The Three Angels' Chorale Touches the Hearts of Young Inmates
“I saw a miracle tonight,” said one prison chaplain to the Three Angels’ Chorale. “Never in the history of this prison have this many youth been this attentive, this quiet, and this responsive. This is a miracle.”
The highlight of the Chorale's December California trip came when three juvenile prisons opened for a concert on the life of Christ. The warden’s words at one prison aroused concern: “These guys may look like your brothers or best friends, but they’re dangerous criminals convicted of murder, rape—everything in the book. Each of you will wear a personal alarm because when we get hundreds of them in one room, we never know what might happen. If they get restless, watch for a signal to leave.”
At the first prison, the dedicated chaplains made their position clear: “If you’re here to promote yourselves or entertain us, please go home. We’re here to reach these young people for Jesus. This might be their only chance. We know they need Jesus, and you need to give them Jesus tonight. And we know God must have sent you because we were told only yesterday that you were coming, and it usually takes a month to clear a musical group.”
“The choir believed God allowed us to go there,” said Sung Hoon, one of the choir members, “because somebody there was searching for God and was going to be changed. We prayed that God would touch whoever that might be.”
The choir members prayed constantly for the Holy Spirit’s presence, for safety, and especially for the inmates. The prisoners may not have known their deep need of Jesus, but the songs and the short sermons revealed His love for them. Seth Lucas’ piano solos were especially well received by the young men, many of whom lack positive adult male role models. By God’s grace, almost 200 young men in each prison listened carefully to everything said, sung or played, and responded enthusiastically! Afterward, male choir members mingled with the inmates. One young man said he’d found the Lord just the week before, and praised God for the encouragement He sent through the choir. “That one person made it all worthwhile!” said Daniel, another choir member.
Another inmate said, “You guys have no idea what you have done for us tonight. If my friends were listening like I was, then they would realize it was the Holy Spirit working in this place.” He must have been one of the prisoners God had in mind when He cleared the way for the prison visit.
After one concert a chaplain reminded the choir, “The effect on the young men was not your doing. It was God’s Spirit working through you.” Strangely, these concerts happened because of a very disappointing cancellation. “God knew who really needed to hear us. We just needed to trust Him,” said Seth Lucas, assistant chorale director. “In the end, we were just as blessed as the prisoners.”