Prisoners in South Sudan find hope, forgiveness, and reconciliation through the Gospel

By April 4, 2018

South Sudan (MNN) — Yesterday, we shared about the growing partnership between Partners in Compassionate Care (PCC) and Set Free Ministries. We promised to share some of the stories that Stuart Bowman of PCC brought back from his travels to South Sudan. Today, we’re going to start out in a prison.

This was Bowman’s first time traveling to South Sudan without his father. Bowman says he feels God calling him personally to serve in South Sudan. Part of this call led him to visit the prison during this trip.

“I got there and first impressions—there’s a barbwire fence, obviously, just similar to what we have here in America. But you know, they have a pump for their water. And, it’s definitely rustic. It’s not quite the same as what you’d almost envision here in America.”

Using the video projectors from Set Free Ministries, the team set up the JESUS Film in a small room filled up with about 90 people.

(Photo and header photo courtesy of Stuart Bowman)

Throughout the showing, some of the men had to leave the room from time to time, but as soon as their other task was finished they would come straight back to finish watching the movie. You see, they were hearing a message of forgiveness that, for many of them, was opposite of how their culture encouraged them to live their lives.

After the showing, the men were asked if they wanted to respond to the Gospel message and give their lives to Christ.

Bowman says, “And 85 of them raised their hands to accept Christ and to turn from their sins and we asked if anybody needed to have prayer to come down afterwards.

“Well they came down, and I remember this one man, he came down and he said ‘I renounce my sin before the Lord for I shed the blood of my relatives. I killed them in war and in fighting.’”

The man asked the PCC team to pray for his people—those who were imprisoned along with him, and those in the villages. He told them to go visit the two warring villages and share the same message these prisoners had just heard. He said they must tell the villages to ask for forgiveness and to stop fighting. And, he asked them to pass along the message that he and the others there were sorry for their actions.

You see, for this man who came forward, the Gospel message was absolute freedom.

(Photo courtesy of Stuart Bowman)

Bowman says, “He continued to let me know that he had had demons and he had been tormented by the fact that he had shed blood. And so, we were blessed to have the opportunity to pray with him, and we stopped back later and he no longer was having these dreams and wasn’t tormented and [he was] getting involved with the Bible studies there.”

Whenever PCC and Set Free Ministries share the JESUS Film, they follow it up by handing out audio Bibles called Treasures so that Bible studies can be started.

Bowman explains, “If you don’t disciple them, out of a hundred, you’ll have two in six months. But with every Bible study that you start with these talking Bibles in their own language, instead of two, you’ll have about 1,600 people at the end of six months.”

In our next story from Set Free and PCC, we’re going to visit the two villages that the prisoner wanted so badly to hear the Gospel. To read that story, click here.

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