“Then Joshua asked them, ‘How long are you going to wait before taking possession of the remaining land the Lord, the God of your ancestors?’” (Josh 18:3) NLT.
I have now moved into my eighth week at the jail in Pine County. Many of you offered up your prayers to the Lord for this ministry opportunity, for this I am grateful. Monday night bible study at the Pine County Jail consists of two one-hour sessions where we have consistently filled the classroom with men who have expressed an interest in attending the bible study. Over the last four weeks now, I have been paying attention to those who have been leaning in on the conversation.
I am pleased to report that interaction within the group has increased, both in the classroom and in the cell block, as men have gathered together to pray for one another. There are also reports of men who are making choices to live out what we have been speaking about in class; for this, I am encouraged.
Last Monday night, we talked about the gifts of the Spirit and the temporary need for these gifts as they will pass away when we enter heaven. Then we contrasted the need for the fruit of the Spirit and its endurance as we live out our lives here on earth. Reflecting on love’s kindness, that it is not jealous, boastful or proud, or rude, that love doesn’t demand its own way, it’s not irritable, it keeps no record of being wrong. It doesn’t rejoice about injustice, but rejoices when truth wins, it’s always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.
The week before, I offered to visit with a couple of men that were open to having a discussion outside of class later that week. I was very encouraged to do so. However, when the time came, I was not able to meet with either of the inmates because I was not credentialed to do so, however, I am credentialed to so, but believe the enemy kept me from seeing either of them. I sent a letter to the program director that night to point out that if restoration was to occur in a man’s life then I am going to need access to them. That opened the door, together we work through a strategy that would give me access to the men outside of Monday night. Not only that, but he was willing to allow me to start a new program for inmates, praise God!
This opportunity comes out of seven weeks of prayer, I met with the first group of men this week and they were honored to be included in this new venture of disciple-making. You might be thinking, “How does this new program of study differ from the Monday night study? Why duplicate the efforts?” Glad you asked. This new study is for those who are ready to move to the next level of commitment to the Lord… to become disciple-makers who make disciple-makers. It is for those who are leaning in on what the Lord has for them in the next step. In the Great Commission Jesus told us, “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you” (Mt 28:20a) NLT. These are the last words spoken by Jesus. When we do this, we honor the authority He gave us as followers.
The new program is called Discovery Bible Study. This study was adopted from CityTeam Ministries. David and I attended a work shop in Fargo late last year to find out more about CityTeam’s mission. We have incorporated this 26 week study at Breakthrough Church and emphasis key passages that bring people from Genesis to the Cross.
Please keep these men in your prayers as we move forward. Thank you for opportunity you provide Breakthrough to meet and address lostness in every segment of society, for this we are grateful.
Strength and Honor,
Pete Couper, Breakthrough Ministries