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More than a Slot

Posted October 2, 2012
Garland Hunt Our ministry to others can easily become rote, just another time slot in our calendars. But when we lose our passion for ministry, we also lose our power. In the days of the Books of Acts, when apostles Peter and John were thrown into prison, the power of their prayers was so great that it shook the whole prison. It affected the guard and the other inmates. It ultimately even impacted the guard’s family.

Visiting Jonathan

Posted September 18, 2012
All I wanted to do was give the boy a hug – and I couldn’t. Between us stood a large, heavy steel door. We could only gaze at each other through a thick pane of security glass, eight inches high and eight inches wide. There was no privacy. A guard and a case worker monitored our every word and movement. There was a microphone and a speaker on both sides of the door, so we

Taking Jesus Seriously

Posted September 14, 2012
Before getting the chance to serve with Prison Fellowship Ministries, I spent nine years as the senior pastor of a church in western Michigan. Over time, the congregation learned to walk hand-in-hand with returning citizens on their way to rejoining the community, but it didn’t happen until I as a pastor and we as a church started to take Jesus seriously. Matthew 25 makes it clear that Jesus wants us to visit the prisoner – along

Prison Fellowship, Tyndale House Team Up for ‘You Are Loved’ Bible Campaign

Posted September 5, 2012
Prison Fellowship and Tyndale House Publishers are partnering to provide Bibles to children participating in the Angel Tree program this Christmas season – and YOU can help make sure these kids receive the Good News of Jesus Christ. Participating Christian bookstores and retail partners will be offering shoppers the opportunity to purchase a special “You Are Loved” Bible (New Living Translation) that will be provided to boys and girls aged 7 to 15 on behalf of

Top Christian Denomination Partners with Nation’s Largest Prison Ministry to Bring Hope to More Kids

Posted August 14, 2012
More of the 2.7 million children of prisoners in the U.S. will be connected with their incarcerated parents this holiday season, thanks to a new partnership between Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree program and the Church of the Nazarene. The denomination’s Board of General Superintendents recently voted to encourage Church of the Nazarene congregations across the country to take part in the only nationwide, year-round effort that reaches out exclusively to children with a parent in

Reshaping Destiny

Posted August 13, 2012
On a recent trip to an Oregon prison, I spent time with a group of inmates. I had the opportunity to encourage them, talk with them, and pray for them. These men were in dark surroundings, but they were so excited about what God was doing in their lives through the ministry of Prison Fellowship! One by one, they shared large and small changes that are happening in their lives as they learn to walk with

Let’s Ask the Right Questions

Posted August 3, 2012
Recently I visited ministries in Denver, Colorado, that care for the homeless. That city is struggling with the surging population of chronically homeless. It’s gotten so bad that the local government has had to outlaw camping within the city limits. Why was the CEO of Prison Fellowship Ministries visiting homeless shelters in Denver? I was asking questions. Those who serve Denver’s indigent population estimate that over 50 percent of those who come through their doors are ex-offenders.

More than Survival

Posted August 1, 2012
Three Prison Fellowship® volunteers lay down on the ground. Prisoners at California's Folsom State Prison crowded close, laughing and whooping in anticipation. “Where's the medic?” someone asked jokingly. The volunteers cringed, bracing for possible impact. Finally, as the crowd grew silent, a BMX biker sailed down a ramp, jumped into air, and flew over the heads of the three volunteers. It was all part of an in-prison event put on by Prison Fellowship and partnering organizations. After

Giving Back

Posted July 30, 2012
Lucius Jenkins could have become a statistic. When police officers arrested eight year-old Lucius’ father on charges of sexual abuse, he could have gone the way of many other children with incarcerated parents – behavioral problems at school, becoming isolated from friends and family, or even following his father to prison.  Instead, with the support and encouragement of his mother, and the mentoring of an Angel Tree volunteer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Lucius has become an

Miss America 2012 Receives First Overcomer Award from Same Prison Ministry That Helped Her Family

Posted June 28, 2012
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., June 18, 2012—Laura Kaeppeler has overcome some difficult obstacles on the way to becoming Miss America 2012 – including the challenges of being the child of a prison inmate. Next week in Fort Lauderdale, Prison Fellowship, the nation’s largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families – including Kaeppeler’s family while her father was incarcerated – will present its inaugural Angel Tree Star of Victory award to Kaeppeler in recognition of her

Summer Camp for the Children of Prisoners

Posted June 26, 2012
KCBS-TV in Los Angeles recently ran a feature story about Calicinto Ranch, a camp in southern California that caters to children of prisoners.  Calicinto Ranch is a partner camp in the Angel Tree Camping program. The video segment features interviews with six different campers of varying ages – each of whom currently has a parent behind bars.  The campers speak candidly of the impact has had upon them, and their desire to avoid the paths of

Christmas in June

Posted June 15, 2012
It felt like Christmas in June as I entered Broward Correctional Institution’s indoor visiting park with faithful Prison Fellowship® volunteers Suzzan Volk and her mother, Johanne. Beautiful toys, clothing, and other handmade items produced by the female inmates were displayed on the back wall of the facility. The items had been created as Christmas gifts for children participating in Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree® program. A few months prior, the Florida Department of Corrections approached Prison Fellowship to

Family Matters

Posted June 5, 2012
Soon after I became CEO of Prison Fellowship Ministries, I met Mark Brenon. Mark is a pastor at Grace Community Church in Magnolia, Texas, and a recent graduate of the Colson Center’s Centurions program, a year-long opportunity for followers of Jesus to deepen their understanding of Christian worldview. Family matters a lot to Mark. The church he helps to lead is full of large families, and he has four children of his own. But last Christmas,

Overcoming Hurdles in Life

Posted May 22, 2012
If Lolo Jones isn’t currently a household name, it likely will be very soon.  The 29 year-old Olympic hurdler’s combination of athletic ability, engaging personality, and good looks have made her a favorite of both track fans and the national media.  After an unfortunate trip cost her a chance to medal in the 2008 games, Jones is among the favorites to bring home a gold medal from the Olympic

Tributes to Chuck

Posted April 23, 2012
As word of Chuck Colson’s passing spreads, a number of commentators are offering tribute to the man whose very life is a testament to God’s redeeming grace.  Here are a few shared thoughts: ____________________ “For more than 35 years, Chuck Colson, a former prisoner himself, has had a tremendous ministry reaching into prisons and jails with the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. When I get to Heaven and see Chuck again, I believe I will also see