June 26, 2008
I suppose it's a good problem to have. The men in the Wednesday Bible study have been taking so long in their prayers for one another that we don't have the time to do the Bible study. After three weeks of having seven minutes or less to do Bible study, I decided to make some changes.
So I started talking to the men about "conversational prayer." By coincidence (if there is such a thing), my friends with The Navigators (an organization I now have been associated with for 14 years) asked me to help with a group of Marines—both active duty and retired—that meet Friday nights at a church near the Miramar Air Station. One lesson of the curriculum they asked me to help with (the 2:7 series, for you who are privy to the Nav lingo) is dedicated to the practice of conversational prayer.
As the years have passed at the Brig, the time I've been allotted on Wednesday nights has been trimmed down. Ten years ago, I would come at 5 PM, meet man-to-man with one inmate from 5 to 6:15, then another from 6:15 to 7:30. Bible study was then 7:30 to 9. Now, there is no time to meet man-to-man, and the men do not arrive until about 6:45, and we must be concluded by 8:25. So there's not as much time for both prayer and Bible study. So I've promised the men that on the last Wednesday of the month, we'll dedicate the entire time to prayer; on other weeks we'll take requests and pray for 10 minutes before diving into the Bible study. (This usually leaves us about 40 minutes for Bible study.)
The group on Wednesday night mainly comes from the B-1 dorm. Indeed, there is a group from B-1 that meets together almost every day for prayer and Bible study. The other two dorms, B-2 and B-3, have one or two men that attend. Pray for Josh and Wayne in B-2 (a dorm that has been known for immature behavior for several years) and Chris and Trey in B-3 to be witnesses and bring friends to Bible study.
Pray also for Matthew and Chino, both of whom have been released in the last month, and both of whom were in the contingent of soldiers (US Army) who transferred from Ft. Lewis, Washington (which I wrote about in April).
Last Thursday, I had breakfast with Maxx, who helped out at the Brig by leading studies and discipling prisoners until he transferred in 2005 to Des Moines, Iowa, as a recruiter for the Marine Corps. Now a Major, Maxx is in the process of moving his family to Monterey, California, where he will attend the Naval Post-Graduate School. His long-term goal is to attend the Defense Language Institute (also in Monterey), learn Japanese, and then serve with the Marines in Japan. He plans to retire from the Marines and stay in Japan as a missionary.
Continue to pray for Javier. He is settling in at the Federal Correctional Institution in Herlong, California. I have signed up to be on his visiting list, but Herlong is a 10-hour drive from San Diego. The closest major city is Reno, Nevada.
As always, thanks for your prayers, concerns, and donations.