The Gospel Keeps Me Free In Jail

November 20, 2013 by Open Doors in Stories of Persecution

Chains Thirty months after tribal rulers ordered his imprisonment under false attempted murder and theft charges, Jaime remains locked in a maximum-security prison full of murderers, thieves, and drug-traffickers eager to force him to take part into their criminal schemes. Their plight began when Jaime found himself on the wrong side of indigenous politics in his tribe in Colombia, called Nasa, because he didn’t want his children educated in schools that promote traditional witchcraft. To that end, he joined OPIC (Cauca Multicultural Indigenous Organization), an indigenous Christian group that advocates for non-traditional education. Traditional authorities, however, consider OPIC an enemy organization, as it competes for federal funding and challenges the tribe’s traditional witchcraft-based school curriculum. When Jaime came to the aid of a Christian woman whose cows were being taken by tribal leaders, they falsely accused him of having stolen them. In the resulting conflict, someone hit Jaime; in self-defense, he hit back, which resulted in tribal authorities charging him with attempted murder. Because the Colombian constitution grants autonomy to indigenous governments, Jaime has no right to appeal the sentence. Amid the dangers of San Isidro prison, through a Prison Fellowship of Colombia Bible study, Jaime came to faith in Christ. Today, his three older children are students at the Open Doors Children’s Center, where they too became Christians. The eldest, Ferney, 20, shared the gospel with his mother, who also accepted Christ. With support of Prison Fellowship of Colombia, Jaime and 40 other prisoners regularly attend Bible studies, which led him to place his faith in Christ. “I greatly look forward to days when I can go to Bible studies, because there I learn much about the Bible,” he said. “Reading it makes me free, strong and able to handle this difficult situation.” He is grateful for OD support through letters that he receives from many countries each month, thanks to our letter-writing campaign. He shares them with prison guards who ask where they come from. Jaime tells them that many people are praying for him. He uses the opportunity to share his faith in Christ Please pray for: