Prison Ministries

One in every 31 adult Americans is currently under correctional supervision - confined to prison or in the community on probation or parole.

2.3 million men and women now pack our prisons and jails.

7% of the total prison population is made up of women; the United States incarcerates more women than any other countries.

95% of all state prisoners will be released back into the community , at a rate of more than 700,000 per year.

66% of released prisoners are arrested again within 3 years.

52% end up back in prison within that same time period.

$68 billion of taxpayers’ money is spent on corrections per year.

Crime costs $105 billion annually in medical expenses, lost earnings, and costs for victim services. Victims lose 6 million days of work per year.

Source: Pew Center on the States








Working nights, I haven’t really gotten the chance to see any volunteer who is involved with their churches’ prison ministries. Though I heard about many lives who were turned around from worse to good as the Good News is brought by these brave volunteers.


Why minister to prisons? Because these inmates are capable of changing. One volunteer is all it takes for them to see and hear the hope that comes from Christ, the freedom that comes from Christ.


Jesus came to “seek and save what was lost” and as His servants, we must be in prisons as well as Jesus would have done. These inmates must hear the healing that comes from Jesus alone. In their brokenness, they must know that there is hope and that no amount of their burden is beyond Jesus’ love and His power to transform.


And when an inmate’s life is transformed, it also changes the lives of those involved.


Have you heard about David Berkowitz or “Son of Sam” as people had known him? He was an American serial killer and arsonist, terrorizing New York back in the 70’s. He claimed he was a member of a Satanic cult.


In 1987, he became a born-again Christian by coming across Psalm 34:6 from a pocket sized Gideon’s Testament Bible that another inmate had given to him. [“I had cried out to the Lord in my suffering and he heard me. He set me free from all my fears.”-Psalm 34:6].


And from then on, hard to believe as it was for others to see his transformation, if not for prison ministries who bring in the Good News, he would have still be held in spiritual bondage.


He got involved with prison ministry himself and counsels troubled inmates. He doesn’t have an access to computers, so a church group maintains this website for him for others to see.


But I’m not focusing on “Son of Sam”, my friends. I am pointing to the transformation power that comes from the cross. In this man’s broken life, he had a major change and a different journey he took, once he found that road “off the beaten trek” that led to Christ.


I'm also recognizing the great brothers and sisters in Christ who willingly chose to serve Christ by going to these dark areas [prisons] and sharing the light that comes from the Light of the World. They have to lay down all their worries and fears, just so they can minister to these lost souls. Deprived of seeing the true light, hopelessness surrounds them inside these walls, day after day. Every time these faithful servants go in, a shed of hope is left behind to those who will open up their hearts and minds to God’s forgiveness. I ask that we remember them in our prayers as it is vital for all who are working for Christ:


Father, I lift up these brothers and sisters in Your Holy Name who minister to prisons all over the world, bringing the Gospel so that these inmates locked up twice, both physically and spiritually, may hear about the hope that comes from You, the freedom You give, Your love that is faithful and unconditional.


Lord, please guide them with Your divine wisdom, protect them as they minister to inmates and give them Your strength. Open the inmates’ hearts and minds Lord before the volunteers go inside any prisons, so that these lost souls may be more receptive of this Seed that needs to be planted in the garden of their hearts.


Thank You Lord for everything that You had done. Thank You for dying on the cross so that all of us may live. Thank You for calling these people who sacrifice their own lives to help out others who are in the dark. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.



If you want to hang around for a while, please watch this video and see the difference to that inmate who accepted Christ when she was released from the prison. God is the only One Who can change our hearts...that is...if we are willing to accept Him. Glory to God!


12 comments:

  1. Those statistics are mind-boggling. Who would have thought?!

    ReplyDelete
  2. These statistics are so sad...but we know they can be changed. I know an elderly lady who spends her Saturdays in a maximum security prison with this ministry. She has been a blessing to so many.
    GOD BLESS you for being a faithful servant.
    Blessings and prayers, andrea

    PS: you have an award at arise 2 write

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome post and video. So encouraging. I like the emphasis in the video on standing behind these folks once they've served their time in prison. We need to walk alongside brothers and sisters who are trying to make their way on the "outside."

    ReplyDelete
  4. Rosel,

    It is amazing that people can be changed that were once deemed unchangeable. Their lives can make a difference even in those that may never be set free in this life, but in the one that remains after this one.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

    ReplyDelete
  5. Those statistics are mind boggling! There really is only one Hope for them! And it is revealed in this video. Jesus can make all the difference in this world and into the next.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Redemption in Christ is truly amazing for all of us no matter what our sin. We all need JESUS.

    Thanks for sharing this with us and for something else to pray fervently about. I have missed my visits with you and I pray you are well.

    Love you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I keep thinking about Psalm 139 and how there is no place we can hide from God. He knows us in the darkest place. I thank Him for the grace He gives to those who work in prison ministries that bring Jesus to lost souls.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I praise God for those that are so willing to share His love with everyone, no matter where they dwell. Thanks for sharing, I love you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great post & video. The Stats are alarming.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Rosel,
    There but by the grace of God go I!
    It could have been me behind those bars - I was such a lost child and young adult! God saved me from myself and gave me a new life. I will never forget His grace and mercy in allowing me to walk away unscathed from that time and allowing me to walk a new path!
    Praise God for the wonderful people involved in this very worthwhile ministry! To help people who desperately need to feel the hand of God in their lives.

    Have you ever read any of Charles Colson's books? He is such a wonderful author who writes about his experiences in prison after serving a sentence for his involvement in the Watergate scandal. He now has a prison ministry who reaches out to not only people in prison, but their families that they leave behind.

    Some of my favorite books that he has written are:
    Kingdoms in Conflict
    How Now Shall We Live
    The Body
    Loving God

    Blessings to you my friend for getting the word out about this very important ministry!
    Hope you are having a great week!
    ((Hugs))
    Kymber

    ReplyDelete
  11. If Jesus came to "seek and to save" than we are too! How much seeking do I actually do? I think I might be more like a trawler, holding out my bait incase any fish swim by. The seeking is more targeted and intentional.

    Thanks for challenging me today

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh Rosel. Amen and amen!!! I used to hang out with a group of POWER HOUSE ON FIRE women who ministered in prisons. I never went with them, but I have no doubt that they changed countless lives. God bless them all -- you're right.

    And if SAUL can become PAUL then NOTHING is impossible.

    ((((hugs))))

    Beth

    ReplyDelete

"Faith is taking the first step even if you don't see the whole staircase..."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

All posts/composed songs copyright by RCUBEs.



Encouragers

The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]


Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.


Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.


All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.


When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.


The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.


When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.


[Source: Life Application Bible]:


We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.


“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14


Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].


Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.


Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.


Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].

Friends