Conducting Bible study at the jail presents some interesting opportunities. You never know who is going to be in the study or where they might come from. While most of the guys you meet are from this area sometimes they are from Texas, Oklahoma, Florida and etc.
I recently had a guy from Texas in the study and he told me a great story. He said “I wrote to my sister, in Texas, and told her about Bible study.” She told him after reading one of his letters she felt very strongly that her and her husband needed to go to church. I asked him “have they gone to church in the past?” He said “no, and her husband wasn’t too into the idea, but they did go.” The sister said “the pastor preached exactly what we needed to hear,” and they are now attending church regularly.
To me this is amazing! The guy said “now I call her and talk to her after Bible study, and we share what we have learned.” I said “see there is already one good thing that has come from you being in here.” He said “no that’s two.” I said “what’s the other one?” He said “I’ve been going too.” I said “that’s right!”
I shared with him about the Philippian jailer and how he ran to Paul and Silas and asked them “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” I told him “I have seen it happen, time and time again, the Father of the household will get his life right with God and the rest of the family follows.” I said “maybe since you are getting things straight with the Lord the rest of your family will too.”
He asked me to pray for him because he was going to court in three days, and of course he hopes to be released. I told him “if you do get out just stay focused on living in the moment, one day at a time.” Sometimes we get overwhelmed with things that haven’t even happened yet. If we could just learn to trust the Lord each day, for each day, we would live with much less stress and drama.
There was a moment during the study when I had a flash. For just an instant I saw myself from the outside looking in, and I thought how did my life bring me here? A few years ago I didn’t even have the jail in my thoughts at all. Now here I am teaching the Bible to these men and they are telling me miraculous stories about how God is working to change them and their families.
Don’t ever forget the God we serve is the God of miracles. He not only can work through you to help someone else; he can work through you to them, and on to the rest of the world. The Word of God always does what he sends it out to do. Let us not underestimate the long arm of the Lord.
Written by Louie