1991, the Iron Curtain had fallen. Throughout the 11 time zones of the former Soviet Union a new freedom was alive. Prior to the collapse of Communism, prisons were stark warehouses of despair and deprivation. In most prisons, there were no reading materials of any kind; no letters, magazines, newspapers, books, telephones, TVs, radios, visits, etc.
Into this vacuum of no reading resources or communication with the outside world, the legendary Chaplain Ray of International Prison Ministries (IPM), Dallas, TX, printed in the Russian language, 1 million copies of “Jewels for the Journey”, the personal Christian testimony of Jack “Murf the Surf” Murphy, the infamous American jewel thief.
Serge Taran, International Director for IPM, made 60 trips to the former Russian countries and placed “Jewels for the Journey”, and Bibles, in all of the prisons. He also placed 250,000 copies of “Jewels” in the Hindi and Telugu language in the prisons of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
In the back of “Jewels for the Journey” an Evangelism tract published by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes clearly explains how to pray to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. As a result, thousands of inmates in the Russian and India prisons made the decision to trust and follow Jesus Christ.
Today, across Eastern Europe and India, there is a growing Army of Born Again, Spirit Filled, Ex-Convicts who are boldly representing King Jesus in the prisons, schools, churches, and communities.
In 2009, Murf and Serge traveled to Siberia, Ukraine, and Moscow to visit prisons, Church leaders, and prison ministries. They presented seminars on Evangelism and Prison Ministry at Bible schools, Churches, and prison ministry conferences.
Evangelism materials developed by Jack Murphy are also published in Mongolian, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Hindi, Telugu, and English languages.
In May 2013, Murphy and Taran are planning a World Wide trip to Russia, Estonia, India, Ukraine, Siberia, Mongolia, and the Philippine Islands to work with prison ministries and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those yet in prison.