An Answer To Prayer

AN ANSWER TO PRAYER
(The John Villanueva Story)

Jesus Did It!

By: John Villanueva

With all the depressing things that I hear about and see on TV, I would like to give you a testimony that will cheer your heart and give praise to God. There are many things to be grateful for, but when God answers a big prayer like he has answered in my life, it opens not only your eyes, but your heart and soul to just how great God is and how powerful the sacrifice was that Jesus made on Calvary. Let me share a little story with you.

In the spring of 1986, I had been married for almost 3 years. I had a 2 1/2 year old son and my wife, Joyce, was pregnant with our second child. It was at this time that I met a woman and began an affair with her that ultimately separated me from my family and destroyed our relationship. I did not think about what having an affair with this woman was going to do and to be honest, at the time, I did not care.

Although my wife was also lost, neither one of us having Jesus in our lives, she wanted this relationship to work.  Whereas, my only concern was to have as much fun as I could. It got to the point where I just did not want to be with her and one time I had even struck her while she was pregnant with Phillip, our second son. I didn't know it then, but I was headed for destruction - I was headed for the pits of hell.

I left my wife and moved to Tennessee with this woman. Everything seemed to be going so well (talk about deception). The woman I was with immediately got a job, and not too long after, I got a job too. Mine was temporary and hers was more long term. Both of us had left things in Indiana, where we were both living before moving, so we both got time off work to drive up there and pick up what we left behind.

It was at this time that I once again saw my son David. I spent a couple of days at the house with him. When it came time to leave again and make my way back to Tennessee, my son said a few words to me that have stayed with me to this day. He said, "Daddy, please don't leave."  Every time I thought of my son David, which was quite often over the years, I would hear those words ringing in my ear and I would begin to cry. I left my wife who was pregnant and my 2 1/2 year old son standing there holding her hand while I drove away. Not long after I was gone, my second son Phillip was born. To this day, I have not seen my son Phillip in person. Not long after that I was locked up and sentenced to life as an habitual criminal.

For many years after that I continued to live in sin. I was a deceiver, a liar and had no concern about anyone except for what it could benefit me. I was on my way to eternal damnation, but I couldn't see the harm I was doing to myself, let alone to others.

Even in my state of deception, I still attended some church services and counseling programs. Little did I know that seeds were being planted and the faithfulness of these groups were changing my heart to know Who it was that made them so faithful.

In September of 1994, I transferred from the prison I was in to this prison, N.E.C.X.  Little did I know that God's hand was in that transfer. When I came to this prison I had already been locked up for 8 years and I could feel myself growing in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was through the diligence of one particular group known as the Philadelphians out of Knoxville, TN, who faithfully came back each week to the prison I was in and every other week to this prison that I truly came to understand who Jesus was and is and what He did for me on Calvary. It was also through the diligence of brothers right here in the prison that I soon came to the place that God had prepared for me.

On November 15, 1994, which is also my natural birthday, God had a place prepared for me so that I would know that I was at the end of myself and could no longer live my life without Him. There were no fancy churches, no lights flashing, no fireworks, no people praying over me. There was just me, my room, and the presence of God in the form of His Holy Spirit.

I wept and wept when I felt God's Spirit coming into me to clean this old wretched man out. I knew no feeling like it and have not felt anything quite like it since. I don't believe that there will ever be a more revealing, spiritual cleansing like that ever again. For in that day, my Father took all of my uncleanness and washed me clean with the blood of His Son Jesus Christ my Saviour.

It seemed that everything in my past, all the evil that I had done was before me, and with a mighty sweep of God's loving hand, He scooped them up and cast them far from me into the depths of the sea of forgetfulness. And at that same instant, He filled all the emptiness with the presence of His precious Holy Spirit and a true understanding of who I was through His eyes and of His most wonderful holy gift, His Son, my Lord Jesus Christ.

It was as if at that moment I knew what it was that I was always at constant battle with. It was as if in that moment God revealed to me who I was and what He can make of me. He shattered the man I was and created a new vessel that He could use for His glory. He took a tremendous weight off of my shoulders and put it on His. If I could praise Him for all eternity, it would not be enough. I wept for what seemed like hours, but could not be sure. I just know that on that night, I met Jesus and received Him in my heart as my Saviour and Lord and I knew that my life had changed. I knew I would never be the same again.

I began studying God's Word and learning more about Jesus and all the things that come from knowing Who He is and what we can have by just believing in Him. One of the Scriptures that stood out for me was John 8:32,36, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."

Another Scripture that I learned very early on was Matthew 7:7‑8, "Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."  I knew that if I asked God, He would answer my prayers and having faith I believed and thanked Him for it.

While praying each and everyday from the time I was born again, one of my most persistent prayers was for the Lord to restore my sons to me. I prayed that the Lord would soften the heart of Joyce their mother and that she would write to me or that she would allow one of my sons to write to me. While I prayed concerning this before I was born again, I didn't believe in what I was praying for. That was the difference between answered and unanswered prayer. And it wasn't just me praying, there was a lot of people praying, in here, and out in the free‑world.

On April 28, 1997, I received an answer to my prayer. Although I didn't know it right away. It was on that day that I received a letter from my oldest boy, David. At first I didn't even know it was my son's letter to me and I just laid all my mail on my bed as I normally do. I started getting ready to take a shower when I glanced down and got a closer look at the letter that was written in pencil. I thought at first that it was a letter from my niece who sometimes writes to me in pencil, until I saw that the letter was addressed from Gary, Indiana.

I reached down for the letter and I could feel the trembling in me as I slowly opened it and the first words that jumped out at me were "Dear Dad!" From that point on I could barely read the letter, for the tears that welled up in my eyes blurred them from seeing some of the words.

