Guatemala (MNN) — A maximum-security prison in COVID-19 lockdown is an unlikely place and an unlikely time for spiritual revival. Or so you’d think.
El Boquerón Prison is one of three maximum-security prisons in Guatemala. During the pandemic, Crossroads Prison Ministries couldn’t get in with their Bible study program. COVID-19 had shut everything down, including access to the prisons.
Byron Aguilar, the director of Crossroads Guatemala, says they were able to connect with El Boquerón Prison’s chaplain, Miguel Castellanos.
Castellanos had graduated from the Crossroads Bible study program earlier in his career as a prison guard. Then he was transferred to El Boquerón Prison and now serves as the chaplain.
Through this prison connection and sovereign timing, God cracked open a door.
“The prisons opened for a brief time in about August 2020,” Aguilar says. “So during that brief time…we went there and brought Crossroads materials and Bibles and food. And we trained Miguel on how to run the Crossroads Bible study program inside this new prison with the support of our church here locally and the support of Crossroads USA…. Then shortly afterward, the prisons closed again.”
A few more months passed. Finally, in January 2021, Crossroads had an opportunity to revisit El Boquerón Prison with more food, Bibles, and Crossroads Bible study lessons.
Inside this maximum-security prison, they discovered the Holy Spirit had been moving.
“There were 30 new students, prisoners inside this prison that signed up for the Crossroads Bible Study Program. Out of these 30 new prisoners who signed up as new students for the Crossroads program, seven of them gave their lives to the Lord and decided that they wanted to be baptized!”
With financial help from Aguilar’s church, they were able to purchase an inflatable pool to baptize these seven new believers in the prison!
But that’s not all. Aguilar says, “We now have five additional people who also want to be baptized next week! So we decided to leave the pool there so [Castellanos] can baptize the additional five people next week — and whoever else wants to be baptized after that!”
Praise God for 12 new believers in El Boquerón Prison!
And please pray for the continued spiritual encouragement of Aguilar, Castellanos, and everyone else working with Crossroads Guatemala. Pray for more prisoners throughout Guatemala to know the forgiveness and love of Jesus Christ.
Header photo representational, courtesy of Jazon Kovats via Unsplash.