In 2018, an earthquake shattered roads and shook buildings in Alaska. The epicenter of the quake was traced to Goose Creek Correctional Center. But the incarcerated population there have been experiencing seismic shifts of a more positive kind through Prison Fellowship and The Urban Ministry Institute.
“He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.”
Colossians 1:28 (NIV)
Prison ministry, like all ministries, is not a single event but a process. The Church is called to make disciples, not simply converts.
Twenty-five percent of the prisoners confined to the Goose Creek Corrections Center near Wasilla, come from the “bush country”—the primitive and roadless area on Alaska’s west coast. The area is largely unchurched, and high rates of suicide, alcohol, and drug abuse are plaguing the remote communities.
Your eyes—a deep ocean of sorrow and grief. Your tongue—like earthquakes so violent and strong, but brief. Your voice—a sound of trumpets that tumble down or soar. Your thoughts—a mystery, a puzzle, unsolved because there’s something more.
A fledgling poet penned those lines from Mat-Su Youth Facility, according to Alaska Dispatch News (ADN).
Efforts to bring about criminal justice reforms on the federal level have hit upon a bit of a rough patch in recent weeks. With the focus in Washington shifting toward the general elections in November, some members of Congress have determined that maintaining a “tough on crime” approach to criminal justice is beneficial to their reelection efforts, while others have opted to back-burner the issue until their campaigns have concluded.