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One Man's Kingdom Adventures with Uber & Jail

Several of our members at First Baptist Church are involved in prison & jail ministry; Rich Palumbo is one of those.  Some of our members are trained to visit regularly and check out a prisoner to bring to a church service.  Most Sundays we have prisoners worshiping among us.  It's a joy for us to share the Gospel with them and care for them. Here's a few experiences Rich Palumbo had recently in our local jail and another while on vacation with his wife.  

If we look and pray for opportunities for God to use us we will find them:

Questions Answered in Jail

Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit our local county jail.  On that day, I met an older Hispanic man that asked me a question regarding signs and messages from God.  His question centered on how to recognize his feelings as being prompted from God.  I showed him 1 Corinthians 13 and we went through the Love chapter. I asked him that if after reading that, he was to feel or sense that he needed to punch someone in the nose, he would know that the impulse was not from God. We continued to talk and I explained that what he is asking about is called discernment.  This comes from reading the Bible, God's Word, studying and praying.  He was a new Christian, having accepted the Lord less than 3 months ago. 

After we got through talking, I wondered how much I had been able to help.  The room was noisy. He had a soft voice and spoke with an accent. When I asked him if he understood better about signs and God's timing, he said yes because he had asked the Lord about it and the Lord had sent me.

An Uber Experience

On a recent trip to Philadelphia my wife and I were taking an Uber trip to the airport.  There were four of us in the vehicle, two of whom we did not know.  Along the way a car cut us off and the driver explained that before he had accepted Jesus that would have made him mad.  He was only worried about our safety now.  This prompted me to share about Jesus and we were talking about the great things He is doing in our lives. I then noticed the young lady sitting next to me was quietly crying.  The driver noticed it too and asked her what was wrong.  She stated that the doctors had diagnosed her with a flesh eating bacteria. She was feeling under attack spiritually and mentally as well as physically.  I told the driver we had plenty of time and that he needed to stop.

He pulled over to the side of the road and got some oil he had purchased from the Holy Land and the three of us laid hands and prayed for her and her condition while he anointed her. I do not know the rest of the story but I do know that the three of us did what scripture tells us:

James 5:13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

 There was no doubt among the four of us that this meeting was arranged by the Lord.

One Seeking Righteousness

On another night at the local jail we went in and something told me not to sit down with my partner.  I walked around and saw a young man sorting papers in his room.  Normally I do not peer in but felt the need to make contact. The young man said that he was tired of all the problems in his life and his priority was to seek righteousness.  He told me that he had asked the Lord in his life before but felt the relationship had been lost.  I showed him 1 John 1:9 and explained it to him.  

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We explored Psalm 51 on how to ask for forgiveness. 

Have mercy on me,[a] O God,
    according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
    and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right[b] spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.

When I left, he seemed relieved to have the answer he had been searching for.

Thank you Rich Palumbo for your willingness to share your recent encounters with people as you live out your calling here in Asheboro, NC and beyond. 


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