An Evangelist in Prison

Matta Boush, an outspoken evangelist in South Sudan was arrested and given a sentence of thirty years at a local military prison. He asked prison authorities for permission to hold prayer meetings. At first they declined, saying, "We already have a mosque; you should go there." But Boush persisted and eventually the authorities relented. For the first prayer meeting, only six people showed up. In a few weeks, more people were going to the prayer meeting than the mosque.

A few years later, he was transferred to another city prison. As he had in the first prison, he asked for, and received permission to conduct prayer meetings. Again he was told to limit his work to non-Muslims. He did but the non-Muslims would talk to Muslims. The result was that during his five years of ministry in that prison, he helped lead between 150 and 200 people to Christ.

After several months in a third prison, officials told him that he did not really belong in prison. They gave him freedom to leave the prison during the day and return at night. Boush was glad to get out and meet with friends he had in Khartoum, but soon he realized that he could not effectively witness to his fellow prisoners if he had freedoms they were denied. He told the prison officials he would no longer go out.

Later, he was offered private air-cooled sleeping quarters (summer temperatures exceed 100º F). But Bousch's most productive time for witnessing was at night, so he declined the offer. He saw fruit for denying his own comfort to do what he felt God was calling him to do. In ten months, 200 more people came to the Lord in the prison.

Dear Lord, help us to be as single-minded as Matta Boush.

What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ" (Philippians 3:8).