Beau is an Angel Tree Camping® volunteer who spent four years stationed in Hawaii for the military. For three of those years he served as a mentor at Camp Agape, a summer camp founded as a ministry to prisoners' children. Beau has since taken the model of Camp Agape to start a camp in Arkansas.
Camp can be the highlight of a child's summer. Spending time in the great outdoors, playing games, and making crafts—the memories made at camp often last for a lifetime.
A week at camp is a chance for children with incarcerated parents to change their life story.
Brian's parents occasionally took him and his sisters to church. They didn't attend often, but it was enough to awaken a hunger in Brian's heart.
How do you explain incarceration to a child?
Crime affects many people. The oft-forgotten victims are the children of the incarcerated.
In this month's issue, Smithsonian Magazine focuses on the millions of American children who struggle every day with the effects of incarceration.
Prison Fellowship® did something new in 2016 for Angel Tree®. We partnered with Christian media and publishing company Zondervan to offer Angel Tree families free Bibles in either English or Spanish.
"What better way to deliver the Gospel message than to put a Bible in the home?" asks James Ackerman, Prison Fellowship's president and chief executive officer, in this week's Insider.
You did it! In 2016, nearly 300,000 children with incarcerated parents received Christmas gifts and the Gospel message thanks to your support and contributions.
In this week's Insider, Prison Fellowship® CEO James Ackerman thanks all of our Angel Tree® coordinators, volunteers, and donors for the incredible devotion they have shown these children.
“It was important to my dad to look perfect,” Sydney remembers. “He used to give us pep talks before going anywhere—about how to act, what to say—so that we wouldn’t embarrass him.”
A little boy approached James Browning at an Angel Tree® party to ask if he too could have a gift. This child had tagged along with some friends, but unlike the other children, his parents were not incarcerated.
"We could not refuse him and gave him a gift," James says.
As we close the page on this year, we wanted to take one last moment to celebrate all that 2016 stood for—40 years of redemption, transformation, and hope in the lives of millions of broken and lost individuals all across the country.
For 40 years, Prison Fellowship® has been going into correctional facilities, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with those behind bars, and offering the hope of true transformation. Through the use of Bible-based programming, and with the help of thousands of committed volunteers, lives are being changed, hope is being restored, and darkness is being replaced with the promise of a future.