Yet again, the Lord did something wonderful that far surpassed my expectations. I received a call to come to the prison for Mr. Abdul. He was the only man who was captured during the attack at our center (mainly our own residence) in 2012. Prisoners have to compensate for damages, losses, etc., of the people they robbed, murdered, or offended in any way. The court had already written an amount of several thousand dollars U.S. to cover the cost of things stolen and the damages to our house itself (like the door that was axed open while my family was inside). Over two years ago, I had already forgiven Abdul in person. But, in the presence of the prison official and Abdul, I once again forgave him. The joy of the Lord flooded my soul in that moment. I almost cried. Before my eyes, I was witnessing the extraordinary love made available through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. Abdul didn’t deserve forgiveness this time either. But, neither did I deserve the privilege of being able to love and forgive Abdul with a love that only God is worthy to experience. Jesus Christ was preached in that moment. The Lord was opening the door to set him free in his soul and prepare him for his destiny to preach the gospel.
Several times since last December, I have put in requests to the prison authorities asking them if Abdul could call home. I even volunteered to pay for the call myself. The Holy Spirit told me that Abdul hadn’t spoken to his wife in a long time. When I asked him, he admitted that he hadn’t spoken to her since he’d been sentenced. She lives in a different province than where he’s been incarcerated. The same day I forgave Abdul of any requirement to recompense my family for damages, the Lord opened the door for him to place a free call home to talk to his wife. Our God is great! Hallelujah! And matchless in mercy!
When we surrender our lives and choose to accept Jesus Christ as the only Savior, we receive salvation. In this salvation, we have an obligation, a joy and a privilege to love our enemies while they are still sinning. Salvation is not optional for us; neither is our responsibility to demonstrate Christ’s love to others (Matthew 22:37-40). Remember, the Father’s love was lavished upon you and I when we too were enemies of God because of sins and unbelief (which also is sin, John 3:18) in Jesus Christ.
Pray with us, that we might be so overwhelmed by Christ’s love that we will no longer be blind to the people the Holy Spirit wants to transform. May God’s love be so radiant through us (and you), that the body of Christ and sinners will awaken to who God is truly calling us to be. Pray for Abdul, that the Lord Jesus would transform his life and use him to bring many others to Christ. There’s a great harvest which is ready for those who are willing to harvest in the love that only comes through Jesus Christ!
Love, Tyren and Tiffany Haynes