Prison Fellowship® partnered with Todd Pierce from Riding High Ministries to host a unique Hope Event™ at Blackburn Correctional in Lexington, Kentucky, on May 17, 2019. Through yard events featuring inspirational speakers, musicians, and other attractions, Prison Fellowship Hope Events introduce prisoners to the hope of Jesus Christ.
Todd Pierce is a champion bareback rider, horse trainer, and pastor who used his talents to bridle, bit, and saddle an unbroken young horse named Sushi in a pen on the Blackburn yard. Todd used the analogy of building a relationship with the wild horse as an illustration to share with the men how Christ wants a relationship with us and brings our bent, rebellious wills into line with His good, life-giving plans.
The event was enjoyed by all who attended, and Todd's message made an impact. "A lot of people think [being a Christian is] just about breaking your will, but [instead] it is building a relationship," said Shannon, a man incarcerated at Blackburn.
'A lot of people think being a Christian is just about breaking your will,
but instead it is building a relationship.'
A NEW CREATION
[They] watched intently as the gospel unfolded right before their eyes. They did not see a horse get trained, they watch[ed] the reality of something becoming a new creation that was given the power to live a new life. The response was remarkable as Holy Spirit brought such a tangible presence that even the horse that I was working with had gone from belligerent to so connected and focused on me that she nearly fell asleep.
At the conclusion of this Hope Event, four men received Christ for the first time and 46 men rededicated their lives to Him. Three men living at Blackburn Correctional requested a Bible to learn more, and there was an overwhelming response of gratitude on the yard that day.
Even Todd was moved. Todd regularly visits prisons with his ministry, and he knows how important it is for prisoners to have access to strong discipleship. He thanked the Prison Fellowship team for inviting him, sharing that he knew he was leaving these new believers in good hands.
The Prison Fellowship Academy® at Blackburn has a community of 15 men living and learning together. The Academy takes prisoners through a holistic life transformation where they are guided by Prison Fellowship staff and volunteers to lead lives of purpose and productivity inside and outside of prison.
One prisoner was later overheard saying, "I think I'm going to go back tonight and read my Bible."
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