We Pray for the Truth to Come Forth
by Jay B. Van Story
March 27, 2005

On this glorious Easter Sunday, I am reminded again of God's immense love for us. He sent Jesus to die for our sins.

Through Jesus, God also showed us that truth and justice can prevail. After all, Jesus was exonerated and set free, and those who worked to convict, persecute and execute Jesus were shown to have acted in bad faith.

God has intervened in my case in a big way. The alleged victim, A.C., became a born again Christian when she reached adulthood. She began telling everyone that I am innocent, and that she had been forced to wrongly accuse me. In answer to my prayers and others' prayers, the Lord worked through A.C. and filled her heart with the desire to right the terrible wrong that officials had committed in my case. 

Praise God! 

I gave my heart to God as a young boy. I rededicated my life to Christ while I was incarcerated in the Lubbock County Jail in 1987, awaiting trial on this charge. I was baptized by the jail chaplain, Kenneth Meeks. I have always had faith that A.C. would come forward someday and tell the truth about my innocence in this case. My faith has been rewarded! 

When I was first falsely convicted back in January 1988, I became enveloped in wrenching sobs. I cried out, "I didn't do it, I didn't do it," over and over again. It felt like the world was crashing down upon me. I couldn't believe this could happen. I crawled underneath the defense table and curled up into a ball. I had never felt so totally alone, so completely abandoned, and so full of despair.

I completely lost my appetite. I didn't eat or drink for days. I didn't go to visits. I couldn't stand being wrongly convicted of such a despicable offense. I just wanted to die.

But God saved me. I knelt down in my cold, dark cell and prayed. I asked God to give me the strength and will to get through this most difficult time. Slowly, I began eating again.

Now after 17 years, justice is at hand, thanks to the Lord and the many good, Christian people out there who have offered their help, support and prayers! It's proof positive that prayers are answered. 

Psalms 103:6 The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

Proverbs 17:15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord.

There has been a huge outpouring of Christian support from people all across the country. There have been many heartfelt prayers for justice to be served in my case. 

Mike and DeAnne Barber of Mike Barber Ministries wrote in a February 3, 2004 letter: "We offer our prayers on your behalf, knowing that your Heavenly Father knows your every need and is able to supply. By His Spirit, the truth shall be revealed, in Jesus Name!"

Jane Ballard of Broken Chains Ministry in Gainesville, Florida wrote in a July 25, 2004 letter: "I remain continually confounded that with so much overriding evidence of your innocence you remain incarcerated... The case against you is mean-spirited to the nth degree. I don't know exactly when justice will come for you, but my heart-of-hearts knows it will come. Dearest Jay, I have agonized over a decade over this injustice. Always hoping for some kind of sanity in your horrendous case."

Roxy Sherrock of Equal Justice USA in Hyattsville, Maryland wrote last year: "I am filled with anger at the state for their harsh and completely unjust treatment of you. You will be in mine and other's thoughts and prayers until you are given justice. Please know that we bear you very much in mind as we work."

The Reverend John Musgrave of the Apostolic Faith Church in Portland, Oregon wrote in a February 4, 2004 letter: "Greetings in the precious Name of Jesus! ... Your situation is very serious... You are the victim of serious injustice. We are very sorry to learn of this, and will especially pray that God who is eminently just, will guide the appeal in your situation. He, alone, can change the course of your life and influence the state of Texas in your case."

Linda of Life Lines Ministry in Cave Junction, Oregon wrote in a January 8, 2003 letter: "May the joy of the Lord be your strength... You and the young lady are in our prayers, as well as the system... God bless you always." 

Jim Fullingim of Fullingim Ministries in Lubbock, Texas wrote in a March 10,2003 letter: "I praise God that the innocence program is working on your case. We pray for the truth to come forth and your release will be soon. I know it has been a struggle for you all these years and without God's power you could not make it. Thanks be to Him and His every second presence we can make it. Keep in touch and let us know what is going on and we will pray." I met Jim and Judy, his wife, when they came to Wynne Unit and lifted Jesus' name in spirit and song at a special service.

Gib E. Slaugenhaupt of New Castle, Pennsylvania, a Christian pen pal, wrote in a February 3,2004 letter: "Pray all goes okay for you now. God will take care of it. SO let go, let God... I still rely on Him for He's around when everybody turns you down." 

Marilyn Hickey of Marilyn Hickey Ministries in Denver, Colorado wrote on July 22, 2004: "We are praying for you and believing that God will be your support as you move into the great things He has for you... Jay, in the midst of challenging circumstances or trouble, you can be assured that God 
has not forsaken you... He is working on your behalf. Stand firm in Him." 

Chaplain Bill of the Worldwide Prison Ministry in Cleveland, Ohio wrote in a February 13,2004 letter: "I am with you in all my praying times here in Cleveland, Ohio. I know when our lawyer Jesus Christ gets into a case of one of God's children, He will not stop until he gets to the bottom [of things]. He will bring the real truth out. I am praying for you."

Nancy of Hope and Help Prison Ministry in Ft. Collins, Colorado wrote in a March 13,2004 letter: "Seldom do I listen to protestations of innocence I receive in this ministry; however, truth is truth. I cannot imagine what it must be like to serve a prison time when innocent. Will keep you and this effort in prayer. God wants justice; however, I've learned he places us in situations that seem very unjust that have ultimate purposes for good in this world."

Mary L. Precup of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association wrote in a March 17,2005 letter: "We count it a privilege to reply in behalf of Mr. Graham...  Our prayer is that your situation will be carefully evaluated and that you will receive justice... Our greatest contribution would be to sincerely pray that God in His great plan for your life will bring about His will in this matter... May God's will be done in your life. Whatever the future may hold, you can be sure that God knows, cares, and loves you with a deep and eternal love."

This is just a small sampling of the overwhelming support I have received. I have been truly humbled and truly blessed by it. It has helped me remain sure in the knowledge that God is in control and will work through everyone to bring about a just result, in His good time. 

God has a purpose for everything. God has put me through this long, horrible ordeal to make me stronger. He wants me to give my testimony about the power of the Lord to right a wrong. God wants my case to serve as an example of how terribly things can go wrong when there is a failure by officials to do their jobs, and that meaningful reforms are necessary to ensure they do their jobs.

CPS investigator Roger Bowers failed to do his job. The prosecutors failed to do theirs. Even the alleged victim's attorney ad litem, Charles Chambers, failed.

Mr. Chambers was severely scolded for his dereliction of duty by Judge Thomas L. Clinton of the 9th District Court on May 18, 1988:

The Court: "You mean I appointed you guardian ad litem and you haven't visited this child? ...You are telling me you haven't visited this child?" 
Chambers: "No, Your Honor, I haven't. I guess I would have asked -- "
The Court: "Well, you have not done your job counsel."
Chambers: "I apologize to the Court."

Now it's time for Roger Bowers, former D.A. Travis Ware, and his first assistant, Rebecca Atchley, to apologize.

If officials had done their jobs, the alleged victim, A.C., would have had the opportunity to tell what really happened to her, instead of having to wait until she reached adulthood and suffer so many more years of abuse at the hands of the actual perpetrator.

I completely forgive everyone who was involved in securing my false conviction. Forgiveness is a special gift our Lord gives us when His Spirit fills our heart. I pray that all who have been involved in this case will seek the truth, and let God guide them.

I would like to thank everyone who is praying for A.C. and I, and for truth and justice to prevail in this case. May God richly bless all of you!

Amos 5:24 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.

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