Hands up for Jesus
By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ
When Damson Samson finished his Independence Day message about God’s love to 490 inmates in the Mulanje Prison, he asked if anyone needed to “rebuild and start a new life in Christ Jesus.”
“I could not count the hands,” Damson said. “It was hundreds who confessed and accepted Jesus to be their Lord and Savior.”
This marked the fourth time Damson has delivered Good News to prisoners in southern Malawi. On CHRISTmas day 2017, he prayed for the incarcerated and 70 souls were pardoned from prison. He was there on Malawi’s Independence Day (July 6) and on CHRISTmas eve in 2018. After the last visit, he felt the Spirit leading him to start a regular Bible study. We reached out to Jim Vogelzang of the U.S.-based Doing HIS Time Prison Ministry. Jim provided Damson with a copy of his book, Doing HIS Time: Meditations and Prayers for Men and Women in Prison. Damson used that to teach about God’s love (the first lesson in the book).
“Before the day, I was praying and asking God what to share with my brothers, as usual,” Damson recalled. “Nothing was coming for me to share. Then I said, ‘I will remain silent until heaven has spoken to me about what to share.’
“One morning I was praying for the trip. That’s when I heard to share with them about rebuilding. This was the story from the Book of Nehemiah.”
He told inmates how the Spirit of God directed Nehemiah to rebuild the temple and the walls around Jerusalem. “As it says, he cried and asked God to help him come to the city so he could rebuild the destructed things and possibly rebuild the walls,” Damson said.
From there he took them to God’s love and how He offers us “forgiveness for our past, peace for our present, and hope for our future” (from Doing HIS Time).
“I looked at the love of God for His people (demonstrated) by His sending Someone to rebuild,” Damson said.
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” – Romans 5:8 (NLT)
“I reflected to them that there are many things that need to be rebuilt right in their homes,” Damson continued. “All is waiting for them to take a step in prayer and fasting for their kids, who are out of school because the father can’t pay while in prison. Women are married to other men as their husbands are in prison. There are more broken things that need them to go and rebuild.”
He concluded by calling on them to allow Jesus to rebuild their lives.
“As I was speaking, many were in tears, not understanding the situation and time,” Damson said. Hundreds then confessed and accepted Jesus.
Damson, above right, delivering Bibles and providing food, below.
Our prayer for this moment: that many lives would be rebuilt upon the Rock that is Jesus Christ.
Damson used Climbing For Christ support to purchase 40 Bibles for the prison. Five were put in each cell. He also delivered pens and notepads for inmates to use. He then prepared a special meal for the prisoners. “They were very happy, and much appreciated our coming to them,” Damson said, “and we were really motivated with the soft songs they were singing.”
He still hopes to start a Bible study. Damson will get Doing HIS Time translated into Chichewa and begin with a group of about 80 inmates “just to make sure the plan is reached.”
“Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.” – Hebrews 13:3 (NLT)