This is Andy. In 2009 Andy wrote to the Gideons National Office from inside HMP Gartree where he was serving a life sentence for murder. This is the story he shared with us in that letter:
In August 2006, while in prison, I decided to take my own life. My situation had become so hopeless I had lost the will to live.
I sat in my cell down in the segregation unit waiting for the day shift to change over to their night time colleagues. It would be then that I would put the noose I had made around my neck, fix it up at the window and let myself hang to death.
No more pain and no more shame, that’s what I thought. Relief from the awful situation I was in, serving a life sentence for murder, the result of a drunken argument.
A quiet voice spoke to me, “Just read that Bible.” On the shelf sat a copy of the New Testament & Psalms placed by The Gideons which, until then, had been an object on the shelf in my cell. My mind answered immediately, “What good is that going to do me.” Again the voice replied, “Just read that Bible.”
I opened the book at the beginning, Matthew’s Gospel, and started to read. It was just a list of names but something was stirring inside of me. Something was happening! At Luke’s Gospel it happened – the parable of the lost son. During this parable the tears started to flow, my hopelessness disappeared, the wretchedness I had suffered went as well and most of all the idea that I was unworthy of forgiveness was taken from me.
The angry, frightened, desperate person I had become ceased to exist there and then. I was found indeed. I wept openly with joy. Suddenly I had hope. I wanted to live.
Come Sunday, in the prison chapel, I went to the front and gave my life to Jesus.
Andy was moments away from taking his own life but the Lord spoke to him through that New Testament & Psalms placed by The Gideons. We have shared Andy’s testimony at many church services over the past few years and we have always looked forward to the day when he would arrive at the Gideons National Office a free man and share his testimony in person. Today the Lord blessed us with that day! Andy spoke this morning at a special meeting of the Gideon leadership at Chapel Street Christian Fellowship, Lutterworth. What an amazing blessing to hear Andy share his testimony himself in person.
On the right pictured above is Pastor Alan from Chapel Street Christian Fellowship and he is praying here for Andy specifically that he would get a job and would get one soon. It can be extremely tough for ex-offenders to find work once they are released from prison and Pastor Alan and his church have committed to pray for Andy every day that he would get a job soon. Please join them and us in praying into this situation every day.