Ministry News Roundup – November 2023
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The Prisoner’s Journey
Baylor University’s study of The Prisoner’s Journey found evidence that the faith-based courses transform prisoners and leads to culture change in prisons. NMs who are running The Prisoner’s Journey, like Prison Fellowship Australia, are leveraging these materials and findings in fundraising collateral and promotional materials like this video and this video. Run TPJ and interested in doing the same? Contact email@example.com to get study materials.
Collaboration with prison chaplains is essential to national ministry work. Chaplain Aleš Kocián at Světlá nad Sázavou Prison in Czech Republic talks with incarcerated women, not only about spiritual matters, but also about their lives, family or crime. He also leads The Prisoner’s Journey course. Hear his story:
The Prisoner’s Journey graduates proudly display their program graduation certificates, courtesy of Prison Fellowship Malawi.
Papua New Guinea
Prison Fellowship Papua New Guinea celebrated graduates of The Prisoner’s Journey.
The Prisoner’s Journey program graduates in Rwanda pose with their course completion certificates and gifted Bible. The Prison Fellowship Rwanda Program Coordinator said, “A smile on their faces means they are happy about the program and its positive impact on their life.”
The Prisoner’s Journey program graduates in Uganda wait to receive their new Bible in their native language of Swahili.
The Listener’s Way
Prisoners who completed The Listener’s Way course in Cambodia receive their certificates of graduation.
Prisoners in Malawi enrolled in The Listener’s Way watch a Gospel film in their native language of Chichewa.
For the past three months, Prison Fellowship Nigeria has been offering counseling services at a female correctional facility. The celebration for the final day included testimonies of releases and case dismissals with many prisoners rededicating their lives to Christ.
Prison Fellowship Singapore hosted a makeup session for their Women’s Support Group. An experienced makeup artist taught the ladies some basic skills. The women were so excited and joyful for this time of learning!
Prisoners serving life sentences, representatives of the church and prison staff participated in a table tennis tournament. The event was a success as participants demonstrated a high level of training, planned game strategy, and the ability to track balls and calculate shots. A prison administrator took home first place while prisoners won second and third!
Serving Families and Children of Prisoners
The Child’s Journey
Donated Bible and Scripture resources enable children of prisoners to read the Gospel in their own language. Prison Fellowship Cambodia recently shared this video of a child enrolled in The Child’s Journey reading from her newly donated Bible.
When sponsored through The Child’s Journey, children have the opportunity to communicate with their sponsor through letter writing. PF Cambodia shared this sweet video of a child reading a letter from her sponsor.
Through PF Cambodia’s Livelihoods program, families are given the opportunity to share their experiences and best practices in chicken rearing to one another.
Cristian is a child who, for a long time, had poor academic performance. He failed two years in school and his behavior was entirely inappropriate at home and school. His extended family who he lived with no longer wanted him in the house. But, because of his enrollment in TCJ, these issues were discovered and addressed. Prison Fellowship Colombia intervened on Cristian’s behalf and now, he has turned his life around and is doing well. He is very grateful for the program and loves to give back by volunteering, as he knows how much TCJ changed his life.
Part of The Child’s Journey includes two school visits per year for each child. During these visits, caseworkers meet and speak with children about their academic progress, and have the opportunity to speak with teachers and administrators about the program. These connections ensure that school officials will cooperate with NM representatives when they need to gather educational information and help to ensure that school officials will reach out to NMs in the future when children face issues at school. The caseworkers in Malawi below, and across all TCJ program partners, work hard to conduct all school visits.
Prison Fellowship Rwanda has been busy over the past month, from Home Harvest home gardens and child/caregiver trainings to prison visits and mental health awareness events.
This quarter, TCJ NMs worked with strategic partners to provide goods and services to enrolled children. These partners make it possible for NMs to meet some of the families’ very specific needs. Recently, Prison Fellowship Zambia provided families with beds and bedding, which were made possible through a donation from Crossroads Foundation in Hong Kong.
Prison Fellowship Canada attended Celebrate Recovery’s Kelowna Rally to represent Angel Tree and shared about the positive impact the program has on families of prisoners.
Prison Fellowship Singapore shared this letter they collected during last year’s Angel Tree Project. For the past 18 years, these letters have brought the hearts of inmates and their families together in the spirit of Christmas!
For the past three Saturdays, Prison Fellowship Zimbabwe has been conducting Angel Tree events for children enrolled in PromisePath which were attended by 533 children, 233 caregivers and 108 mentors. At each event, children received gifts and scripture resources from Biblica, engaged in mentoring sessions, played games, sang songs and worshipped the Lord.
Prison Fellowship Cambodia hosted friends from Alpha Cambodia to discuss the plan for running the Alpha program inside prisons. They also visited a course session of the program that is already being hosted in one of the correctional centers.
Representatives of the Ankarstiftelsen visited Prison Fellowship Colombia to recognize Michael Per-Olof Allerth for his outstanding work and management. His commitment has been fundamental for the success of the PF Colombia programs.
PF Colombia representatives attended the International Congress on Practices and Restorative Justice, an event that featured national and international speakers. PF Colombia’s shared testimonies of several adolescents who experienced the restorative process through their Juvenile Restorative Justice Program, along with handing out program resources.
Representatives from Prison Fellowship Colombia, Prison Fellowship International, Pepperdine University, the Colombian Senate and the Colombian National Penitentiary and Prison Institute shared about the ongoing research collaboration in Colombia. Missed the event? Find a summary here.
Prison Fellowship Czech Republic hosted their annual concert and event, attended by the government officials, families and children of prisoners, prison directors, prison psychologists and other non-profit organizations. Guests from Prison Fellowship Germany and the Netherlands spoke about prison practices and Executive Director Gabriela Kabátová brought a surprise cake to commemorate the Czech Prison Service’s 30th anniversary.
PF Czech Republic volunteers helped collect food donations to distribute to their beneficiaries who are in financial distress. Thanks to generous individuals, 27 banana boxes of food and goods were collected, along with a range of other non-perishable items.
Ron Nikkel, President Emeritus of Prison Fellowship International, spoke at PF Czech Republic’s APAC International Conference via video broadcast. He said that he sees the current prison system as permanently ineffective, as it only deepens the social alienation of former prisoners from the rest of society. He believes that the APAC method is revolutionary, courageous and has had very positive results. Listen to his full message here.
Members of Prison Fellowship Eswatini, the Chosen Generation Evangelistic Christian Movement and other security officers joined in fellowship at the Annual National Prayer Fellowship. It was a wonderful day of networking and connecting with rehabilitation and security stakeholders.
Sheet Street donated new household materials to PF Eswatini. These items will be used as incentives for good behavior during re-integration and to meet household needs.
Prison Fellowship Nigeria held its 2023 Southwest Zone conference in Ekiti with the theme of “Glory to Glory.”
Prison Fellowship Puerto Rico received a visit from Dorastela Medina, Prison Fellowship International’s Latin America and Caribbean Regional Director.
Prison Fellowship Spain hosted their third annual National Meeting of Volunteers with the theme of “Bringing legal closer to just.”
Doortje Aarts serves as an intern for Prison Fellowship Suriname. An international social work major, she is already fully involved in ministry activities. She is exploring a new area by working with prisoners and their families, but she has embraced the challenge! Doortje said, “I am looking forward to getting acquainted with this work! I myself am not very familiar with guiding prisoners and have never worked in this sector before, so it is going to be very instructive for me!”