One day Alberto, the former restaurant cook who’d been fired for drinking, called me. He said when he was a child he wanted to know about God and the Bible. “I always wanted someone to read me a Bible story, but there was no one to do that.” Then he said, “Kathleen, would you read to me from the Bible?”
I read aloud one chapter. After a few verses I’d stop and we’d talk about it. He’d ask questions and then he’d say, “Go on, tell me what it says next.”
Later he said that he’d read a book about a boy who had gone to a Bible school. “I think that’s something I’d like to do. Is there a Bible school around here?”
I told him that as long as he has a drinking problem, he won’t last long in any school. The first thing he needs to do is to surrender his life to Jesus. Not only will all his sins be forgiven, but God will then give him the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would give him the power he needs to overcome his bad habits. Only then can he think about getting off alcohol. Only then will he be able to succeed in Bible school.
He said, “Cigarettes and alcohol make a man tough! Ya gotta me tough!”
I gave him a Bible one day and he was thrilled. Then I talked to him about going to Teen Challenge. He was the right age at 23 — most are in their 20’s. I told him he would learn a great deal about the Bible there. He would spend the first three months at an induction center where he would get off alcohol and learn some life skills and character training. The next ten months would be at another location. It’s a residential program, there’s no cost involved, and it’s the most successful drug rehabilitation program in the country.
He could hardly believe it would be free. He did not say he would go, but when I last heard from him he was seriously thinking about it. I’m sorry to say that during all our phone conversations he was never “ready” to give his life to Jesus.
“Lord God, You know Alberto’s heart. You know he yearns to know You. Please place Your hand of protection on him. Guide and direct him to follow You all the days of his life. I pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.”
- For more information about Teen Challenge: http://www.teenchallenge.com/
- The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
- SONG: The Paralytic: