Recently I was speaking at a conference in New York City and leading a panel discussion about men and women coming back to the community.
At a break, as others were filing out to get refreshments, a man came toward me. The look on his face told me he knew me. He looked very familiar. I told him I knew we had met, and I asked him when and where.
He said, “At Sing Sing Prison last year.”
If hit me like a ton of bricks. His name is Kris, and when I last saw him, he was wearing a standard-issue prison uniform. He told me he had only been out a few days. I was overjoyed to see him again.
When I met Kris, he was serving his third sentence. He decided to follow Jesus when he attended a Prison Fellowship meeting. He repented. He spent time learning to follow Jesus and not his own selfish desires. As he approached his release date, he made plans to apply for a job, and not plans to score a fix. When he was released, he and his wife sought out a church. He came to the session on reentry so that he could learn how to help others.
It’s one thing to talk about the 700,000 prisoners who come home to communities like yours and mine every year. It’s another thing to look a man like Kris in the face, knowing that because someone had the courage to share the Gospel with him, he has been redeemed and restored. He is no longer part of the problem, but the solution.
Let’s go make more stories like this one happen! Learn how at www.prisonfellowship.org.