God At Work Through IM

Do you Drink?

Do you Drink?

When I first began leading Bible studies at the county jail, one concern I had was whether I could connect with inmates who had very different lives and backgrounds than mine.

When I first began leading Bible studies at the county jail, one concern I had was whether I could connect with inmates who had very different lives and backgrounds than mine.

During one Bible study, this concern was quickly becoming a reality as I struggled to understand the unfamiliar slang and idioms of two women in the group. They were even more difficult to understand when they talked with each other. That happened often instead of them participating in the Bible study that I had prepared.

Slowly, I started to understand that they were talking about drugs. When I asked for clarification, Shawna replied, “First thing I’m doing when I get out of here is some weed. I’m gonna be high as a kite!” 

When I looked at her with concern, she snapped, “It don’t hurt no one.” Then she asked, “Do you drink?”

Uh oh! I thought. This is a test question. Knowing that some inmates wait for a good, honest answer to a tough question before they openly share or really listen to God’s Word, I prayed for the right response. The first thought that popped into my head, however, was my delight at recently seeing a friend’s huge storage cabinet filled with craft beer. So, I confessed, “I do drink, and when I do, I need to be mindful not to overindulge, or use alcohol to cope with problems rather than taking them to Jesus.” 

Immediately, both ladies erupted into laughter and loud, excited talking. Now it was even harder for me to understand what they were saying! Finally, I timidly asked, “Did I say something wrong?”

“No!” Shawna replied with a smile. “In fact, we like you! We want you to come back again! You tell it like it is!”

Imagine my relief! By honestly answering their question, God allowed me to connect with these women. Both women paid close attention through the rest of the Bible study and asked thoughtful questions about applying God’s Word to their lives. Hallelujah! God allowed us to be so different in some ways, yet so much the same in our need for Him.

Thank you for supporting our ministry of sharing Jesus’ love with people behind walls who all need our Savior – just like you and me.

Ministry Behind the Walls

Institutional Ministries is a nonprofit organization established in 1901 that carries out behind-the-walls ministry by shining the light of Jesus’ love into hearts.