By EHEYUC SESERU
MALACHI Mathias is about to complete his 12-year prison term at Buimo Prison in Lae and thanks God for giving him renewed hope and the determination to turn a new leaf.
The 39-year-old from Mumeng in Bulolo, Morobe knows he had spent most of his fruitful years in prison for various crimes. His latest – and he has promised himself the last – is for murder.
“I have been through a lot of challenges – back and forth trips to prison due to criminal activities. This is the longest I have been in prison.”
He is now preparing to finally leave the “life in hell” he had been subjecting himself to in the past three decades.
Last week, he completed a two-day micro, small-to-medium enterprise (MSME) training at the Town Memorial Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church in Lae facilitated by the MSME Council president Desmond Yaninen.
He was picked because of his involvement in church activities in prison.
He had been downgraded from being a high-risk prisoner to low-risk after his seventh year behind bars. He became an elder in a prison fellowship group at the prison.
He thanks the mission, prison management and warders for allowing him to attend the training.
“ I have been through a lot of challenges – back and forth trips to prison due to criminal activities. This is the longest I have been in prison.”
Malachi plans to go into poultry farming and make use of his expertise as a mechanic when he leaves Buimo in two weeks.
He managed, with the help of warders, to buy day-old chicken from the money he earned while being involved in Lae city’s cleaning and beautification project, arranged by the prison management.
“The chicks are five weeks old. I will sell them on the eighth week and go home. I thank God that everything is falling in line for me before I go home.”
As a mechanic by profession, Malachi repairs prison vehicles and oversees their maintenance. He is allowed to travel around with prison officers on trips.
“Sometimes I help as a cook during court circuits. I have learnt a lot and gained useful skills.”
Malachi took seriously church programmes held in prison and decided to strengthen his relationship with God.
He promised to complete his prison term and not escape like some of his fellow inmates.
“I came through the gate and I will walk out the same gate, not over the fence.”
He encourages those still serving their jail terms to be patient and listen to authorities.
“Be obedient and follow the warders’ instructions. They represent the authority in heaven. So humble yourselves, listen to the officers, and uphold God’s word.
“We can only find peace through God alone. Have peace, be patient and wait for our term to finish so we can see our freedom.”
He also urged young people roaming the streets and finding no hope in life to go to a church near them. He describes life in prison as “hell” and will not return.
“God’s word has opened my eyes to realise a lot of things in life. I have made a choice to accept God and follow his word. ”