Monday, December 13, 2010

How I Was Protected In Prison Camp

I was getting rid of most that I owned as I cleaned up my home, and prepared to enter Federal Prison Camp.  I had fear of harm that could happen to me in prison and I prayed to the Lord about my fear.  I was inside the house; I went out to one of the sheds we were emptying and I reached down and pulled out something that had been in storage for a decade. It was a framed portion of Scripture.  It said

"Behold, I give you power over serpents and scorpions; and nothing by any means shall hurt you." 

This 'jumped' out at me and lodged in my heart. It was a word of God to my heart, given to garrison me against fear and to assure me that no harm would come to me in prison.

When I arrived in the Camp they said my papers had not arrived and so they were going to send me to the "Hole" in the Big House.  This was something else.   23 Hour lock-down with inmates of every description.  Into a cell as the third man in a cell built for two.  The first guy I met, said,  'don't worry, our other cellie is a black guy and he's ok.'   My other cellie showed up and immediately began to educate me to prison life. He basically took me under his wing so to speak and explained the basics.  Later, we would both be in the Atlanta minimal security facility, next door to the Big House.

After a few weeks I was put to work in the Mess hall. I was a server.  It was my responsibility to serve the guys as they came in to eat.  There would sometimes we limits on food items- two boiled eggs at breakfast, for example.  There was lots of favoritism shown by inmates to their buddies in this system and when the guards were not looking, they would give their buddies as much as they asked for.  I felt honor bound to respect the rules and not respect the persons, and I was soon making some guys very irritated because I would not comply with their demands for more eggs, or whatever.
I felt like I was making enemies. 
But the Lord was watching over me, and two guys who had been in a long time and who had become friends, intervened, and managed somehow to get me a job away from food service and in carpentry.  I remember when it was getting very tense with some inmates but at that moment I felt the presence of my guardian angel over my right shoulder. And the Lord opened a way in the wilderness and I escaped. 
Then there was the time my cellie began acting very funny one day.  In my cube, he began accusing me of outrageous things, totally untrue.   Then he stood up and began to cry and said 'the voices, the voices, the voices; they are telling me to hurt you; help me, Ben; help me."  Whereupon I  rebuked the evil spirit in the name of Jesus and commanded it to leave him.  He began to hyperventilate and lay down on his bunk and unbuttoned his shirt, like he was too hot, and after a period of agitation, finally relaxed and got still.  Then he stood up as normal as anything, and said to me "Ben, what's been happenin?"  I explained to him the going's on; he did not believe me, but my other cellie- for I was in a two man cube that had three guys- confirmed what had transpired; quite shaken at having seen an exorcism.  The news spread quickly throughout the dorm.
The authority given over serpents and scorpions had Protected me from harm, according to the promise of Jesus. 
Then there was the time we were having an inspection of our dorm by the guards; someone had upset them.   They made the rounds of the entire place that ended right at my cube; and as I was standing there, one of the guards took out a switch blade, threw it opened on my locker and said, 'here it is; I give you a chance; why don't you come after me."  What?   I was one of the most docile of all their inmates.  I just mumbled something incoreherently, and in frustration he took the blade back and left.  That guy could make someone nervous- he went around the prison camp with a baseball bat, like a Federal variation of Buford Pusser.  But, mysteriously, the FBI came around a few weeks later, and he was never heard or seen again, in that Camp.   I had said nothing, but something had been done to remove that mentally unstable man from our supervision.
"nothing by any means shall hurt you." 

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