Christmas can be a lonely season, especially when families are separated. But we can take joy in knowing that God is with us every step of the way.
Christmas can be complicated—but never more so than when you have a loved one behind bars.
Purchasing gifts for your friends and family this season? Did you know you can also give to Prison Fellowship through Amazon Smile at no extra cost to you?
Nearly every fourth Tuesday of the month, a shabby batch of bicycles arrives at the gates of Folsom State Prison.
Members of the Cameron Park Rotary Club collect the misfit bicycles from a warehouse in Diamond Springs, California, and send them off to Folsom to be repaired, repainted, and restored.
For most people familiar with it, talk of Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree program brings to mind images of Christmas presents and seasonal parties with cookies and carols playing in the background. So you might be surprised to know that summer is a very busy time for Angel Tree and its mission to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the families of prisoners.
A version of the following interview originally appeared in Inside Journal, Prison Fellowship’s quarterly publication for men and women behind bars.
Nationwide, one out of every 28 kids has a parent behind bars, resulting in many separated families. Since 1982 Angel Tree, a Prison Fellowship program started by a former bank robber, has given parents an opportunity to restore and strengthen relationships with their children.
Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph has a reputation as one of the hardest working basketball players in the NBA. A tenacious rebounder and clutch shooter, “Z-Bo” has become a fan favorite in Memphis, reflecting the city’s blue-collar work ethic.
This past Christmas, over 300,000 children of incarcerated parents were served by Angel Tree. As they received gifts on behalf of their parents, they were reminded that they are loved—both by their moms and dads, as well as by their Heavenly Father, who provided the greatest Gift of all in His Son, Jesus Christ.
With Christmas fast approaching, it is sometimes a challenge to find the time to reflect on all the reasons we have to be thankful.
At Prison Fellowship, we are grateful for all of our ministry partners who offer their time, their prayers, and their support in ministering to prisoners and their families.
In the summer of 1974, Charles W. "Chuck" Colson, the former special prosecutor for President Richard Nixon, entered the gates of Maxwell Correctional Facility in Alabama. There he would serve seven months, having plead guilty to an obstruction of justice charge connected to the Watergate break-in and cover-up.
My wife Cathy and I couldn’t tell if anyone was home.
We walked up the cluttered approach to the old mobile home and knocked on the door. There was no car in the driveway and no tracks in the snow that had fallen overnight.
“A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes―and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
In case anyone might have missed it, we have entered headlong into the holiday season.