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  • Writer's pictureJeremy Chupp

You may know my number, But He knows my name.

Updated: Feb 12, 2021

This time of year is often busy for us with conferences. Several of those conferences are held behind the fences. I have a special place in my heart for those wonderful souls that are inside our prisons. This year due to the Covid-19 most of our events got postponed to later this year and even into next. I was so moved by a testimony from an inmate last year that I would like to share it with you all.

It was during an event at a Correctional Center when the Mullet Family with From Pain to Purpose, myself and approx. 20 volunteers entered the gates of a maximum security prison. The week ahead of us was filled with anticipation, yet some nervousness as many of us had never spent a whole week in a prison working with the same inmates in a very intense, personal way. Many prayers went heavenward as we committed the week to our Father in Heaven. The goal was to help inmates understand, recognize, and resolve issues of the heart, bringing freedom in Christ. The results we trusted would impact the lives of fellow inmates, thus bringing more souls to Jesus. We began the week with worship and teaching before breaking into small groups. The groups consisted of 6 to 7 inmates with 2 volunteers.

On the first day an inmate known as Samson was almost instantly convicted. He had been struggling spiritually, never being able to feel God in His heart. He had accepted Christ years before and was actually part of the worship team. Full of frustration and pain, for years he felt like an impostor, as he stood in front of his fellow inmates during worship services, smiling and singing. When the first person in his small group shared their nearly identical struggle, he simply couldn’t contain himself. Having vowed to himself the day before, (when finding out that he would be participating in the small groups sharing their life stories), not to share his struggle, he now spoke out of turn sharing his secret pain. He was honest and he was real. The story of a childhood filled with horrific pain, confusion, rejection, and conflict. As the rest of the group listened and cared, the walls came tumbling down. All through that day and the next, the group cared and prayed with, and for Samson.

The evening of the third day Samson lay awake in his bunk, and suddenly felt prompted to look up a Bible verse one of the speakers had referenced that day. That verse 3 John 12 turned out to be totally different then what he expected to read. As he read he was stunned! The verse read “Demetrius has a good testimony for all, and from the truth itself. And we also bear witness, and know that our testimony is true.”

Samson was very excited, and the next day standing in front of the group he read the passage aloud. As the group listened, not one of the 80 men understood the relevance of it until Samson explained. He looked at the group with a sparkle in his eye. As he spoke “Men, I want you to all look at this,” he reached to his left shoulder, turned his name tag around to the back side, revealing his real name. The name that no one else in the world new aside from his parents. His real name was Demetrius! “Friends”, he said in a solid, confident tone, “Starting today, I will no longer respond to being called by my nickname, from now on, I am Demetrius.”

As the crowd grasped the significance of the Bible verse upon this man, the room became electrified with the presence of the Holy Spirit. The huge smile on Demetrius’ face showed a radiance that few had never experienced. The heavenly silence was broken with rejoicing! As men in bright colored scrubs began to praise our King, I wish you all could have witnessed the scene! Inside a prison wall, loud shouts of joy, thousands of tears of gratitude, and an explosion of glorifying God erupted in the gym that day! This man had finally experienced God, something he’d longed for! God the Father had affirmed His child, Demetrius, heretofore known to all as Samson by name.

Writing this brings back the memory so vividly, I can feel it inside my heart. With a lump in my throat I know the Heavenly Father is calling me to continue to serve Him and introduce more souls to His love. Because He knows them by name.


Blessings as we serve Him together,

Jeremy



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