By Rick Hamlin
An Amazing Story of Answered Prayer
I’m a sucker for a good story of answered prayer and here’s one a reader just sent in. This is from Vicki Bowman.
Vicki had been writing and praying for an inmate in a Georgia prison because she cared about prisoners. “Everybody knows they’re out there but nobody wants to deal with them,” she says. She’d been writing the inmate for several months when she and her family signed up for a church mission trip to Peru.
It was a tough time for Vicki. She’d been laid off from her job and finances were tight. “My husband and I are like most people,” she says. “We had a house payment, care payment and other bills to pay.” But she believed that she was called to go on that mission trip as much as she was called to pray for prisoners.
“I’ll raise the money by collecting aluminum cans,” she told everybody. But she also asked for prayers, and very naturally asked her inmate pen pal for his prayers and the prayers of other inmates.
One day she got a letter from another inmate at the same prison, Tom, a fellow she hadn’t written. “I’d like to sponsor you to go to Peru,” Tom wrote. At first she thought this had to be some joke. How was a prisoner going to send her money and where would his money come from? But she wrote back and gave Tom all the details.
The next week Tom replied, explaining that his mother had died leaving him some money and he wanted to something good with it, “furthering the kingdom of God,” as he said, and that’s why he wanted to sponsor the whole family.
Vicki didn’t tell anyone. She couldn’t believe it was real. But then she got a call from the law firm handling Tom’s finances. The gift Tom wanted to make was no joke.
In June last year Vicki traveled to the prison in Georgia to thank Tom, the only time they’ve met face-to-face. “Thank you,” she said. “No, thank you,” Tom responded. “You have made me feel like part of your family when I had no family.” By the end they were both in tears.
Vicki continues to pray for Tom and sees God working in his life. But then, both of their lives have been transformed.