Each year, America’s prisons release hundreds of thousands of prisoners back into the community. Many of these prisoners return to inner cities and urban areas, where poverty and crime prevail.
The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI), a joint program of Prison Fellowship and World Impact, is providing seminary-level education to many of these prisoners. TUMI is creating opportunities for prisoners to transform their time behind bars into a productive season of ministry training. Through TUMI, prisoners are equipped as biblical leaders who can bring the hope of Jesus Christ to their fellow inmates and to their neighborhoods after release.
Prisoners whose hearts and minds have been restored by Christ have a powerful transformation story to share, and TUMI encourages them to spread this Good News they have found. One TUMI student named Troy wrote a poem to portray how he’s seen the Gospel revealed in his own life.
“The Other Way”
Going out in a blaze of glory
This is all I[‘ve] ever known.
Oh the miles I have traveled
How the days have flown.
Who wants to stand alone?
By God’s Grace
He has given me a place.
The sting of death is what I felt
Paying the price of sin is what I was dealt.
Through faith in Jesus
He has turned it all around.
His death on the cross, is what I found
I was blinded by the world.
The devil wouldn’t let me go
I ran around in circles
And had nothing to show.
Jesus said, “Follow Me, it’s a better way.”
God is my Father, no other will do
False idols will rise and idols will fall
God’s will is my call.
The Kingdom is near
The price of admission is what we’ll pay
Faith in Jesus has paved the way.
His light shines on my narrow path.
Eternal life is what I see.
Because I believe in Jesus,
In heaven’s Kingdom is where I’ll be.
From Prisoners to Pastors
Troy’s poem is immensely representative of how God can redeem lives for His Glory despite messy pasts. God is working through TUMI to raise up a new generation of Christ-centered servant leaders from behind bars. To learn how you can help biblically equip prisoners to become leaders in prisons and the urban centers of America, please visit www.prisonfellowship.org.