Connecting People to Jesus
Jacob attended my Bible class for over three years. During that time, I had the pleasure of getting to know him as a person and watch him grow in his faith as a Christian. Together, we studied the gospel of Matthew and John, the book of Acts, Romans, Galatians and Jonah. We even studied the book of Revelation. In addition to all this, I also had the privilege of taking him through an extensive Adult Instruction Class, and then confirming him. We prayed together, celebrated the Lord’s Supper together, and had many discussions on some of the deeper truths of Scripture.
When I resumed Bible classes after the death of my daughter, Jacob did something I’ll never forget. At the close of our Bible study, Jacob asked, “Is it okay if we pray for you and your family?” Welcoming their prayers, I said, “Sure, I’d really appreciate that,” thinking that they would just include us in their personal prayers. But that’s not what Jacob was asking. Right then and there, Jacob started to pray, and he lifted up my family before the throne of God in heaven.
Jacob was also quite bold in sharing his faith outside of our Bible study group. Over the years, he was instrumental in bringing several others to study God’s Word with us. Being a faithful student of Scripture, himself, he became a guy that other inmates would turn to with their questions about God and His Word. Truth be told, if I were still serving in the parish, I’d like nothing more than to have a dozen or so members just like Jacob.
Eventually, our time for studying God’s Word together came to an end — Jacob was going home. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the prison for our final Bible class, I discovered that the prison was locked down — no one would be visiting today. I had missed out, not only on one last opportunity to share God’s Word with him, but on a chance to say “Goodbye” to my friend Jacob.
Perhaps I’ll see him again someday on the outside. Who knows, maybe I’ll see Jacob walking down the street one day, or look out into a congregation where I’m preaching and see him sitting in the pew. And if not, that’s okay, because I know I’ll see him one day in heaven.
As summer comes to a close, please consider supporting our ministry with your gifts and your prayers. Together, we can continue to touch the lives of people like Jacob. We can share Christ with those who do not yet know their Savior, and for those who do, we can help them stay connected to Jesus through the power of His Word.
Thank you for your support. And, when we all get to heaven, I’ll introduce you to my friend, Jacob.
Chaplain Joseph Radsek