Now this one was tough. It is the largest prison in Paraguay and was a very, very bad place. Unlike most prisons we have been to, there were no “patios” or separate sections here. As in, all 5,000 prisoners were all walking around the prison at the same time and in the same area. Basically like a huge city inside a prison and just complete chaos. People shouting, the guards blowing whistles, little fights breaking out between the prisoners, soccer balls flying, guys crowding around an begging us for things, ecs… The conditions were just horrible with the walls covered in mold and crumbling, the place smelled horrible the men were starving because they barely had enough food.
Originally when I approached the director and asked for authorization to enter, he said we could only go in a small room on the side. But after showing him pictures of others prisons and explaining that this was a big event, he allowed us to go in.
We set up in the center and everyone crowded around. It took a lot of work to pull this one off and we had to be at the top of our gain every second but the Lord Jesus was with us and we were able to share many things with them. The crowd kept changing over because everyone wanted to see. We worked on a magic routine that has a message in it about time, eternal life and gives them a perspective beyond these walls. It really connected with the guys at at the end the begged we return. As I walked out a guy said, “Thank you for bring light into such a dark place”.