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‘Thank You, Chuck’

Posted April 20, 2012
In today’s BreakPoint commentary, John Stonestreet offers his reflections on the life and legacy of Chuck Colson, and offers a personal word of thanks for the many lives who have been touched by him: … Quantifying his impact would be impossible, but you know I meet those who have been impacted by him all the time – they read his books, or they listen to BreakPoint, or maybe their children were loved by Angel Tree volunteers

Greatest Memory Ever

Posted March 28, 2012
After catching a touchdown to help Clemson win the 1981 National Championship, wide receiver Perry Tuttle adorned the cover of Sports Illustrated with the caption, “Orange Bowl Hero Perry Tuttle of Clemson. You might think that would be Tuttle’s favorite memory of his greatest football game ever. But it wasn’t. It was the game his dad attended just after being released from prison. From Tuttle’s interview on Joe Gibb’s Game Plan for Life site: I am the youngest

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Night Dad Went to Jail'

Posted March 1, 2012
Interacting with the criminal justice system can be confusing and frightening, especially for a prisoner's child. Unable to understand what's going on, they may feel great fear, insecurity, anger, or even guilt. 'THE NIGHT DAD WENT TO JAIL' "The Night Dad Went to Jail: What to Expect When Someone You Loves Goes to Jail," is an illustrated children's book intended to make the experience of a parent's incarceration a little less frightening. Written by Melissa Higgins and illustrated

Thank You!

Posted January 17, 2012
I want to personally thank the volunteers and donors that participated in our 2011 Angel Tree Christmas program.  Because of you, almost 400,000 prisoners’ children received a gift from their incarcerated parent and great hope through the Gospel. That’s almost 400,000 children who feel closer to their absent mom or dad, closer to a local church, and closer to Jesus Christ! Akeylah is one of the many precious angels whose Christmas was brightened by your generosity. At

A Little Child Shall Lead Us

Posted December 21, 2011
On her blog, author Ellen Painter Dollar talks about her family’s involvement in the Angel Tree program at their church, and how it has helped to shape her kids’ view of Christmas – and her view, as well: My children talk and talk about how the kids will love their gifts. They also ask why a mom or dad would be in prison, and who takes care of the kids while they are. I’d like to

Tough Decisions

Posted November 21, 2011
I recently came across a story in the “Good Deeds” section of the Gaston Gazette (Gastonia, NC).  In it, James Bodenheimer talks about receiving two mailings soliciting contributions for the holiday season—Prison Fellowship and Special Olympics.  Both are programs that the Bodenheimers have supported in the past.  Alas, Mr. Bodenheimer is currently unemployed, and decided that he would be unable to support either cause this year. Enter Mr. Bodenheimer’s seventh-grade son, Jameson.  He asked his father

Do You Live in an Underserved County?

Posted November 1, 2011
Every year, Prison Fellowship assists churches in ministering to the families of incarcerated parents through its Angel Tree program.  Angel Tree is a ministry that reaches out to the children of inmates and their families with the love of Christ, offering churches an opportunity to share Christ’s love by serving the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the families of prisoners. During the Christmas season, local church volunteers purchase and deliver gifts and the Gospel to

The Right Thing to Do

Posted October 13, 2011
  Last Wednesday I was in Oklahoma City to hear Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson speak at the monthly meeting of the Oklahoma Business Ethics Consortium. Several hundred people gathered to hear Chuck speak about “doing the right thing” and why it is imperative that we follow the teachings of Jesus if we want to see families, communities, churches, businesses, and our country healed and prosperous. As I entered the convention center, I saw a familiar face

You Have to Meet These People!

Posted October 12, 2011
Before I went to Oklahoma City last week I was told several times by several people in several locations across the country that I “just had to meet Larry and Judy Mills – especially Judy.” I was told that Judy is the leader of Angel Tree – a Prison Fellowship ministry that cares for the children of incarcerated parents beginning at Christmas and extending throughout the year – in her local church. When I arrived in

The Message is Getting Out!

Posted September 23, 2011
  I am in my office in West Michigan. The trees are beginning to change up here, and it feels like fall. I have a couple of days to catch up on some writing, emails, and study as I prepare to preach this weekend at Ridge Point. In the next couple of weeks, I will be talking to Prison Fellowship partners in Pittsburgh, New York, Boston, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Minneapolis, and Chicago. We are covering the country

God Is Faithful!

Posted September 7, 2011
I am in New York this week. I spent yesterday with our field staff, pastors, and partners. There is an eagerness to serve here, and our supporters are thrilled with the new focus of Prison Fellowship. “We’ve missed you,” one pastor told me. Exodus Ministries – the premiere re-entry ministry in America designed specifically for the inner city – is a great partner of ours, and is thrilled to see our renewed emphasis on empowering the

The Evil Retreats

Posted August 22, 2011
“Prison is an evil place,” my friend said. “You can feel it all day, every day – a sense of discouragement and oppression. There isn’t any hope inside the walls. But after Prison Fellowship volunteers came to visit, teach, and worship the presence of Jesus – goodness and love and hope – seemed to linger in the air. Guys’ attitudes were better, their language was more clean, and their actions less selfish when a Christian

Prison Overflows, But So Does Love

Posted August 9, 2011
There’s a funny thing about prisons. The more people we put behind prison walls, the harder it gets to contain the consequences of incarceration practiced on such a massive scale. Since I started writing for Prison Fellowship, I’ve become more aware of those consequences, and I seem to stumble across them everywhere I turn. That’s what happened this past weekend in Nashville. It’s hard to imagine a place more unlike prison than the inside of the

The Nicest Place I’ve Ever Stayed!

Posted August 5, 2011
Camp Crucis is a “nice” camp. It does not have horses, boats, or zip lines. It has crafts, a swimming pool, healthy food, solid clean facilities, and air conditioning.  It also has an unlimited supply of the love of Jesus. It was hot and dry in Granbury, Texas—just south of Fort Worth. As we exited our vehicles we were greeted by a hot breeze and the delightful laughter of children swimming in the pool. This was

A Good Camping Story

Posted August 4, 2011
Angel Tree® camping is a Prison Fellowship® program where kids of incarcerated parents attend Christian summer camps to have fun with friends, build relationships with counselors, and hear the gospel. Many of the children will make a first-time decision to trust in Jesus Christ. It’s a great program with many great stories. Including this one from camp volunteer Emily Whelchel. We were forwarded an article she wrote about her experiences as a counselor. Here’s an excerpt from