Saturday, March 8, 2008

Jail Ministry

Last night marked the beginning of an addictions class at the jail. This has been in the process of prayer and planning for quite some time. The class on addictions will hopefully be 6 weeks long and meets on Friday evenings at 6pm for about an hour. The inmates appeared to be very receptive and interested.

I sensed the Lord’s favor in several ways. One of which was the Sheriff meeting me after the class. He shook my hand several times and said what these people need is Jesus. He thanked me and advised me that I am welcome to do this as often as I would like.

I know that many people were praying for the inmates and for me, and I am very grateful. Prayer is an essential link to abiding in Him. I am reminded of something I heard long ago: much prayer much power, little prayer little power. I know this ministry is being bathed in prayer by many.

John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Pascal’s quote was lightly edited as it remained on the chalk board, “All men seek happiness. This is the motive of every action of every man.” This quote was the opening theme and we discussed the reason why we pursue our addictions is because we are pursuing happiness. The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ was shared with them. (I anticipate taking heed to advice given to me recently regarding this, make the gospel message a focal point of each class.) Jeremiah 2:11-13 was shared with them and we discussed the fact that God is infinitely valuable and more desirable and more satisfying than all of the other broken cisterns which we pursue our happiness in.

I am extremely grateful for a humble man, named Bill, who volunteered to come with me as I started the class. Bill is a man who struggles physically. He walks with a large limp and a brace upon his leg. His left arm hangs unusable at his side. When he shakes the hands of the inmates, he tucks his Bible under his chin and holds it there so his hand will be free. Bill has been a volunteer at the jail for about 6 years. He was very helpful to me. He sat through the class and afterwards humbly offered some helpful insights about jail ministry which I shall endeavor to put into practice.

God is faithful.

1 comment:

mwh said...

Amen. God is faithful.

Keep us posted on how this ministry goes. We'll be praying for you.