How would you feel to lose your freedom, to have no choice in daily plans—where you would live, what you would wear, what you would eat, where you could go, with whom you could associate? What would it be like to have no Christian association, no Christian fellowship, and only a discouraging environment?
This has happened to one of our Christian sisters because of a serious crime in which she was involved before becoming a Christian. After serving a 90-day jail sentence without enough evidence for conviction, she was set free and studied her way into the truth with Christians in her area. Being convicted of her sins, she was immersed into Christ and became our sister. In an act of the most profound repentance, she turned herself in and confessed her involvement in the crime. This resulted in her conviction by the state of Texas to a life sentence with a possibility of parole after forty years. Forty years with no freedom, yet her attitude is, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free” (Galatians 5:1)!
After Lucinda read my article, “Here We Are but Straying Pilgrims” in the November 2006 issue of the Rocky Mountain Christian, she wrote to me saying that she felt as if I were describing her as a “wandering stranger in a strange place.” She enclosed a copy of her personal story that had been published several years earlier in the Christian Woman Magazine.
The September/October 2003 issue on “Faith” had invited readers to “describe an incident in your life that required great faith.” Lucinda shared her story and now shares it with us, giving me permission to share her story in hopes that other Christians would want to offer Christian fellowship and words of encouragement.
She freely acknowledges her involvement in a terrible crime and makes no excuses for her former life. She has been a faithful child of God since her baptism September 13, 1996, almost a year after the crime. Now, after ten years, her mother, Ernestine Jackson, has also become our new sister in Christ. Lucinda has now served about one-fourth of the prison time before the possibility of her parole. Her environment is dark and discouraging. She is a strong, dedicated Christian, but needs Christian brothers and sisters everywhere to help her take the gospel boldly in her very own prison ministry.
Please send her cards and letters of encouragement. You will be impressed with her sincerity and strength. Her address* is as follows:
1916 North Hwy. 36 Bypas
Gatesville, TX 76596.
Let’s remember Jesus’ words, “I was in prison and you came to Me…to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me” (Matthew 25:36, 40.)
Editor’s note: This article was originally run in the July 2007 issue of the Rocky Mountain Christian News. At this point, Lucinda has served 15 of her 40 years before possibility of parole. How wonderful it would be for Lucinda to receive a fresh wave of letters! *Address current as of January 2011.
by Louise “Weezie” Burger
Weezie and her husband, Wayne, serve with the Conifer church of Christ near Denver, CO. She is an instructor in the Bear Valley Bible Institute women’s program and enjoys her three grandchildren.