For 40 years, Prison Fellowship® has been going into correctional facilities, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with those behind bars, and offering the hope of true transformation. Through the use of Bible-based programming, and with the help of thousands of committed volunteers, lives are being changed, hope is being restored, and darkness is being replaced with the promise of a future.
As 2016 draws to a close, we look back on some of the stories that meant the most to you and to us. Thank you for serving with us as we "remember those in prison."
The following article was originally posted March 25, 2016.
CHANGING PRISONS AND CHANGING THE WORLD
by Steve Rempe
Every year after finishing his own prison sentence, Prison Fellowship founder Charles Colson returned behind bars for Easter services, sharing the good news of Jesus' resurrection with incarcerated men and women. Rather than celebrating in more comfortable surroundings with people of means and influence, Colson opted to worship in crowded prison gymnasiums surrounded by orange jumpsuits and ever-watchful prison guards.
The reason? Colson understood the impact the Gospel could have on men and women hungry for grace and forgiveness. But he also knew the impact those men and women could have in society.
"My father understood that if we want to change the world, we must start behind bars," Colson's son, Chris, says in an opinion piece for Fox News.
"Prisoners might seem like improbable standard bearers for cultural transformation," Colson continues, "but my dad believed wholeheartedly that whenever prisoners are transformed, they will transform the culture of their prisons and society at large."
When prison officials, departments of correction, and faith-based organizations work together to create a restorative culture, lives are changed. And for the 600,000 prisoners that return to their communities every year, there are new opportunities to right past wrongs and to be positive agents for change.
Through acts of advocacy designed to make the corrections system more just and more efficient; by supporting and building up families affected by incarceration through Angel Tree®; or working inside the prisons to provide men and women with the tools to succeed after release, Prison Fellowship is working to bring about this transformation. To learn more about how you can contribute to bringing about meaningful change to our prisons and our communities, click here.
Thank you for being a part of Prison Fellowship's ministry to the incarcerated and their families. To find out how you can advocate for prison reform, visit our Justice Reform page and discover the needs in your state and our nation.