God’s plan for prisoners


By Dr. Gloria de la Peña
Health Care Missionary in Piedras Negras / Acuña, Mexico

I was walking downtown when someone called my name.

It was Nancy. She looked so different outside of her prison uniform.

I met Nancy when she started her ministry to prisoners. We had lost touch years ago, when Nancy was transferred to Las Islas Marías, a prison where people have little contact with the outside world and usually spend the rest of their lives.

Nancy had had an on-again, off-again relationship with the Lord, and this is where he wanted her to be.

He used this time to mold and shape her life. Although she had no Bible, she started a Bible study for the other female prisoners using only the scriptures, stories, and songs she had learned from Gloria’s ministry. She spent three years at Las Islas before being transferred again. When she walked into Sonora State Prison, the first thing she saw was a big cross and Bible verse, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you; to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11). After two more years, she was released.

I recently invited Nancy to share her testimony with women who are in the same place she was 15 years ago.

Nancy told the prisoners that God used her time in prison to draw her near and turn her life around. If the Lord hadn’t led her there, she wouldn’t be a believer, she said. She would probably still be on drugs. Maybe even dead.

When Nancy shared, the room was silent and several prisoners were crying. When she finished talking she was surrounded by hugs. Many women connected with God that day.

Please pray for Gloria and Nancy as they minister to prisoners. Click here to get involved with Texas Baptists River Ministry and Mexico Missions.

Edits by Analiz Schremmer.

Related articles: Seeing God at work through 50 years of River Ministry / Physical and spiritual healing through medical missions / Sanidad física y espiritual por medio de las misiones médicas