I ran to a friend of mine and was crying so hard. He wasn't sure what had happened to me. I told him, "It's my son, it's my son!", pointing to the letter in my hand continuing to let the tears roll freely. After reading it, he could only acknowledge that it was a blessing from God because he knew how strongly I had been praying for this and he knew that there had been many other people praying for this also.

I went back to my room, covered the little window on my cell door, and fell on my knees and gave praise to God for answer to my prayer. It took almost three years of continuous prayer, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God answered my prayer. I asked God to confirm that He had put my children back in my life, that this wasn't just some chance thing, and He pointed me to Scripture several days later, Malachi 4:6, "And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers..."

God may not answer prayer in your time, but He does answer them in His time. He is a holy and wise God and knows all our needs and concerns long before we do. If you want to know what the peace of God is, you must, "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6‑7)

Since the writing of this testimony, the Holy Spirit has inspired me to write a book of poems which were to help me to grow in the knowledge of God. Since the writing of this testimony, my first son David, who is now 16 years old, has forgiven me for all I have done. And it may interest you to know how great and wonderful God's mercy is, because my second son Phillip, who is 14 years old now, has also been writing to me and by the grace of God, has also found it in his heart to forgive me. This in itself is a wonderful act of God since Phillip has not seen me physically to this day.

And just to show you how wonderful and great the Lord is, he has given me the increase, because Joyce now has a third little boy, Jeremy, whom I love as my own son. When he wrote to me for the first couple of years, he would always call me John, now he has come to love me and trust me enough to think of me as his dad. He now calls me dad when he writes and when I call. Only God can do this because I feel that he sees Jesus in me.

The first time I spoke to the boys, it was on Christmas Eve of 1997. It was the best Christmas present I have ever had in what seems like a lifetime. How glorious the Lord is in all that He does for us as believers. Since then we have grown closer than ever.

God is so good and His love is everlasting. I can't see them right now, but I am believing that God will provide a way. I love my children very much and I know that God is well able to make a way for us to be together. Seeing them in person would be a wonderful gift, a gift that only God can provide. I believe then they will understand the change that God has made in my life once they can all see me in person. I encourage all who read this testimony to pray for this miracle to happen.

I cannot give you words to describe the love of God because His love for us is immeasurable. I just pray that someone will be blessed by this testimony in some way and that through it you will realize that God is faithful and true to His Word even when you think that you have lost all hope. It has been 11 years for me before this prayer was answered, but God knew just when I needed answer to my prayer and HE provided it. Jesus is there with His arms open wide waiting for you to come to His embrace. Jesus loved you long before you ever thought of loving Him. He is saying, "Won't you come to me and let me lift your burdens from off of your shoulders." (Matthew 11:28 30) Jesus loves You and He wants you to know Him. May God bless you all.

With Love In JESUS!

John J. Villanueva, #117376
Northeast Correctional Complex
P.O. Box 5000
Mountain City, TN 37683-5000



PLEASE HELP SHARE THE BEST NEWS GOD HAS FOR EVERY PERSON!

"And this gospel of the kingdom [Jesus died for sinners] shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Quote from Jesus Himself: Matthew 24:14).

Consider how many children in "all the nations" have never heard YET what Jesus accomplished for THEM at the cross? PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS TO THE LITTLE CHILDREN!

To help us share the Best News every person needs to hear on this planet, randomly click FOR JESUS on just three (3) of the JESUS DID IT! links below. It will take just a few moments of your time. Please - thatís all you are asked to do. God will reward you! (Of course, be highly encouraged to forward one of these video clips to those who may have never heard what Jesus did for them on the cross ... especially young people). Thank you so much!

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JESUS DID IT!  - or -  JESUS DID IT!

(Please paste one of the above links onto your Facebook page - website - blog - video; etc.)

Let God Use Your Salvation Testimony!


If this testimony has blessed you, would you please take a few moments and share with us HOW it has blessed you?  Your feedback is very important.  Please mention the author of this testimony when you email your comments.  Thank you so very, very much!  Email:  ptoffice@precious-testimonies.com

A Special Message:  http://www.precious-testimonies.com/Exhortations/f-j/HelpingShareTheMessageOfTheCross.htm
 


Dear Reader - are you at peace with God?  If not, you can be.  Do you know what awaits you when you die?  You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain.  Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!).  Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God?  We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.

To get to know God; to be at peace with God; to have your sins forgiven; to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity; to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help understand the importance of being reconciled to God.  What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one.  Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life.


If this testimony has touched you in some special way, would you please share it with us?  It is always a blessing to the ministry staff and to those who support this outreach to hear how God is touching lives through this ministry.   Please identify the title of the testimony, and the author's name, and Email us at: ptoffice@precious-testimonies.com

We want to thank each of you who allows us to publish your testimony, for those who faithfully pray for this ministry, for those who care about loved ones and forward these testimonies and other ministry writings to others, especially to prisoners, and for those who help under-gird this ministry financially.  You are so vital to this outreach, and we can never thank you enough.

Like most other evangelistic ministries, we rely on the Lord to place it on people's hearts to sow into this ministry He has called us to.  Would you please pray and see if the Lord would have you make a love offering to Precious Testimonies?  It doesn't have to be a large offering either.  No gift is too small, and every gift you give in helping us reach lost souls will be generously rewarded on the Judgment Day, the Bible promises.

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(Precious Testimonies is a non-denominational 501-C-3 ministry, and financial love offerings to this ministry are tax-deductible.  A summary of financial love offerings can be viewed by clicking on the following link:  Financial Summary).

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Thank You, and God bless you!

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