Friday, January 16, 2015

A Life Changed Forever by One Wrong Decision

The ministry behind Swiss Valley Christian Bookstore is The Missing Link, which is a prison and Internet ministry linking troubled youth and adults with life-changing programs. After a prison chapel service at a very large correctional facility, Chaplain Mario (the founder of The Missing Link) stayed on to visit a 21-year-old young man who had just been locked up. For the sake of privacy, we'll call him Doug. A family member had asked if Chaplain Mario would visit Doug. 

Doug had never been in trouble with the law. Unfortunately, one day he made a decision to drink alcohol—his first drink. Driving home, he hit another car and killed a young man. Now he was fearful and frightened, sitting alone in a prison cell, facing vehicular homicide charges. Chaplain Mario was privileged to lead him to the Lord and left a Black Samson book and other life-changing literature with him.

On the next visit, they just had some small talk but the amazing thing was the change that had come over Doug since the first visit. There was a real glow on his face and there seemed to be a real peace. Doug seemed to be very much alive and was eager to talk. He said, "Hey, let me tell you what happened, between you and me. I held a Bible study with the cellie next to me."

I said, "How's that? Wow! That's great. That's amazing! How did you do it?"

"Well," he continued out of earshot from the prison guard, "there's a hole in the wall. Shhh!!! There's a hole in the wall so I can see the other guy next to me. He was released several days ago but before he left, I was able to lead him to the Lord."

I responded, "Wow! That's great, Doug. That's really great. I'm so proud of you."

"But now," he went on, "there's a new guy here—a new prisoner—and last night...believe it or not, Chaplain Mario, I was able to lead him to the Lord last night."

And Chaplain Mario said, "Wow! You are really something!" Here was a new convert and already he's leading others to the Lord.

"Do you have any prayer requests?" Chaplain Mario asked.

"Yes," he said. "Pray that God would give me more wisdom and understanding."

"God will do that for you," Chaplain Mario responded. "The Bible says if you lack wisdom, God will give it to you and He will not hold it back from you. He will give it to you in big measure and make sure that you get all the wisdom you need."

Chaplain Mario was able to spend about half an hour with him, even though the rest of the prison was on lock down.

Doug has now been sentenced to 8 years in prison and has had his driver's license revoked for life—a tough punishment for one foolish decision. Please pray for Doug, that he continues to remain faithful in his Christian walk.

Resource suggestions: 

Making the Best of a Bad Decision by Dr. Erwin Lutzer
When Good Kids Make Bad Choices: Help and Hope for Hurting Parents
Youth Halted Between Bad Choices and God's Purpose

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