Erzsébet Nyitrai. Éva's sister works with Jó Hír and is very active in prison ministry
GATES OF BRONZE AND BARS OF IRON
My name is Erzsébet Nyitrai.. I am a retired secretary of a research institute. After my retirement I asked the Lord to show me what to do for Him. I prayed and watched. In our church a sister told me that she had been working in prison mission and had been praying for more workers. Maybe I should go and see. Huh prison? – I thought, but soon got quiet for I thought: Why not, if the Lord sends me there! I began to ask the Lord whether this would be the place He planned for me? And the answer came soon. I read several Bible verses in my daily devotions but there is one I want to emphasize: Isaiah 45:2-3 „I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron”.
I began my ministry without any preparation, formal teaching, or training course as 14 years ago the Hungarian Evangelical Prison Mission was quite a new foundation and we served and established our ministry methods as God’s Holy Spirit led the missionaries. Later He gave us the confirmation as in formal training course we were taught what God had shown us. First we did our work in pairs, later I went on my own, at the beginning to the juvenile delinquents, then to the women and when we got young women workers they went to the women and I began to wisit the men. Now the mission has cca. 40 workers all over the country actively visiting the prisons and beyond that we can count on supporters and sympathizers. I am grateful to the Lord seeing now what an advantage it was that my parents raised us in strict discipline. It has not been dfficult for me to observe rules in the prison. It is a world for itself, closed with special rules to be followed precisely. I was amazed to see that the bronze gate and the iron bars are the same in reality as in the Bible. But the slavery of sin is more serious and a stronger confinement than the physical one. I had to acknowledge that I was in a battlefield where there are military rules and I had to put on spiritual armor. I have to be always on the alert, otherwise Satan attacks my life.
Even today when entering prison I ask the Lord Jesus for the protection of His blood and experience its power and His wonderful love for the Lord Jesus loves these people. I need to just tell them about the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus and help them to give the answers the Bible has to their questions. Some ask for a private talk. Then I go to the person and a human life opens before me. Or another time they just want to show the others that the missionary goes to them separately. Some ask for a parcel, others just want to have a chat, but there are conversations when at the end the prisoner receives the Lord Jesus into his life. In each case I see God’s miracle when someone accepts Jesus Christ.
However, there are very few who accept the Lord. Whether these convesions are real you see very soon or at the latest when the prisoner is released. What was easy in confinement gets a different emphasis outside. But there are some who live for Christ also in the outside world.
The visits sap my energy but there is always great joy in my heart and I do not mind to be exhausted. One visit lasts for 1.5 to 2.5 hours.
Now I visit several prisons weekly, sometimes even on sundays. I travel into the country to see one of them who has been in my care for a longer time just not to loose contact and he can have hope when he is released. These times I take Christian literature to them and a Christian magazine (Ethos) and we discuss spiritual things. Generally we hand out Gideon New Testaments, in exceptional instances I give them the whole Scriptures. Books given to them must be written in very simple language for they do not understand more complicated things or if it is written on a higher or academic level they do not read it. I love to talk with them as their questions show me how much they understand. As I prepare for a visit or talk to them Bible passages become clear for me, too, which is wonderful for the Lord is working in me also.
I thank God that we have prison mission and I can work with and for the Lord. I am grateful that He does not look upon the person and Calvary is for everybody who comes and trusts Him.
I did not want to give you specific stories for it would be too long.
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