This book is dedicated to all the men and women who are incarcerated, especially those I have had the privilege of meeting. Some of them are: Juan R., Cameron, J., J. Johnston, Phillip S.
“Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be His treasured possession.”
(God speaking through Moses to the Children of Israel)
Deut 14:2 (NIV)
“Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you free of charge?”
(Apostle Paul to the Church at Corinth)
2 Cor 11:7 (NIV)
“If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
(Apostle Paul to the Church at Galatia)
Gal 1:10 (NIV)
“Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. For in just a very little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.”
(God’s word through the Apostle Paul to Bro. Roy)
Heb 10:32-38 (NIV)
“…the man he imprisons cannot be released.”
(God’s word to anyone He chooses fit to bring them this way. It could be you at any time!)
Job 12:14 (NIV)
January 2010, I agonized what God purposed for me. I began writing in 1994 and finished my book, “If You Send Me, I Will Go” the previous year while living in Atlanta, GA, basing my motivation due to His clear word, “If you complete the book I will assure you you will never be homeless or hungry again.” Having returned to New York in July to begin promoting the book, I arranged for some public speaking engagements coupled with book sales, clearly miracles in themselves; yet, I was now facing budget constraints causing me to wonder where the money would come from to cover rent and other expenses. I prayed for an answer. I needed direction.* God never failing answered my prayer with a question: “Would you be willing to go to prison, for Me?” Having been at this crossroad before as chronicled in my book, I knew how to answer the question in the affirmative, the first time, and true to His word two weeks later, I was arrested!
I will not provide the immense details of any of the case(s) which was published in my first book, but God had a plan. I suffered from drug addiction and God provided me an opportunity to spend 26 months in a federal prison in Guaynabo on the island of Puerto Rico, where not only I began writing my book but left the facility without the addiction I came with! While there I developed a series of teachings I offered to those inmates who, too, were more interested in overcoming their issues than playing games or watching the inane material coming through cable television sets. I believe what God gave me helped changed lives. Certainly, mine did.
During the current arrest, again leaving out case specifics since they will be recorded in the sequel, “He Sent Me, And I Went” it was not without some struggle. Most think the Devil is the cause of their doing bad things resulting their being incarcerated whereas it seem, in my case, the enemy was making it difficult for me to get “into” prison!
The first offering of a sentence was for six months county jail with five years probation which my attorney advised me to decline believing he would be able to bargain for a better deal, ended up, which I thought was worse, at first, one-to-three years in state prison! After accepting the plea for conviction in April 2010, the devil still in the mix, had the State Attorney’s office contact those involved in my case informing them I had been convicted for an offense which was not a convictable offense! In the spirit of winning, something rare among jail inmate population, when someone seems to be winning against the legal system, rally their support. Buoyed with confidence I shot down the prosecution’s second attempt and readying for their third was when God paid a visit to my cell. He asked me, “Where are you?” As I began to form the word, “jail”, it dawned to me I was not where He’d asked me to go! I readily agreed to do so. I immediately wrote a letter to my attorney informing him the fight was over. I needed to get to prison! Why? I was not sure but I knew I needed to get there and July 8, 2010 my feet were conveyed—finally to where God wanted me to be.
I had always wanted the life of a writer. I think it is ideal to be able to make a living by writing, to be able to not worry about expenses and write. Be careful for what you ask! God surely answered my prayer but not quite how I expected. He comforted me by bringing me to acknowledge some of the greatest writing was done while incarcerated. The Apostle Paul, the prolific writer of the New Testament, much of which was written while he was locked up. John Bunyan’s, “Pilgrim’s Progress” many times considered a best seller, second only to the Bible and written more than a hundred years ago, while in prison. I believe God has asked me to take my place to write a book which will be helpful to the many men and women who find themselves locked up, isolated from family and friends.
If nowhere else, being locked up with nothing to do, an inmate will begin searching for something to read. Unfortunately, very limited worthwhile reading material is made available as compared to the volumes of filth, or fiction, which serves only to waste time. My experience in the federal prison provided me with enough life-changing books, found in the various unit chapels, certainly made my journey productive. Now, it is my privilege, my opportunity to contribute and to provide those who will come after me with something to be the catalyst to make their stay more meaningful with the hope to never return again. Someone may ask, “If what you’re saying is true, why did you return?” I refer you back to the question God asked me that January day, “Would you be willing to go to prison, for Me?” God asked me to go this time—for Him. The first couple of months I needed to become, “willing”, and once achieved in my heart what my mouth had agreed, now I was ready and prepared to accomplish what He had not revealed to me, until the proper time. It is not a coincidence that on this very day is the anniversary eight years ago having first arrived to the federal prison, September 11, 2002.
“God’s Gems” was an idea given me by my god-daughter, Vikki, who served a prison sentence in California, the year before, in a letter expressed the concept, “Just as a woman locks her precious jewels in a jewelry box, so God does with us!” We, us, you and I who find ourselves whether in a police cell, county jailhouse, state prison or federal detention center, are God’s gems, who are brought here for safe-keeping, to be polished for when He’s able to finally present us to the world sparkling, gleaming and showing our true value. My fellow inmate, regardless what you’ve been called, you are “precious” to God and this is proof of His continuing work in your life.
Whether you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim or even Rastafarian, God wants better for you and this book was written with you in mind. This book was not written to be read as any book, but to be read a chapter a day so you can truly absorb what God wants you to experience. To read it quickly will only rob yourself of the treasure which is you. Stop robbing and being robbed of the treasure of your life. Take the time God, not the judge or district attorney, has given you to examine the various areas of your life God wants to direct your attention whereby on that day when He brings you out you will certainly shine as the pure gem you are.
Yes, the devil tried to stop me from arriving here and even now my eligibility for parole is drawing close but I will go to the hearing informing them I’m not interested! I have a task to complete and I do not intend to rush this book. I’m totally committed to God, to myself and to you, to do the best I can to make the difference no matter how crazy others may see me.
Speaking in faith, I know how the books: “The Bible” and “Pilgrim’s Progress” has fared. This book which you hold in your hands, well, that remains to be seen.
“Bro. Roy” Martin
Unit 1B – Cell 28
Downstate Correctional Facility
Fishkill, New York
September 11, 2010
* God made it clear in 1991 I would never work as I had known and true to His word, I was never able to acquire a similar work experience to my almost 18 years at IBM, now most jobs averaging six months in duration. The previous October 2009, God told me I would be employed by Him—full-time, so I never bothered seeking work based on faith, knowing any effort would not pan out.