It took 3 Years to See the Answer – By Glen W. Ballard

Sometimes God gives us a glimpse of the fruit we have sown to encourage us.

One day, a letter was sent to my church from the minimum security section of a nearby prison. Sensing a plea for help, I went to visit the inmate. Upon meeting Tom, I learned that he had written many churches in our town, and I was the first person who had responded or come to see him. He began to ask many questions about what I believed. We started Bible studies together.

As we studied, he asked about the references mentioned at the bottom of the quotes in the Bible studies. These references were for books like The Desire of Ages, The Great Controversy, and Patriarchs and Prophets. I told him that the books belonged to a special collection called the Conflict of the Ages series.

“I want to get them all,” he exclaimed. “How much do they cost?”

I told him that I would find out.

However, the next time I came to visit him, I found out he had been transferred to another prison. The sergeant at the gate did not know which prison he’d gone to, and would not answer any questions.

Since I was new at prison ministry, I didn’t know where to go to find the answers. I started praying because I was worried he might end up in a prison where he would have no contact with Seventh-day Adventists and he might lose interest.

Three years later, after a conference meeting, a woman stopped me as I left church.

“I heard you say that you were in prison ministry. What is your name?” she inquired.

When I gave her my name, her face lit up. “Oh!” she responded excitedly. “I do prison ministry, too, and Tom said that he studied with you!”

Yes, it was the same young man. As it turned out, Tom had been transferred to a prison where she was doing prison ministry, and when he had told her about the books he wanted, she had gotten them for him. As a result of the studies, he had been baptized and was now a strong believer.

In 1 Corinthians 3:6 it says, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.”

I praise the Lord for this miracle! Even when we don’t see the answers to our prayers immediately, we must remember that God is still at work. Truly He works all things together for our good.

Glen W. Ballard writes from Dana, Illinois.

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  • Cynthia Duncan Mercer

    Praise God Glen!!!!! Yes God is at work. If we give Him permission He can work miracles through us.
    Thank you for sharing THAT ONE😊🙏

  • Robert Sikawa

    It’s really encouraging to be reminded that our God works through us. Let’s keep working for Him,even in the little things we do for those we seek God to save,let’s remember that His word shall not go out for nothing. It will return with fruits

    • Victoria

      Amen. Glory to God.

  • Wojtek Janiuk


  • Gina Geertsma


  • Fainah

    Amen !

  • Thembie Mapingire


  • Ki

    Praise the Lord! Truly let’s us know that God is in control.

  • Desiree

    Thank GOD for answered prayers.HE is truly GREAT and AWESOME.

  • Jerry Page

    Praise the Lord, Glen! Jesus has a ministry for each one of us every day! As we seek Him and pray along with His heart for others, He will meet all the needs to save people!

    • Victoria


  • Beverley Joseph

    Our responsibility as Christians is to brighten the corner where we are and leave the outcome in God’s hands.

  • D.V.B.

    God moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. Thank You Father for this reminder, that You are always at work even when we can’t see what You are doing.

    • Victoria

      Glory to God Who continues to do beyond what we can ask or imagine

  • That’s an awesome testimony. God truly works in mysterious ways but he always performs wonders. Praise God.

  • Natasha

    Praise God!

  • Annette Alleyne

    God is truly worthy of our praise. He never forgets a prayer that is prayed and always answers in the most amazing ways. Thank You God for being so wonderful.

  • Marilyn Fletcher

    What a wonderful testimony, Glen. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • PNB

    Nothing we do is insignificant. Let us do our best with what God gives us and know that God sees all and will bring His work to completion. When we work within His will then there are no loose ends despite indications, in our view, to the contrary. God is absolutely faithful. – Peter Nigel

  • Ken

    This is truly a story to celebrate. When I think of this, how a positive witness carried the effect for times afterward, it also reminds me that the same may happen with a poor witness. How many people do I come into contact with that will not come away with the idea that there is anything special about Christ? That Christ does not make a difference in a person’s life because He sure didn’t seem to make much difference in me. Two sides of the coin. If I cannot be a positive influence, please Lord, keep me from being a negative influence.
    I love this story – God uses one person here and another there. He never loses track of a seeking soul.

  • N B


  • Joe Kelison Joes

    Eternal God’s Words Blesses Us everywhere when we plant the seed of christ in the minds and hearts of God’s children. Our witness tools in God’s service in this prison Planet earth.

  • Jeanette

    We can trust God is working behind the scenes when we can’t see it. Right now I am studying the Bible with a new neighbor. She asked me (not the other way around) if I would do Bible studies with her. This is in answer to my prayers that God help me give studies despite my being such an introverted person. The neighbor has an Adventist relative that has already sown the seeds. God is using me to “water”. Praying God may give the increase.

  • Mutungi Joel


  • Candice

    What a beautiful testimony!

  • Letty Kaltonga

    Amen and amen, this story reminds me of our (our group from Vanuatu) recent trip to PNG in March 2016, and we visited their minimum and maximum prisons. I was so touched and blessed to see how these brothers in Christ are born again Christians. Their testimonies are very powerful as non christians and as convicted criminals they come to meet Jesus in their this kind of place. It reminds me of the two thieves at the cross with Jesus. It is there that one of them meet Jesus and Jesus promised him his place in paradise with him. Now they are very happy because they know Jesus and they gave their ALL to Him. You just can sense it and feel Gods presence in their worship place…when you see how they carry on with their service for the LORD as deacons and elders. Some of them have life sentence in prison but that does not matter to them as they know that Jesus is coming again and they will see Him soon.

  • Olive Powell.

    We may never see the results of our wittnessing. But be assured God’s word will not return unto Him void!

  • T G M

    God is so good all the time .May He be praised for the blessings and the answers He provides at His own time. He loves us and He will always answer our prayers. Ours is to trust Him always.