January 2, 2024

Adventist Radio Helps Volunteers Bring Hope to Prison in Peru

Seventy women inmates are now studying the Bible thanks to a local church outreach.

Rosmery Sánchez, South American Division, and Adventist Review
Part of the team of the prison ministry and of Radio Novo Tempo. [Photo: Samuel Andrade]

“Thank you for teaching me to know God and His Word.” “God will take care of me and soon I will have my freedom.” “I now feel peace and the hope of being home.” “Pray for me; I don’t have anyone here.” These are some of the handwritten comments from inmates on simple pieces of paper at the Santa Moníca women’s prison in Chorrillos, Lima, Peru.

Yésica, Catherine, Roxana, and Rosa, who wrote these notes, are currently deprived of their freedom, but they are part of a group of 70 women studying the Bible, thanks to a team of volunteers from the local Canada Adventist church, in partnership with Radio Novo Tempo Peru.

November 23 was an incredible day, according to local church leaders, as 35 out of the 70 women wore a graduation cap and gown after completing the Bible study course, “Feelings: The Science of Existence.” It was a moment that they could have never imagined, especially inside a prison. After the ceremony, seven of them, donning golden robes, went into a makeshift baptismal pool to give a public testimony of their commitment to follow God through baptism.

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Letter from Yesica, one of the prison inmates who is a Bible student and radio listener. [Photo: Rosmery Sánchez]

On one side of the pool, the leaders of the prison ministry and the announcers of Radio Novo Tempo celebrated and clapped in recognition of the women’s victory, organizers said. “Tears were inevitable, as well as long hugs as witnesses thanked God for the miracles witnessed,” they shared.

A group of Adventist volunteers has been visiting the inmate women for months, local church leaders reported. They have guided them in the study of Novo Tempo Bible courses, while strengthening their knowledge and faith in God daily through Adventist radio shows. One of the inmates highlighted the role of the radio in her personal transformation. “Thank you, Radio Novo Tempo! I don’t want to change stations anymore because this radio station has changed my life,” she told leaders.

That same day, the prison ministry group of the local church and Radio Novo Tempo launched three Bible classes in three pavilions of the Chorrillos prison. Now, leaders said, more inmates will be able to continue finding true freedom in Jesus. Each class has tables, chairs, a Bible and, of course, a radio.

Yesica, Catherine, Roxana, and Rosa are free in Christ and look forward to the hope of hugging their loved ones very soon and talking to them about the One who transformed their lives, they shared. “God allowed radio to transform my life,” one of them said. “Keep helping everyone. You are in my prayers.”

The original version of this story was posted on the South American Division Portuguese-language news site.