What Is Your Favorite Part Of The Bible?
France is a unique place in the entire world as far as the secular emphasis of their society. We found this to be both a problem and an advantage in our work there with our basketball team. The problem is that you are constantly trying to make sure that the witness you leave behind is a positive one and that your actions help the workers who are left behind to follow-up on your efforts after you return to the USA. The advantage is that once you find something that works, it is so different from their status quo that people are interested and drawn to your ideas and witness.
Our team was able to share their witness at a prison near Valence where we organized a three on three tournament with a makeshift basket and our team members leading each team. We also offered Bibles to those who were interested in having one. There were six inmates who defied serious peer pressure and asked us if they could have a Bible. During a break in the action, one of the men named, Ahmad, asked me if I could help him to understand the Bible we had given him. He told me in his broken English that he had never seen or read this book before. I told him that my favorite book was Jean (John) and directed him to the 14th chapter trusting that when he returned to his cell that he would allow the Holy Spirit to teach him the truth of the scripture. We turned and marked the page as many eyes were following us from cells overlooking the commons where we sat together. This passage came to mind as I always love the book of John, and a recent sermon by Pastor Ken Whitten of Idlewild Church in Tampa impressed me as the way to help my new friend discover that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.
This all took place as one of his fellow inmates tried to convince him to give the Bible back to me and not to read it. He did not listen to that man and asked me again why he should read it. I told Ahmad that I believed it to be the truth and was inspired by God for his benefit. He thanked me and the team for coming to spend the morning with him and others and especially for bringing him this new book. What a privilege for us to be able to share this day with these inmates who need Christ. He promised me he would read this book for himself and find out what it has to say. Will you help me pray for all of the men and women of Valence prison who are seeking answers in their lives?
Acts 18:9 (NIV) “One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.’”
Monday Morning Message Sent 9/21/09
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