It was uncanny. The prisoner standing in front of me shared my first name. Like me, he was raised on a farm in Michigan. In fact, our homes were so close together that we frequented the same ice cream parlor and hamburger joint growing up.
But that’s where the similarities stopped.
Jim, in his 60s, could have passed for 90; his brutal life, filled with alcohol and drug addiction, had prematurely aged him, and he wore an eye patch to cover the one he lost during a fight. He had more than a dozen kids by multiple women. He didn’t even know where most of them were; he told me that the two he knew about were homeless drug addicts in Seattle.
Jim, facing years of hard time, would have no hope in his life—except for one thing: he knows Jesus. Prison Fellowship staff and volunteers have come alongside him with a message of redemption, belonging, and purpose.
This week Prison Fellowship is marking the anniversary of our founder Chuck Colson’s passing. We still miss him, but it’s our privilege to get up every day and continue the work he loved. Alongside friends like you, we hold onto Chuck’s unshakeable conviction that in Jesus, there is hope for everyone wasting away behind prison bars. In dark concrete cells, in the halls of power, and in the public square, the same grace that transformed Chuck is still taking hold. Men and women like Chuck are being restored so that they, in turn, can become restorers.