Step Into The Story Podcast

Roy Peterson on Being Rescued by Jesus

On this episode of STEP INTO THE STORY Podcast, Phil talks with former Wycliffe President, Roy Peterson.

Roy’s story is one of grace and mercy, and how even in the midst of hopelessness, despair, and reaping the consequences of our actions, no one is beyond the reach of God.

When Roy was just 19 years old, he was convicted and sentenced to at least 5 years in a Mexican prison. He felt hopeless, afraid, and like his life was over. “I was full of fear, and I recognized that I had made choices that led me into a desperate situation, surrounded by criminals. I felt like my life was over, and that became a progressive, deeper and deeper feeling. The longer I was there, the more I thought I would die in that place,” Roy says. “My attorney had stolen all of my money and didn’t even show up at my hearing. I couldn’t speak a word of Spanish. I didn’t understand anything that was going on around me. I was alone.”

During this time, Roy says, “On one side of the nation we have Woodstock and hippies going in a wild direction with drugs, and literally on the opposite side of the nation, in Orange County, CA, you have hippies that are turning to Christ and becoming the Jesus Revolution, which is now a movie that people can see in the theaters today or online,” he says. “The Jesus Revolution–these same hippies that were promoting anarchy and were rebelling against culture–they began to follow a message of a California pastor named Chuck Smith,” says Roy.

“Chuck Smith opened his church to them and they started coming to Christ, and they fell in love with Jesus and began to follow His teachings,” said Roy. “Unbeknownst to me in Mexico, they’re being taught that they should care about the orphan, the widow, the prisoner, the homeless, and they’re going out and following Jesus’ teaching. They’re hearing it and immediately doing it,” he said. “And I’m sitting in this prison, and on a Sunday morning, in the fall of 1973, these Jesus people came into the prison, with long hair, in cut offs, with their guitars, and bringing Spanish Bibles. They came from California into Ensenada, Mexico to minister to prisoners, to minister to me.”

They were surprised to find Roy there. They didn’t have any English Bibles with them (because they weren’t expecting to find an American there), and they promised him that the next time they came, they’d bring him a Bible. And that’s exactly what they did.

God rescued Roy from that prison, that hopeless place, and redeemed his life for His glory. Roy went on to become a missionary, and from there he was named president of Wycliffe Bible Translators and later led its subsidiary, The Seed Company.

This is such a powerful, powerful story of how no one is beyond the grace and mercy and the reach of God. It is the story of a life transformed by Jesus.

Listen to our full episode of STEP INTO THE STORY with Roy Peterson above or find it on Apple or Google!

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