Saturday, November 26, 2005

Breathing Easier

About two months ago, Dave met Santos. Santos had been walking with the Lord for a while, but fell away. Dave ministered to Santos and Santos rededicated his life to Christ. He got a fire in him to serve Jesus and asked for some Christian literature.

A little over a month ago, Dave was in a section of the correctional facility and met Jeff. Through the witness and testimony of Santos and another Christian inmate, Jeff became interested in Christ. He and Dave talked for a while, and Jeff ended up giving his life to Christ.

Jeff also had some physical problems. "I was in a house fire and suffered damage to my lungs from smoke inhalation," he told Dave. To demonstrate, Jeff coughed and brown/black fluids came out of his mouth. "This has been in my lungs for a while now. It's also been very painful to breathe." Dave prayed that God would heal Jeff's lungs.

A week later, Dave visited Jeff again. "Dave, I can breathe now with no discomfort!" Jeff reported excitedly. Jeff coughed for Dave again and the lung fluids were clear. They praised the Lord together.

Praise God for spiritual and physical healings. Pray that many more inmates would come to Christ through the testimony of Jeff, Santos and other Christians behind bars.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

One in Christ

"Hey, Brian, just in time," the deputy on duty said to me as I walked into the pod. "I got 'em all ready for you." There were six men sitting around two tables put together. All of them had their Bibles open and were reading from the gospel of Luke.

I sat down and introduced myself to the guys I didn't know. Ian was a one-month-old Christian; Phil was less than a week old in the Lord. What a privilege to be sitting with "newborns" in Christ. One of the inmates, Ray, was leading the Bible study. He appeared to be in his 40's and was quite knowledgeable biblically. Each man took his turn reading several verses and was then asked to comment on what he had read. Ray would add his own commentary from time to time.

At one point, the deputy sat down at the table. He was genuinely interested in the study. I could tell he was well-like by the inmates gathered around the table. I knew he was a Christian and offered him my Bible so he could follow along. He graciously passed on the offer--I'm guessing because he was on duty. A little while later, another jail official sat down with us briefly and began talking about the Lord. It was a great reminder that in Christ there is neither inmate nor deputy nor civilian, but we are one in Him who gave His life for us that we might live.

Toward the end of our gathering I asked the group if everyone present had heard the gospel message and had assurance of salvation. Two of them said, "Yeah, when I got saved it was like a weight lifted off of me." A couple guys weren't sure, so I explained the way of salvation to them. One man thought he was saved already, but wanted to make sure. I led him in a prayer to make Jesus Lord of his life. Afterwards he said, "It's nice to know that I can be sure now."

It was a great time spent with those guys. Pray that all these guys will continue to grow in their faith. Pray that they drink the pure milk of the Word every day, and keep gathering to encourage and pray for one another.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Two "Yeses" and a "Maybe"

This is a report from Dave:

Last week Thursday was one of those nights where there was not a lot of talking and praying as there normally is. I was at one end of the table directly sharing with some inmates and at the other end my Good News Prison Ministry bag was being raided (books, bibles, tracts, calendars, etc.)

Ron sat down at the table and almost begs to know how to be saved. He prayed to receive Christ, and I gave him a Good News bible study unit and the only full bible (Old & New Testaments) that I had left.

Steve was a Spanish-speaking inmate that just came out of the woodwork. I had not seen him before. Although Steve came from a devout Catholic Puerto Rican family, he never embraced the Catholic faith. He did tell me that his praying grandmother was always "on his case" about being right with the Lord. He told me, "I know deep down that I need to get turned around and get saved tonight." He made it clear that he could not wait until tomorrow. He did come to Christ that night. Pray that Steve continues along the path of righteousness.

Karl was the next man I talked to. He clearly heard and understood the gospel message. At the end of it all he emphatically indicated that he needed more time to "sort out" his 'priorities' and not make commitments to anything right now. I was just a little shocked at his response and boldness to reject his opportunity. I am always a little concerned by such a result as I am not always certain that inmates (like Karl) are going to have another chance. Pray for Karl that the Lord will be gracious and patient before it is too late.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Many thanks to all the American veterans

One reason I can freely preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in the jails is that many people sacrificed and died so that I could have that freedom. The U.S. has many faults, but I'm very grateful to be living here. Thanks to all of you who have served so courageously on my behalf. Check out this link to a song and slide show dedicated to veterans.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Mormon Embraces Christ

Three weeks ago, some Mormon missionaries came and visited Dave at his house. Dave and the Mormons discussed Jesus, salvation and forgiveness of sins. By the time they had left, Dave felt they had a better understanding of the Christian view. He was grateful for the opportunity to interact with Mormons and learn better how to answer their questions and address their concerns.

Last week, when Dave was in the jail, he met a Mormon named "Kevin." Dave said, "It was like a 'holy ambush'. Every concern and need Kevin had just came came out of his heart and mouth." Because of his recent interaction with the Mormon missionaries, Dave was able to share the Word with Kevin in the power of the Spirit. Kevin prayed to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior that night.

Dave left Kevin with some Christian literature, and a Good News bible study unit. Pray that Kevin will grow in his focus and walk with the Lord Jesus.