Sunday, February 17, 2019
Today I’ve seen God answer several prayers, and I give God glory and praise.
Yesterday, I was very homesick and got somewhat discouraged because nobody showed up for our regularly scheduled Bible study at 12 pm on Sundays. “C” and I made up for it today by studying Philippians for two hours this afternoon!
Last Sunday, upon hearing I’d miss another day’s work because of a visit, the guard in charge of the dining room said he’d switch me to breakfast, which now means I have to be at 5 am. That’s not what upset me most though. More so, I had developed a friendship with a young man from Louisville who’d been a heavy drug user for most of his life, although that’s not what he’s in prison for. It turns out, God had coaxed me to share the gospel with this man the day after I met him. He told me he’d grown up in church, but rebelled, and that since he’s been in prison, his girlfriend became a Christian and has been after him ever since to accept Christ, but that he wasn’t quite ready because of some issues in his life. A couple of weeks later, he’d told me of a recurring dream he’s had, where he gets released from prison but cannot find his fiancé anywhere. He panics but then wakes up. I told him later the maybe God was telling him that he needed to get his life right with God, or he was going to lose his girlfriend. At first, he said she’d never leave him, but then a week later he said, “Well, maybe.” So I’ve only seen him once or twice in passing since I’m on a different shift, and I’d promised to give him the biography of David Yon Mo called “Never Say Die,” written by Douglas Hsu for him to read. This morning, just before lunch, God prompted me to grab the book and stuff it in the back of my pants just in case I happened to run into him at lunch. And I prayed that God would orchestrate a meeting. Believe it or not, I was late to chow and went in with the last unit. But while I was standing in line in the cafeteria, behind a four-foot wall, up walks this man with his tray of food to sit down at the table just the other side of the wall! I gave him the book I’d promised to give him.
I’d also prayed last week that the Lord would give me an opportunity to speak with the old man who had given me a hard time the other week, asking me to prove to him I wasn’t a sex offender. Sex offenders, even though they represent the largest single largest entity in this prison, are ostracized by the rest of the population. They are all put at a “low” because their lives would be endangered at a “medium” or “maximum.” When one of the inmates, who has since been released, found out about what happened, he went and spoke to this man. The next day, while I was waiting to get my blood pressure checked, he’d come up to me and told me he misjudged me and apologized. Well, last week I found out he is dying and has actually spent about 40 years in prison. He has a fatal liver disease. God has prompted me to speak with him about his eternity, and so since I found out he’d soon be facing death, I’ve been praying for that opportunity to talk to him.
Well, my opportunity came today. I did not get an opportunity to speak with him privately, but we were eating with other men. He told me he just wanted to die, and I asked him if he knew where he would go then. He told me, no, and I told him he can know for sure, and I’d like to talk to him further about that. He is hoping to be moved to a medical prison in a month, so pray I’ll have an opportunity to meet him privately on the rec yard, or in the library or gym – places I rarely go. Maybe I should start frequenting those places more often to try to run into him. His name is “N,” and he’s from Chattanooga, the place I lived for 3 ½ years and where I met Kathie. Please pray for “N.” From what everyone says, he’s a miserable old, cranky man, who now seems very interested in learning about eternity. Pray, I will have wisdom and opportunity to soon present the gospel to him.