Juan and I were talking awhile back, sharing our sadness and confusion over a Christian brother and inmate (about my age) named Dennis who had committed suicide. Juan shared a story from his past and then at my request put it on paper for me to translate into English for you here.
I met Vito in the Marion County Jail in Ocala Florida. I knew him from 2005 until June 2007 the day when he took his life. He was my cellmate for the last two months. He was a man who was searching for God in his own way. However, he loved the things of the world and it was for the love in the world that he took his life. “I don't wanna be here I wanna go outside and be free.” This was what he said over and over and was his greatest desire.
One morning I told him that I was moving to another cell. The morning I was moving, the officers locked down the dorms, beginning a punishment of three days of lock down because of a prisoner that had shouted out a window at a young girl in the parking lot.
That same night at 2:00 AM an officer found Vito dead. He had hung himself from the bunk with his pants. I felt so bad and started to blame myself for what had happened. Because if i had not changed cells he might not have taken his own life and he would be with us still.
I was praying , asking God to show me why this had happened. I couldn’t sleep — I needed to know why. I was tired and it was about 10 or 11 at night and I believe that either I fell asleep for a moment or God gave me a vision for what had happened.
Suddenly I saw a person. I couldn’t see his face. With his hand he points up a road, signaling for me to go forward. It was a very narrow road and on either side of the road was a steep drop. It was like the road had been build with a mountainous chasm on either side. It was very long and looked to be impossible to reach the other side which I could not even see.
As I took a few steps forward I saw sheep and goats falling into the chasm and bursting open and dying as they hit the chasm floor. Seeing this I said to myself, “They are so stupid! They have to know that they are high up and that if they fall below they will die.”
Suddenly out of nowhere appeared a family of lions. There was an adult male, an adult female and three little ones. They began to beat and to some of the sheep and goats. Frightened, some threw themselves into the chasm.
When I opened my eyes, I wondered “What is this?” It all seemed so real. God had shown me a vision of the narrow way of Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
Also he had given me a warning about the enemy, the Devil in Psalm 5:8 Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; Make Your way straight before my face. And, He reminded me that Satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10).
The life in Christ is not easy and He warns us of this. He has commanded us not to fear. At times we go confidently along on this precious road until some get tired, or desires for the things of this world, desires for riches, worries, or some desire of the flesh causes us to fall. Sometimes the enemy comes seeing someone alone and empty and he destroys them.
The Lord invites us to flee to Him. He invites us to trust in Him, to know Him, to be truly free in Him. (Matt 11:28-30, John 8:31-32.
I know it isn’t easy, but we are not alone on this road. He loves us and greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4) Amen.
To God be the glory in Jesus Christ!
Juan Angel Lasoya
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