November 29, 2018

by Janise Anderson*

Wasted potential. Failure. Loser. The world sees a prisoner as many things, but never as someone who is winning at life. Often, a prisoner’s mistakes have cost them their future and their loved ones. Their sins confine them, isolating them from society. But even when these prisoners feel like they are nothing more than a born loser, God steps in and gives them a new beginning.

 

Over two million copies of Born to Win, an in-depth Bible course written by William MacDonald, have been distributed to prisoners and believers around the world. The book boldly shares God’s promise to give everyone a fresh start. The blood of Jesus paid for all to have a second chance at life.

 

Steve, an inmate at an Arizona prison, found this second chance at life through the Emmaus International courses. Now he eagerly shares the hope planted in his heart. In November of 2017, Steve enrolled his cellmate in the Emmaus studies. Because his cellmate is almost completely blind, Steve read the study course Born to Win out loud to him.

 

Steve wrote Emmaus to share about his experience with the courses. “While I was reading, several other inmates wanted to join in so I had them write down the answers to the questions on a separate sheet of paper so we could discuss them,” said Steve. “Two of the men want to receive studies so we can all study together. Thank you for providing these courses so we can grow in our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

Joseph, an inmate at a Texas prison, spent two years in county jail before being sent to state prison. He wrote Emmaus to say, “I was new in the faith at that time and felt that my life was over. One of the first pieces of mail I received was Born To Win. I did not realize then what a blessing this was. For the past eight years and 136 credits I have learned more than I could have ever imagined. In twenty months I will be released on parole. Thank you so much for helping me reach this point. Your ministry has helped to mold me – a second chance in this life.”

 

Like Joseph, thousands of inmates have studied Born to Win and have found in God a new life. Despite the many demeaning labels the world gives them, these prisoners find victory in life.

 

Mattie, a 37-year-old inmate in Texas, has changed completely since beginning the Emmaus courses. “I’m leading Bible studies in my cell,” Mattie told Emmaus in April 2018. “I’m studying diligently, and the Holy Spirit is molding me and shaping me. I am also anxiously anticipating my next lesson and certificate.”

 

Born to Win reminds inmates that “First of all, Jesus loved us. Long before we ever knew Him, He loved us.” This truth promises inmates that even if they have failed before or will fail again, God still loves them. He waits for them to come running back to Him. According to 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” These prisoners are not born losers. By the grace of God, they have been reborn to win!

*Janise studies Professional Writing at Pensacola Christian College. Her passion for writing fiction and nonfiction began during her childhood years in Peru. She currently lives in Pensacola, Florida.

 


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