Suicide Watch

I still remember as a volunteer, the first time I was assigned to Suicide Watch at the county jail.  SW is where inmates are held the first 72 hours after their arrest. Many are hung-over from drugs/alcohol and are often angry, frightened or depressed over their situation.

That evening I spent 1.5 hours with two desperate, despondent men. Both wept. Both wanted to tell me their sad stories.  I listened.  When they finished, they became quiet and looked at me expectantly.

I explained that often God allows difficult situations in our lives to cause us to recognize our need for Him.  “It may have taken incarceration to get your attention.  But He loves both of you and He wants to be your Savior.  He wants to help you turn your lives around. You cannot do it alone. You need to turn to Jesus and let Him change you.”

Both men chose to surrender their lives to Jesus that night. Their desperation and their tears ceased. They began smiling. They realized there was hope and their peace was real.

We prayed for their wives and children.  I enrolled them in the chaplain’s Bible study. I encouraged the two of them to become prayer partners while incarcerated, praying daily together for each other. I even showed them how to pray through the Psalms. That is, reading two verses and then praying them back to God in their own words. Then going on to the next two verses. We tried it together and they seemed willing to give it a go.  I suggested churches in their area for when they are released, plus other useful information. They were both convinced that the Lord brought them to jail for this very purpose.

When I stood to leave, one of them said, “Thank you. I will remember you as long as I live.”

I said, “You probably will! After all, this is the most important day of your life—for all eternity.  I still remember the woman who led me to Jesus. I will never forget her.  But you know what?  Other people are going to remember you in the same way—when you tell them about Jesus.”

About Kathleen

God delights in working through His people as they submit to Him. Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone (Mark 16:15).

No matter where we live on this planet, people are separated from God because of sin. We ALL need a Savior, and there’s only ONE.

It brings me great joy to share Christ with the lost and lonely. Over the years I’ve learned a great deal while facilitating Bible studies. I’ve found myself on college and university campuses, the beach, the streets, the hospital, the jail and the juvenile facility for incarcerated teens sharing God’s message of love. I also serve as an online missionary with Global Media Outreach. I’ve seen countless lives transformed when people turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. The changes God makes are real and lasting. These are some of my experiences.

NOTE: My stories have been altered, removing any and all identifying factors. This includes names and other particulars in order to protect confidentiality and anonymity.

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12 Responses to Suicide Watch

  1. Florence says:

    Christ talked a great deal about going into prisons. HE is their only hope, as HE is our only hope. But Christ knew that those in prison felt more hopelessness than most anyone else. What an inspiring story. In every one of your posts I see the hand of the Lord working in a more mighty way than most anywhere else I look. May God continue to bless your work for HIM!

    • Kathleen says:

      Thank you, Florence. I appreciate the encouragement. I agree: Prisons are full of hopelessness. We need more and more Christians to go within those walls and encourage inmates with God’s love.

  2. Lori says:

    Love it! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Liana says:

    Another beautiful testimony Kathleen. You are such a beautiful woman of God.

  4. Peter says:

    Thank you Kathleen for sharing this amazing testimony. I praise God for his work through you! God bless you!

  5. Susan says:

    Kathleen, I remember the lady who led me to the Lord in February 1998. What an awesome day. It took me awhile to share, but eventually I did. What joy! The knowledge of God’s truth definitely changed my life.

  6. Amy says:

    Kathleen, This is precious. I felt those men’s tears. I could hear their heartbeats. Their despair. Amazing how the Holy Spirit drew both of them to Himself. Thank you for being there and for speaking truth. Go gently now, Amy

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