(The William Bumphus Story)
Jesus Did It!
What can God make out of a broken life? Please allow me to tell you.
I was born December 14, 1946. I was raised in the alleys of Indianapolis, Indiana. At the age of 12, my father (whom I had never seen because he was locked away in jail), was released from prison. I fell in love with him immediately. I had seen only poverty, but when my father drove up in a new convertible loaded with women, this was the height of prosperity. I wanted to be just like him.
At age 14, the court awarded me to my father, which grieved my mother greatly. By age 15, I dropped out of high school and began to live in the streets. Stealing became a way of life. I burglarized cleaners and stores for clothing and money. I stole cars for transportation.
At age 16 I was arrested for vehicle theft and was sentenced to the Indiana State Farm for 180 days. There I got educated. I saw for the first time what I thought life was all about. I listened to all the fascinating stories of the inmates on how to make it, especially about prostitution.
In prison I acquired a drug addiction, and upon my release, I went into forgery and prostitution. Three weeks after my release, I was picked up from the floor of a bar, where I was overdosing off red and blue devils and alcohol.
When I got straight, I recognized the brothers who had helped me as the ones who introduced me to the needle. After that they taught me how to purchase real heroin and how to use it. That continued for two years. My habit grew, and it seemed that the more money I made, the more I needed. This came to an abrupt halt with my being arrested by the FBI for forgery. In 1970 I was sentenced to two years in the federal prison at Terre Haute, Indiana.
In 1973 I was arrested for first-degree burglary and charged with 33 counts of burglary and theft. I jumped bond and lived in fear for four years. In January of 1978 I was turned in. I was retained in an area where they hold you over the weekend. On Sunday morning of this weekend I heard a preacher outside the prison bars talking about Jesus Christ. I was very uncomfortable and wished he'd leave. But I was hurting inside-really hurting. I remember thinking: Could I be helped? The preacher continued to ask us to let him pray for us. As a few began to respond, I found myself also kneeling down at the metal bars and allowing this white man to pray for me so I would find Jesus.
On Monday morning I was officially charged and sent to the Marion County Jail to await trial. Ten minutes after I arrived in my cell block, I was approached by an inmate who informed me that he and some other inmates held a Bible study in their cell. Two days later I went down to their cell to see what they were talking about. I had never been in a church except to find something to steal, and I had never been to a Bible study. In that tiny cell I saw that those four brothers were serious about their relationship with God. They read the Bible and prayed frequently and with fervor. They were so-called hardcore criminals awaiting trial, but they had a joy about them that I had never encountered before.
After being around them for three days hearing them pray and talk about their relationship with Jesus Christ -- they pointed out a scripture to me that came alive to the depths of my being:
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. (Romans 10:9-10)
I asked one of the brothers how I could become like them. He told me to ask Jesus to forgive me of all my sins and then invite Him into my heart. I did. As I was praying, I had a vision. Jesus appeared to me and showed me the hurtful things in my life - the dirty things I had done to others-and at the same time I saw His love cover them all. The love of Jesus broke my heart and I wept and wept. When I stood from kneeling in that cell, I knew I had been changed. And I knew I was saved from going to hell.
I eventually came to the conclusion that being raised in the ghetto, living in poverty, being uneducated, being black, being a drug addict, alcoholic, being involved in crime-none of those things was the root cause of my problems. Sin was the root cause of my problem; doing those things God says not to do against Him and mankind. And rebellion was top on the list of sin. Rebellion toward God (whom I did not believe there was), which triggered rebellion against those that opposed me or stood in my way of getting what I wanted (and felt deserved). I had all the necessary excuses to justify the life of crime I led, yet now I realized that none of those excuses would have held up on the Judgement Day when I stood before God and gave an account of my life, which we all will all do.
But now I had accepted God's provision for the 'ticket" to eternal life. What I didn't realize was that had I never accepted God's provision for all my sins, even though I would have spent time in prison as punishment for my wrong-doing during this lifetime-on the Judgement Day, I would be sentenced to prison AGAIN. Only this time, I would be in prison for eternity! I'd be locked up and the key would be thrown away. But God in His mercy had a "spiritual guard" slip me the ticket to freedom. That ticket was Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ died that I might be free. Free for eternity! And in God's grace, I chose to take the key. Something inside of me was sorry for hurting others, and I wanted to change. But I knew I couldn't change myself. I needed help. I needed God's help.
Not long after my born-again experience in jail I was privileged to read a book on being baptized in the Holy Spirit. At the end of the book I did as it instructed, and I was then baptized in the Holy Spirit to receive power - supernatural power from God to help live a victorious Christian life.
In April 1978, I pled guilty to the charges and received a four-year prison term. I was sentenced to do time at the state prison in Michigan City, Indiana. Once there, I determined to educate myself about the things of God. I took numerous Bible correspondence courses and graduated from the Salvation Army Advanced Bible Study Course.
"I'm not sending you out to play, but for you to build me a prison ministry."
In June 1978, Jesus began speaking to me about the needs of the inmates, especially their spiritual needs. Unexpectedly, in August, I was ordered to appear in court. I immediately went into prayer, and Jesus again spoke to me: "I'm not sending you out to play, but for you to build me a prison ministry."
By late 1978, I was released from prison because the judge felt I could be trusted. Since then, not only have I continued to grow in my relationship with Jesus Christ and also become a productive member of society, but I also stayed faithful in what the Lord Jesus called me to do for Him. I started Him a prison ministry just like He asked. To Him be all the glory and praise!
JESUS DID IT! - or - JESUS DID IT!
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This testimony was provided by courtesy of: JESUS INSIDE PRISON MINISTRIES, P.O. Box 88489, Indianapolis, IN 46208; Email: email@example.com. Our sincere thanks and appreciation goes out to them for letting us share this precious testimony with you.
PLEASE HELP SHARE THE BEST NEWS GOD HAS FOR EVERY PERSON!
"And this gospel of the
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 - that's 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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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.
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