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There is a remarkable prison in Brazil. For over twenty years the government has allowed two Christians to run the prison. The prison is called “Humaita” and it runs on Christian principles. All the work is done by the prisoners, except that which is required by two full-time staff. Families outside the prison adopt an inmate to work with during and after his term. Chuck Colson tells us what he experienced when he visited the prison:


When I visited Humaita I found inmates smiling - particularly the murderer who held the keys, opened the gates and let me in. Wherever I walked I saw men at peace. I saw clean living areas, people working industriously. The walls were decorated with Biblical sayings from the Psalms and Proverbs… My guide escorted me to the notorious prison cell once used for torture. Today, he told me, that block houses only a single inmate. As we reached the end of a long concrete corridor and he put the key in the lock, he paused and asked, “Are you sure you want to go in?”

“Of course,” I replied impatiently, “I’ve been in isolation cells all over the world.” Slowly he swung open the massive door, and I saw the prisoner in that punishment cell: a crucifix, beautifully carved by the Humaita inmates - the prisoner Jesus, hanging on a cross.

“He’s doing time for the rest of us,” my guide said softly.(4)

Max Lucado. In The Grip of Grace. Word Publishing, Dallas, Texas, 1996, pg. 113-114.

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