I love my ladies at the jail! The group changes often because it is a jail but I dearly love them all! There was a lady there for several months whom I will call Angela (just like Dragnet, I have changed the names). At first she did not want to come to Bible study but after a while she began sitting in. A bit longer and she was participating. After a few more weeks she accepted Jesus into her heart. She began reading her Bible, praying, and growing in the Lord. It was beautiful!
The day of her release was growing nearer and she was excited. She was ready to go home. She talked of getting back into church and staying clean. She was only a few weeks away from her release date when something else popped up. It was discovered that another county had a warrant out on her for an old charge. Her release date was now put on hold. She would be taken to the other county for a court appearance before she would be released. She was devastated. She was ready to give up on God. How could He do this to her? She began to question her new found faith.
I gave her some Scriptures to read and tried to reassure her that God still had a plan for her life. He was still in control and He still loved her more than she would ever know. She got through her doubt and decided that she would trust God even though she did not understand why she should spend more time in jail. She determined herself to keep walking in faith.
Another week or two went by when she got a new cell mate whom I will call Linda. This young lady was scared and hurting. Angela witnessed to her. Shared Scripture with her. Prayed with her. When I came the following Sunday night Linda was ready to receive Christ into her heart. After she gave her life to the Lord she told me she was ready to take that step because of Angela. She told me how Angela had helped her and witnessed to her.
I turned to Angela and said, "So if you had gone home when you were originally supposed to go, who would have been here for Linda? God used you to bring her to salvation! Congratulations, you have just laid up your first treasure in heaven!" Angela's eyes brightened as she realized what God had done. Her life had value! She was of use to God! She was so excited. She said every extra day she had spent in jail was well worth it! She went home the following week.
Now Linda is growing in her faith. Last week Linda got a new cell mate. Guess what? Linda began ministering to her. Witnessed to her. Shared Scripture with her and prayed for her. When I went to the jail for Bible study last night, Linda's new cell mate was ready to commit her life to the Lord! It is a beautiful thing when we share what God has done for us. It is so simple and yet so powerful!
Most of you know that my Mom and Dad were murdered in their home over three years ago. They had been at my house the day before. While I was at the jail that Sunday night, Mom had texted me that they had made it home just fine. Little did I know those texts were to be my last communication with her. When I came out to my car that night and saw her message, I replied that I had enjoyed our visit and that two ladies had been saved at the jail that night. Her response was simply, "Hallelujah!"
Luke 15:7 The Message
Count on it - there's more joy in heaven over one sinner's rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.