I recently spoke for a Herald of Truth campaign in the national prison system in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. There were a number of amazing stories from the trip, but it was my experience at the juvenile prison that most affected me. We got to go into the barracks where these teenage boys lived. We gave them New Testaments, gospel material, and shared from God's Word. The living conditions were horrible. There was standing water in the communal bathroom, there was no furniture, and they slept on thin mattresses placed side by side around the wall. The stench was unbelievable. It was dark, nasty, and ugly. And nineteen of those young men decided to put on Christ in baptism. We baptized them in a concrete tank filled with scummy rainwater.

When we were baptizing them, I was struck by the number of physical scars on their bodies. Some I'm sure were from fighting, some from abuse, and some from illness. I could only imagine the scars they carried on the inside ... scars I could not see. And most of them will be locked up for a long time. They are now freer than most of the people living outside the prison because of forgiveness in Jesus. They were washed clean by his blood. Two of our local brothers were able to share the Lord's Supper with these new brothers on Sunday.

They are now freer than most of the people living outside the prison because of forgiveness in Jesus.
On the surface, I could not be any more different than most of these young people. I am old, white, American, and not in prison. You are probably thinking how different your life is from theirs. Yet I am struck by how alike we are. The same God that created me created them. He has a purpose for me and He has a purpose for them. Sin has messed up their lives, but sin had messed up mine. It may not seem the same, but who is to say that my sin is not just as bad in the eyes of the Lord as anything they have done. In fact, you could say the same about the sin in your life. Now they are saved by the grace of Jesus, just as I am. They were baptized into Christ just as I was, and they received the same Holy Spirit I have. And every Sunday we remember the death and resurrection of Jesus. And we all look forward to living with Jesus forever.

So we are brothers. What we share in common is greater than what makes us different. And isn't that the whole point of Jesus? He can change your life too. Let me show you how. Contact me at steve@hopeforlife.org.

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