An Unexpected Pardon for Oscar

An Unexpected Pardon for Oscar

An Unexpected Pardon for Oscar

by Romer Raudales

In December of 2023, three inmates from our discipleship group sessions received a pardon. Two were from the prison of Granada and one from the central Prison of Managua, Tipitapa, known as “La Modelo.” We were there for all three, having been individually contacted by them, wanting further teaching. We helped Oscar, one of the men, when he was released. We constantly visited the other two inmates, praying, maintaining communication, and helping them transition back into society. 

God calls us to go that extra mile. We in prison ministry must constantly remind ourselves of what one wise man said. “We can’t help everyone. We can only help those who want help.”

Meet Oscar. He lived in Canada for a while but lost his Canadian residency after being sentenced to twelve years in Nicaraguan prison. Oscar would always help us serve the food in the Granada prison. He is a painter, and before he went to prison, he worked in an art gallery in Granada, the city where Ana Julia, Milady, and I live.

However, in December 2023, while in his second year, Oscar suddenly received an unexpected pardon. He immediately contacted me, happy as a little child, expressing thanks and saying we brought hope to his life when he had none. He explained that when he started attending our services and discipleship sessions, he would tell himself, “Here comes another Christian to talk nonsense. I will only attend these meetings to receive the food they give out.” 

He told me about more profound things, too. “I began hearing you speak, listening carefully, for you created space for us to open up. You shared how God has been working in your life, saying you were no different than us, no better than us. At that, I could sense you had a sincere heart. When you said none of us would serve our whole sentence, that there has not been one inmate in Nicaragua that has served his entire sentence, that we would get out one day, I said to myself, ‘He’s crazy!” But you spoke with conviction. You sounded so sure of it. And it came to pass! I’m free now! But before, when you guys left, each of us returned to a prison cell. After you left and things were quiet again, even the worst inmates would say, “I feel light-hearted. I feel encouraged! I sense God speaking to me every time we go to those sessions.”

I have met with Oscar a couple of times, and we have invited him to our home, and taken him to church because he has asked us to.

Today, Oscar is working with his family and friends to reopen his art gallery in Granada. I am joyful, and my heart beats faster. The other day, Oscar told me, “Today, I understand what it feels to be born again.” 

Before, he didn’t have that conviction, but he started feeling different after attending our discipleship and dialogue sessions in prison. Now that he is once more on the outside, he does not crave the life he used to live. When his party friends call him, he tells them that he is concentrating on God and himself. 

Even though Oscar is unmarried and has no girlfriend, he knows that all good things will come in God's perfect timing. Because of his sincerity, I know that these are signs of the Holy Spirit working in his life. Friends, glory to God for the changes we see taking place in this man.

The greatest joy God has given me inside the prisons is starting with a new group. You see all those faces. Some look sad, some are mean, and others seem curious. But after a couple of sessions and services, the stone walls of their hearts start to come down. Then you start seeing joyful faces, men wanting to learn, share, and ask questions. And then, a little while later, you begin seeing shining eyes, handshakes being given, prayers being made, and men surrendering to Christ. It's a time of hugs and excitement.

Please pray specifically for these three men, for Oscar, who is free, and for the other two, whom I will contact.