A prisoner I’ll call Jared is getting ready to be one of the first graduates of a new Prison Fellowship pre-release unit. This is his third time behind bars. He has spent most of his life as a drug dealer and a petty thief, governed by that troublesome four-letter word: self.
Jared admits that he only started the Prison Fellowship classes to ‘game the system.’ He wanted to have something positive on his prison record and to get out of his cell for the day. If he could convince prison officials that he was changing, he might even get out of prison early. But it was all another scheme.
That something unexpected started to happen. As Jared studied the Bible and received the love of Prison Fellowship staff and volunteers, he became interested in Jesus. Finally, he gave his heart to Him! Now, Jared is a changed man. He has a new vision for his life, a vision that has nothing to do with his old routine of hustling on the streets.
Through lessons on money management, parenting, anger management, and life planning – all based in the Bible – Jared says he feels, “more ready to go home and change [his] life” than ever before. Over and over again, he told me, “I have hope.” That’s a four-letter word we need to hear more of behind bars!
The love of God changes hearts and produces hope – the joyous expectation of God’s good gifts – where none existed before. How will we respond to that love? Will we let it shine through us for all to see? Learn how today at prisonfellowship.org.