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GCM Leads Hundreds in Russia’s Prisons to Jesus


prisoner_baptism

Handcuffed prisoners were recently baptized at the infamous Black Dolphin maximum security prison.

 

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ministering to inmates at the infamous Black Dolphin maximum-security prison in Russia
  • Handcuffs were on during the baptismal service
  • Inmates knelt down on the floor handcuffed and bound and prayed for us

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The doors have literally opened up to opportunities for ministering to inmates at the infamous Black Dolphin maximum-security prison in Russia. GCM Ministries has ministered to this and similar prisons for years now.

Vitaly, who served time behind bars in his teenage years, is now a visiting Chaplin at the Black Dolphin prison and tells us of the works of God there.

– Today, I build houses to earn a living. I was building this one house for a woman who was the wife of the Deputy Governor. I asked if her husband could help me get access to the Black Dolphin prison.

Each time the Deputy Governor went to this prison on business he was shocked at what he saw. Inside the prison, the small, claustrophobic cells had cages built in to restrict movement by the inmates.

– After seeing these awful conditions he decided to help us. As a result of much discussion and many meetings with the prison warden we were given access to Black Dolphin and all prisons in the Orenburg region.

50 Inmates Baptized, Handcuffed Behind Their Backs

Vitaly and Vladimir Kiselev minister at the Black Dolphin once a month. Volunteer workers from the Orenburg church take part as well.

– Recently we held a ninth baptismal service there. All told, 55 prisoners serving life sentences have been baptized. These hardened men have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord. We brought our own inflatable plastic pool and filled it up to knee level with water. The prisoners were led into the pool, handcuffed behind their backs, with police dogs present. The handcuffs were kept on during the baptismal service, describes Vitaly.

prisoner_communion_ 2 cmAfter the baptismal service, there was communion (in handcuffs) followed by a very moving scenario. The inmates, following Jesus’ example, washed each other’s feet.

– This is an important moment for them, Vitaly says. When an inmate washes another’s feet, he will never again act disrespectfully toward that person. In this way he is showing that the other inmate is highly esteemed and above himself. The washing of feet is a turning point for them.

Calloused Inmates Intercede

We went to another prison called Pyatak where many of the inmates are waiting on death row for their execution. One inmate, Vladimir had murdered seven people. His time behind bars started at the early age of fourteen and he has not been free since then.

His crimes grew in intensity landing him on death row. While there, he murdered his cellmate.

I met two other inmates both named Sergei. One was twenty-seven years old. He was an elite soldier serving in the special forces of Russia (Special Ops). He was trained to fight and to kill with his bare hands. Special forces soldiers swear on oath not to use their skills outside military conflict. One evening he was out dancing with his girl friend and ended up in a fight trying to protect her. In the process he killed three men with his bare hands. He had been drinking and had lost his self-control.

These men had made devastating choices in their lives, which ultimately put them on death row. As I beheld them I was filled with sorrow. Yet I was happy because they all had found purpose for their life through their new-found faith in Christ!

As we were about to leave with our assigned prison escort, an officer, the baptized inmates knelt down on the floor handcuffed and bound and prayed for us our church and our children.

Officer Weeps

As we prayed our escorting officer abruptly stepped out of the room. I followed him and began to apologize: “Did we break the rules of the prison?” As he turned his face toward me I noticed tears flowing down his cheeks. He said he knows the life these men have led and said they have never knelt or bowed down in front of anyone. But now they are on their knees praying on your behalf and of your children.

Through his tears the officer explained that for the longest time he had searched for God in churches and monasteries. “But God is to be found here in the cells of my prison. I can see what he has done to these men. The officer walked down the hall with us and asked: “What do I need to do to find God?” I answered: “Repent of your sins…”

Salvation at the Gates

– We left the prison at seven that evening. When we were at the main gate the officer removed his hat and indicated he wanted to receive Jesus Christ as his savior right then and there. And so he did!

Ministry to Adults and Children

GCM Ministries partners with Vitaly and Vladimir working in prison ministry in adult prisons. This year GCM Ministries continues to deliver aid and minister to children in several of Russia’s children’s prison camps, detention centers and orphanages.

Please pray for and support this crucial outreach as we reach out to Russia’s forgotten and rejected children in prison. We have seen hundreds of them make decisions for Jesus.

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