, though it seemed only a moment. I’ve come to realize God is timeless and when you’re in His company He eases the burden of time, a definite bonus in prison. So finally I picked myself up from the curb, totally confused because I knew beyond a doubt what kind of person I was and God doesn’t visit “BAD” people, does He?
About this time a friend pulled his car up next to me and called my name. I got in the car and he asked did I want to go home. I told him where I lived was never a home. He took me to his house. No sooner was I thru the door before I was smoking dope. But the funny thing is I couldn’t get high; no escape! I really didn’t understand until my friend walked into the room.
He looked at me, shook his head and said, “Oh Julie haven’t you had enough? Aren’t you ready? God’s waiting you know, and there’s no moment so dark that he can’t make light.” At first I thought, “This guy must have seen what happened on that curb.” But he hadn’t.
In that moment I knew with all clarity that this friend, who I had never known was a Christian, did not happen along by accident and that what he said was the repeating of a divine message sent just for me alone. I knew no matter who or what I was, God loves me. I knew He was reaching for me because my pain and shame were so great I couldn’t reach for Him.
I took hold of the Lord’s hand and now where He heads I follow. In the beginning it was a very hard path. I had over a dozen felony warrants for my arrest, but in His love I need have no fear. Our first walk was to BCI, Florida State’s Max. Security Prison.
Often I have cried, but as time goes by, the way gets easier and the scenery more and more beautiful as I learn to see the world thru the eyes of Jesus. I still reside in BCI and I am all right with that because I am never alone and I am still walking with the Lord.
In my first thirty six years of my old life, I was living in Satan’s world. I was doing all the sins man can think of. When I was about three years old my father and mother got divorced and the words of hate, bitterness, & loneliness were in my heart.
By the time I was eleven years old, the hate and bitterness grew to everyone who loved me. My father and step-
At age twelve I was raped by the older boys in the home. Every night I was there I was getting raped and no one cared about what happened to me. I never cried out for help. In my mind there was no help for me.
By the time I was seventeen I had run away from home about twenty times. My father’s step-
I was looking for a new life in the army, but I came to watch my friends being raped one after another in the United States Army! These were teenagers, of seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, and twenty years old. It started to get me sick of the army. I went AWOL three times to get away. The army kicked me out because I wouldn’t do what they told me to do.
Everywhere I went, city after city, I saw teenagers being raped for money, drugs, and sometimes a place to live for sex. I lived in many states by the time I was twenty-
I got married when I was twenty years old. My wife and I had two children but she started seeing someone else, and I divorced her when I was in prison. I have been in and out of prisons in Washington, Oregon and California for fourteen years now. This prison where I am now is my fifth prison. I tried to kill myself in a state prison in Washington, but that was what Satan wanted me to do.
The state sent me to a state hospital to get some help for my problems, but I was sent to prison for taking and riding a motor vehicle without permission of the owner. I was given five years probation. That was my first crime in 1976. But this probation was revoked and I was sent to prison for five years in 1978.
When I was on probation in Washington, I was in Oregon doing burglary 2nd degree, and sent to prison for eighteen months in Oregon. Then I got out of prison in 1982 and went to San Francisco to live and to stay away from Washington. Well, in this city I was given three years probation and one year in jail for robbery 2nd degree.
After I got out this time, the state of Washington wanted me. I went back to prison and was released in 1985. Then I was sent back to prison six months later for malicious mischief for five more years. I was paroled in March 1986 and my parole was revoked because I moved out of the state without permission.
I was paroled again and my file was closed June 6, 1986. I was free to go where I wanted to go. I didn’t do any more crimes until August 2, 1989 when I was charged for malicious arson. I was sentenced to forty-
I am a wanted man by the Federal Officers in the Seattle area, for the crime of arson. I ran away from my problems in October 1989 and went to San Francisco. There I got a job at a hotel where they gave me room and board. And on October 17, 1989 at 5:04 P.M. we had a big earthquake. I was afraid I was going to die. I started thinking about my crime in Seattle, about my family, and my crime against God the Father and His Son Jesus.
So this earthquake was God’s way of telling me to get right before it was too late. I went to church and sat there feeling sorry for myself. I was so lonely it hurt my heart. I wanted to go back home and face what I did wrong. Then the Federal Officers arrested me and sent me back to Seattle.
When I was in Tacoma County Jail I went to church and gave my life over to Jesus Christ my Lord. That was in January 1990. And I came to Lompoc Federal Prison on May 24, 1990. I’ve been going to church every day. I am the chaplain’s clerk here. I praise the Lord for His love and the kind words He put in my heart. But when the earthquake happened, that made me do some thinking about God and Jesus. And if it was not for this Earthquake, I would probably still be running from this crime and my past sins and problems.
Jesus loved me so much that He opened my heart and mind. I found love and peace in my prison cell. God is watching me every day in here. I don’t know what is in the future for me, but praise the Lord, now I know who holds the future and I can safely trust my all to the Lord Jesus Christ. Although I am locked up in a cell, Spiritually I am free. Jesus set me free in this prison, for “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).
I hope this testimony will help someone in prison or on the streets of our cities. My heart cries out to all children and teen-
agers in our world. I pray that the Lord will watch over them so they will never have to see the prison bars like I have all these years. God bless you all at Bible Believers Fellowship, Inc. God is watching you all.
I grew up in the slums in the heart of the South Bronx, in a very big family. It was hell, as I remembered my relationship with my family was really no relationship. I was never noticed! Only when I would come home with a new black eye or beat up badly by the older gangs. Then both my parents would punish me. That caused me to rebel against our precious Lord and society.
I joined all types of gangs so my so-
Anyway, the reason I became and was always a rebel was because I liked the action in the life-
I met this junkie in a club one day and he asked if I was with the Satan’s Loners. So I asked him how I can find this gang. For two bucks he took me. They were having a sacrifice at the time with an animal. It was “unreal.” I felt touched by this type of people. Mrs. Kaestner, the things I have seen before my eyes, till this day, I cannot believe but I understand who was [behind] them.
As I became part of this so-
One night all of us went to a ceremony and it got out of hand. It was “wild”. Blood all over the place. Not ours, but animal blood. Blood all over us. So we meditated to destroy the Skin Heads and take over the club for Satan’s Loners. And we did just that. We destroyed more than the Skin Heads club itself. I was not myself that night, Mrs. Kaestner, believe me. I felt strengthening that I know today was “really” demonic infestations. This was an inflow of Satanic powers, but I was defiled!
The next day the police had an A.P.B. on us. And only I paid for it. And in jail in the waiting cell I met a real cool guy. This guy was in the Hell’s Angels. I had told him what happened to me and he told me that was cool, and that he would like me to drop by the club. I said to myself “wow” this is my chance to meet a real gang! A few days later I went in front of the judge. He gave me a tap on the hand. Only three years probation. I was ready to go to prison. But to my surprise I walked.
Anyway, I went to...[Second Avenue and Third Street] and was taken to the Angel’s club. I was very surprised. They hugged me and called me Bro [brother]. A good thing the Satan’s Loners and the Angels had nothing against each other. They were brothers. They have the same “master”. How cheap! Anyway, we got drunk. They sold me a bike.
And like the Satan’s Loners, they also had a big part with Satan that I can’t speak of... But they did them all. I never took part in them. I would always go my own way on my bike. They didn’t mind. They respected me for pleasing Satan, and for riding a Harley. We was at peace when drugging or drunk, orgies. Mrs. Kaestner, every day I wished I was dead. I used to think of ways of taking my life because I was hurt. So much pain in my life. I had all kinds of things, but I was not at one time happy.
Now, one night, me and my bother was drunk like a skunk, and we had a fight in a bar. I don’t know why. But I cut him and he cut me. A man drove us to the hospital and they took care of us. The next day we had a serious hang over. Rachel, my girl, came over to the house and took care of me.
So a week later I went to hang out in the corner and got picked up by the police. “Why?” I said. Well the cops said me and a friend robbed a lady’s house, hit her and took money and gold from the house. Only God knows the truth and Rachel, the hospital people, and the family I was with at the time of the crime. And yes, I could have won the case, but a so-
Anyway, Mrs. Kaestner, for months before all this happened I used to cry for help. And the only thing I had in mind was to kill myself. And God knew this, and Mrs. Kaestner, till this day, I strongly believe God allowed me the chance to accept His grace and life because He sure has a plan for my life, and this is what I did.
I took advantage of this chance in life to receive the Sweet Lord Jesus into my heart and leave my life in His will, not mine, because my will was weak and dirty. I really felt the peace of God somewhere in prison. And then it came to me. A very nice old man named Bob (Robert Lee Hammond) led me to Jesus. Praise God! On April 2nd, Jesus led me to receive the Holy Baptism.
It is beautiful, praise God. I am in love with the Word! It is what I live by. I am still in training in the Word, but it gets better every day, praise God. I do not smoke anymore. I do not get upset at things. I praise God for them, good or bad. I have patience for my brothers. I will tell you one thing, all of this is a test.
Since I accepted Jesus, I lost my mother, my fiancee, and even my father, but I understand it is His will I live. I accepted His will, so I shall carry the cross, and not question Him, but I will give sincere gratitude. I’m not afraid about what the brothers back home or the world thinks or will try to do to me, because God will take care of them in the long run! But I pray for them all. Always I pray God will lead them to repent as I did.
I spent half my adult life in and out of crime and drugs. By the age of 36, I had done practically everything immoral and illegal under the sun. Most of my old friends were already dead, or they were long-
So there I was again, on August 12, 1988, all alone. I had sat in that jail cell for the past month, feeling like I was in a living hell. I had recovered from the physical ravages of drug abuse, but my heart and spirit were broken because of my beautiful young wife of six months. She was also alone now, out on the streets somewhere. She weighed 70 pounds as a result of being addicted to heroin and crack-
If you had asked me about Jesus I probably would have told you that He was the victim of a failed religious power play, that He & His boys had tried to steal the religious power of the Jews so He was nailed for it. I always kind of admired Him as a prophet, revolutionary, great teacher, and quite possibly the greatest man to ever lived.
But that is as far as my belief went, until that night when out of desperation, I sought out a Spanish guy who was always reading the Bible and singing about Christ in a very loud, proud, and joyful voice. I asked him if he could give me some passages out of that Bible for the strength I needed to hold up. He said to read the gospel of Saint John, Chapter 16.
So I started and when I got to Verse 25, I read about Jesus telling His disciples: “These things I have spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father” (KJV). I stopped right there. I sensed some thing in these words, my mind perceived a promise, my heart felt a stirring of hope.
I called the Christian guy over to my bed and asked, “Where in the Book does Christ show God plainly ‘cause that’s what I need to see?” He said, “Keep reading.” It was nearly the midnight of a very long day. He saw the troubled look on my face and said, “Okay, let’s pray. You go first.”
Waves of memories and the guilt of a lifetime flooded in on me more and more, until they finally caused me to cry out as something inside broke. I cried how sorry I was for the way I had lived my life, the people I had hurt. I told God how sorry I was for hurting Him also. I asked Him to please forgive me.
From out of nowhere this image of a man began coming into my mind’s eye. As I looked closer, I knew that it was Jesus. He appeared at a distance, naked with just a robe-
It hit me with an impact that caused me to blurt out, “I’d help you! And now I’m asking you to help my wife and me, ‘cause I can’t do it. I’m sick of this, I need your help!”, the whole time crying and lastly begging for Him to “please carry me. I can’t make it on my own.”
After I cried for Jesus to carry me, I closed my eyes again and bowed my head. Immediately I started to feel His Spirit coming inside me, filling me with His glory, an indescribable Presence of love that I could feel and still do. I opened my eyes and took a look at my Spanish friend. He had also been praying fervently (in Spanish), crying and travailing for me the whole time. I said to him, “Esteban, for the first time in my life I have a ‘grasp’ of what Jesus is all about.”
I’ve been a different man since that night the Lord’s Spirit touched me, a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). I spend time every day reading God’s Holy, living Word. In His infinite love and mercy God saved my wife, Deanna, also, praise God! She saw what the Lord had done for me and sought Him herself.
She was delivered by Jesus from Satan and drug addiction. She’s been leading a Christian life pleasing to the Lord, for almost a year. We now hope to be useful in His service, living witnesses to those that have eyes to see and ears to hear, about the love of Jesus.