Margie, my wife, and I are currently involved in running an Alpha Course at a shelter for the homeless. We helped run one last year and it brought such healing that those involved decided unanimously to have another. I have never run a prison alpha, but perhaps conditions are similar. Two weeks ago I spoke on “Why Did Jesus Die?” At the discussion time the leader of one of groups posed the question, “Can you accept that someone can die in your place?” An attendee nodded his head vigorously, “I can. I was a member of a gang and one of my buddies took a bullet that was meant for me.”
We are in the early stages of this course but already some members who sat silent and reserved are volunteering opinions and others who gave “safe” answers are feeling secure enough to share their real opinions.
At last year’s Alpha Course someone who was living on the mountainside, fending off spiders and snakes, rededicated his life to Jesus and was touched by the Holy Spirit in such a way that he was empowered to break with the girl who had led him down a path of destruction. Today, over a year later he has employment, a roof over his head and a confidence in himself and in God’s love that has transformed him from a bitter and defensive man to a relaxed, humbly optimistic one.
Another man, nominally Christian, and hurting from being let down in a promise of a job, is now enthusiastically in love with Jesus, wears an infectious smile, is fully grounded in the Word and witnesses wherever he goes.
God has designed us for relationships; not only with Him, but with one another and when those two come together the stage is set for Him to work.There is nothing like the Truth, lovingly revealed in the context of a caring community to bring true, lasting healing.