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Stories of hope

“I See Four Men”

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It all started when Tony received a phone call asking if someone from Prison Fellowship could visit a minister who had been recently incarcerated.  He said, “Of course we will go and visit him!” 

Tony immediately phoned Paul, his friend and fellow Prison Fellowship volunteer,  to make plans to visit the inmate the following Tuesday. 

It so happened that the day before the visit took place, Tony and Paul, with their wives, got together for a prayer meeting, just as they have done on many occasions. During the prayer meeting Tony’s wife was stirred in her spirit to share something that God had shown her. She saw a name “Benjamin*” and felt God say to tell him, “He is still my instrument and a tool in my hand that I can use.” 

She had no idea who Benjamin was, and Tony hadn’t told her about who they were visiting in prison the following day.  Paul turned to Tony and said “Hey!  Isn’t Benjamin the name of the guy we are visiting tomorrow??”  Tony looked at Paul, astounded!  They realized that God was doing something special right there and then.  

On the day of the visit, Tony and Paul met as they do before every visit to pray before entering the prison.  As they made their way through the gatehouse security they prayed again.  Once through, Tony and Paul went to find Benjamin.  He was sitting at a table talking to another inmate.  The boys introduced themselves as Prison Fellowship volunteers and joined the conversation.  

After a couple of minutes, the other inmate left the group so that they could talk on their own.  Tony was excited to share with Benjamin the word that The Lord had shown his wife the day before; that Benjamin was an instrument in God’s hands and a tool that He could still use.  Benjamin was amazed and could feel that this prison visit was definitely orchestrated by God.  Going into prison, he had felt like such a failure.  A minister who had fallen spectacularly.  However,  this word brought incredible hope and an overwhelming sense that God had not forgotten him.  

As they were ready to leave, the inmate who had been talking to Benjamin earlier came up to Tony and Paul and asked them out of curiosity, “Who was the other guy who was with you?”  
Tony said, “What do you mean?  There were only three of us.”

 “No! I saw four!”  

“No, three,” Tony said again.  

“No!  There were four!  I saw you all clearly but I have never seen the other guy before and was wondering who he was.”  And then it hit them.  There was someone else standing there with them. Without a doubt, Jesus was there in that prison visit.  

– Richard Feeney, VIC State Manager
[3:24-25 New King James Version

Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counsellors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

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