More than 40 prisons across the U.S. participate in Prison Fellowship’s intensive reentry courses in life skills and Bible-based values. Through these reentry programs, men and women behind bars spend about a year preparing for a successful life after prison. As a result, many former prisoners return home as redeemed individuals, reconciled to their families and restored to their communities. Rather than falling back into the cycle of crime and incarceration, these men and women become productive members of society with Christ at their center!
A student of Prison Fellowship’s Transformed Life class shares a poem on how the reentry program and the ministry volunteers impacted his life:
“The Journey to a Transformed Life and Mind”
” … Volunteering and steering
New lives, opening minds
By God’s divine, teaching us to
Carry the message, and not the mess.
Showing us it is okay
To visit the past, just don’t bring a suitcase
And take off the mask.
Past September; we all came seeking
Transformation from past complications
Praying and searching for manifestations
Confrontations of new learning in
New destinations; shedding our mask
Uncovering guilt and shame
Understanding blame, being transformed is
Not a game knowing the man who
Really wants to do something finds
A way; the other man finds an excuse
Learning about healthy relationships;
That was personal growth. October,
We started getting sober to the
Order of family and understanding
Parental roles. November, things trembled
With feelings, strategies to control anger
We practiced empathy, responsible thinking
To positive change, to identify and
Practice attacks on thinking for change
December, when we reviewed our
Responsible thinking, managing our lives,
To crossing the bridge and ten good habits
Wow Christmas, thank you Jesus!
New Year’s, where we
Learned financial responsibility, time
Management, legal responsibility, coping
Skills, this transformed life, is the
Real deal. February, personally I got a
Year older, and spirit filled bolder
We had to come clean, so we learned
The definition in setting goals and
Reaching them in us and in God
Our statement of recovery, varied
Some even scary. My son, give me
Thine heart and let thine eyes
Observe my ways.
This personal transition plan,
That led me into graduation.
A new chapter in our life of change
In the end, it is important
To remember that we cannot become
What we need to be
By remaining what we are.
I have been transformed
And by the grace of God
We all will help transform others.”
Prison Fellowship’s restorative programming and dedicated volunteers work to bring these transformed people back to their communities ready for the challenges set before them. In the next three years, Prison Fellowship hopes to position itself in the top 50 urban centers for reentry. Through the development of local reentry networks and local church participation, we can see even more prisoners supported in a successful reentry process, and these former prisoners can go on to help others fight the battle they once fought.
Do you want to be a part of a local network, helping prisoners start over in a new life with Christ? See how you can get involved today at www.prisonfellowship.org!