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The large acacia tree shaded myself and 15 native missionaries in South Sudan from the burning heat. I had spent the last three days training them in evangelism. After lunch, they were sent out to the surrounding unreached communities to put God’s Word into practice.

A small group of missionaries gathered the courage to approach the dilapidated concrete jail that still bore the shrapnel scars from Sudan’s recently ended war. To their surprise, the guards welcomed them to share “a message of hope” with the ten prisoners inside. The four guards and inmates listened intently as the missionaries spoke of man’s sin, God’s love and sacrifice through Jesus and the hope of reconciliation with the God who created them. All 14 men showed deep signs of remorse. The message had cut to their hearts. They nodded in agreement with one of the prisoners who stood and said, “We know we are sinners. We are in this place because of our guilt. If there is a God who loves us and can forgive us – we want this Jesus today!”

Our evangelists returned two days later to check on the prisoners. They found them and the guards showing great signs of a new found joy. The jailers had given the prisoners new clothes to wear. Two of the criminals who had their feet chained on their initial visit, were unbound and peaceful. The guards had witnessed such a difference in their character, that they had removed their chains.

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