Yesterday was the first day I met with my prison mentee. It has been a long time coming. Between paperwork and other delays it took 3 months for us to get together. So in our 2 hour meeting yesterday I learned a lot about him and more about prison life.
When I asked him what he had been up to recently. He responded saying "taking college classes from Grace- which he is looking to end up with a bachelors in Business and he took a class on day trading." Of course the day trading comment sparked my interest so I asked him to expound on the topic.
He explained how there was a class on day and stock trading - in the class there was both an outside teacher and an inmate that shared about their stock trading experiences. I don't know the legal implications to this nor do I really want to.Many of the prisoners have stock accounts and do a fair deal of trading. He said prisoners make good traders because of their patience. So I asked the obvious what are you going to do with the money if you make money. He told me that there is a few of them in the honors dorm that want to help fund Christian ministries through their stock money.
I have no idea if this plan of theirs will work, but if it does, it is utterly bizzare and would be a very interesting way for your ministry to recieve money. I asked how he would keep up on the markets, and he said some of the inmates recieve the wall street journal and they have bloomberg tv, along with cnbc.
As we were talking about the type of ministries they would support and start- one of the ones he mentioned was an after school program for troubled teens. As he was talking about that I asked him: would that have made a difference in the choices you had made in your life? Or if there was anything else that could have changed his outcome? (His earliest possible release date at this point in time is 2079. He would be 103. He has been incarcerated since 1998.) He looked at me and said "I have no excuse. I came from a good home that took me to church and I knew about God. I got saved at a summer camp, and I just made wrong choices."
I told him after he said this that it was comforting to hear that he wasn't making excuses for him being in prison, but as a natural helper it is hard to think that there may not have been anything that could be changed from some people making the wrong decisions.
Out of respect for him I don't want to use his name.- But I would like for you to keep him in your prayers. One of the things he said he strives to do is a good influence to the other inmates. The interesting thing about our conversation that lasted 2+ hours is he never mentioned life when he gets out. He is concerned with the life he lives now and how he can serve God and be he best follower he can be.
One of his close friends and another guy who was in my purpose driven life class last month tried to commit suicide and it has been very tough on their whole dorm. Keep this church in your prayers.