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Dec 10, 2014

Remember prisoners this Christmas

The Great Adventure

About 3 million people are incarcerated across the U.S. Many of these prisoners are broken hearted, and learned to hate because they never experienced love and goodness. Very many of these people come from very dysfunctional, abusive families and are illiterate.

Young man behind the bars

As prison ministers, we try to help the imprisoned break through the only cycle they know, to give them a deeper God centered view of life, to see life in its truest sense. There is compassion; I find prisoners so grateful for anything we can do for them. It is very rewarding.

Yes, they have hurt others and have ruined lives. Prisoners have made bad choices, and they suffer greatly from what they have done. Please understand this: God knows each one of them and asks us to help them, to be responsible citizens and good role models for their families, and work at turning others around.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta opened a home for AIDS patients in the U.S. because a prisoner, who was dying of this disease, personally asked her to help him die with dignity. He became the first prisoner turned over to Mother Teresa’s custody. People in prison feel rejected. Mother Teresa said, “See Jesus in the disguise of the poor,” the prisoner, because he really is there.

Many times I feel God’s love for them pouring out of me. Jeff Cavins said, “Love people, and they will change.” They need us to believe in them. No one is so bad that you can’t teach them. There are many, many people in prison we can’t reach out to. I’m asking parishes all over the world to form prayer meetings once a month to pray for the healing and salvation of prisoners. God loves all his children, and as Jeff Cavins tells us, God’s kind of love is agape love, unconditional love, full sacrificing love. Even one prisoner is worth saving. Please never forget the forgotten on death row.

I’ve found that Jeff and Emily Cavins’ Walking Toward Eternity series is a great way to make God’s love for prisoners known to them. I’ve seen miraculous changes in their lives due to their involvement in this program and from teaching them about the Divine Mercy and St. Faustina. God reaches deep into their lives, and they know God loves them.

What Can You Do?

If you are looking to get involved in prison ministry, call the prison in your area to find out how you can help. If the prison does not have a religious freedom act, there may be a way you can introduce it. Get Involved:

1.)  Visit inmates

2.)  Go out and teach

3.)  Donate books or CDs

4.)  Show inspirational movies

5.)  Get involved with Reaching Out from Within (rofw.org)

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  • I know this is probably considered by some a little unconventional, but this “secular” song, expresses the reason for the hope and encouragement one can give to another can do to work miracles in the lives of those who are imprisoned in any way…Having this kind of empathy, is the start or beginning of loving without strings attached or expecting something in return…loving freely and completely-even risking our own welfare for the sake of another…It’s called “surrendering”…when I am visiting someone who is in need of my help, I try to surrender myself fully to God him through the Holy Spirit to be with me as I am with that person…then I go out, and just “be”…that is when the “magic” begins…excuse this wording, just a little humor, 🙂 , for when all is said and done, the person and I both feel better…feeling good about having spent some time together…At least this is how I approach this…and also, I may not be administering to those who are in prison literally, but in reality, we are all prisoners of sorts, and in need of this kind of help…so I have found that it is imperative that I also, accept the help, encouragement, kindness, and love of others as well…for I need it, also…After, we are all in this together…and we are all in need of God’s tender mercies from where ever they come…God Bless!! 🙂

  • I go into a county jail and teach Bible study using the Session Responce sheets from Great Adventure.
    We read the scripture aloud, then I ask the study set questions. After we have shared everyone’s response to the question. I read aloud the study set response.
    Usually I also listen to the CD on the session we ere doing as I drive to the jail to help explain the response better.
    Great Adventure Bible Study materials make jail ministries simple.
    Thanks to Jeff and Sarah and the rest of the Acsension Press team.

  • For nine years I have traveled 3 1/2 hours each way weekly to minister to inmates at a maximum security prison in the stet of Washinton. As part of my Master of Divinity training at Fuller Seminary, I began this work long ago as an intern and could not leave. I have witnessed to at least a thousand inmates and will give counsel to anyone seeking to help those we treat as lepers in prison. Are these Bible studies available for free to the men in prison?

    • Hi Terry. We do not offer these Bible studies for free but you may be able to get them for a discounted price by calling 800-376-0520. We apologize for the late response. Happy New Year.

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