Tuesday, March 3, 2009

e-mails from Louisiana

I sometimes get connected with the inmates at the Regional Justice Center through phone calls. A family member will request I contact their loved one. Once, I went in on Christmas Day and it was worth every minute of time for the inmates, the family, and especially for me.

During these last couple of weeks, I've been in contact with Grace, a faithful Mom from Lafayette in southern Louisiana about her son, John, who was incarcerated at the RJC. He previously completed one term in IT support in Iraq where he experienced significant stress. He was being diagnosed for post-traumatic syndrome or whatever psychological issues he is dealing with at the VA Hospital in Seattle. I've met with him every day I've been at the RJC although he is simply not responding to the Lord, right now. John has a church background but lost interest or strayed. He has struggled with alcohol abuse. He showed apparent revived interest in the Lord right before he went back into jail. I am being faithful to connect with John without pushing anything on him--just be there--and keep his family connected with him.

I provided an outstanding New King James Study Bible for him but he honestly shared he wasn't reading it. I asked if he wanted to talk about what he read or whatever interested him. He was just not there. On the other hand, Mom has blessed my heart greatly as we e-mail about what the Lord is doing and their family. I think we are lifetime friends in Christ. That is awesome!

How should we pray for family members who are apparently not responding to the the Lord?

"Lord, I am no match for whatever is going on in _____'s life. He looks and acts like he is unsaved but I thought he was interested in the Lord and even saved many years ago. This is too big for me but it's not too big for You. You know what is in
_____'s heart and what all this means.

I surrender him to you and pray that You would do whatever You need to do to draw him afresh to You. Give me grace to stay out of the way. It's hard. I want to fix him. I trust You will draw him to Yourself. I am pleading with You to show _____ You are seeking him.

Give me Your wisdom for how to pray for him, Lord, as the days go on. In your mighty and powerful name, Jesus, Amen."
John 10:27-29

Thanks for continuing to pray and give, as the Lord leads you. Your faithful giving, prayers, and comments encourage us so greatly.

Chaplain Mark

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