Highlights from The Child’s Journey – May 2023

Without intervention, children of prisoners are susceptible to exploitation, poverty, dropping out of school and criminal activity. Together we can stand in the gap to keep them from falling through the cracks of society and giving them a chance for a brighter future beyond the cycle of crime.

Keep reading to see how together we are helping children of prisoners live safer, healthier lives! 

CAMBODIA | Sharing God’s Word

Click on the video above to see Chhanun reading from his new Bible.

Part of the services provided by The Child’s Journey includes providing each child and their caregiver with age-appropriate Scripture resources in their heart language. More than 500 children in Cambodia and their caregivers have received these precious resources in just the past three months, and they are thrilled to begin exploring God’s Word. For many, this is the first time that they have been able to read the Gospel, as Christians represent a tiny fraction of the population of Cambodia and it can be difficult to find Bibles translated into the language of Khmer. Check out the video above to see Chhanun in Cambodia reading from the book of Genesis in his new Bible!

COLOMBIA | Home Visits

A family in Colombia prays with TCJ staff during a child home visit.

Child home and community visits are key for program implementation and success for children in the program. These quarterly visits are an opportunity for the staff to meet with children and their caregivers, come to a full understanding of their specific needs and interact with other members of the child’s community. During these visits, program staff share their vision and work with the members of the community to promote healthy approaches to released prisoner re-integration. It is common for released inmates and their families to be rejected or even held in contempt within their communities. Interviews and meetings with community members help promote a change in perception about these families. Each quarter, the team in Colombia completes more than 900 child home visits.

MALAWI | School Kit Distribution

Click on the video above to see children in Malawi receiving new school kits!

Every child deserves the chance to learn and grow through education. In the wake of Cyclone Freddy, families have faced new challenges and daily hardship, leaving many children of prisoners in Malawi without basic school supplies or the ability to purchase them. Your support ensures that your sponsored child in Malawi receives resources, tools and the support needed to thrive in school. Earlier this year, the field teams gathered school supplies and backpacks to create school kits that they distributed to children at The Child’s Journey community events and individual home visits. In recent months, the team in Malawi has distributed more than 400 school kits to school-aged children.

RWANDA | A Lifeline For Claudine

Claudine is the mother to five children – four boys and one girl. When her husband was arrested and sent to prison, she was left to care for her children alone. It felt like a nightmare. Her husband had left her physically alone, and because of the shame of his crimes, she felt abandoned by her community as well.

Claudine struggled to care for her children and provide for them, as they were too young to stay alone while she was at work. Claudine was also crushed by the constant reminders of her status in her community. One day, overwhelmed by her emotions of shame and despair, Claudine tried to take her own life. By God’s grace, the sound of her youngest son crying brought her back to reality, and she was not able to go through with it. It was in that moment that Claudine realized it is only God who wipes away her sorrow. Pictured: Claudine (right) with three of her children and a PFI staff member.

TOGO | Supplemental Food Deliveries

A group of children in Togo give a thumbs up after receiving new food supplies.

Children of prisoners are already at a higher risk of poverty and hunger. Having a parent in prison often means that the remaining parent is struggling to be the sole breadwinner of the family. The inflation of the past year has exacerbated this issue by causing the cost of food staples to rise above what many families in Togo can afford. Because of this, the need for supplemental food support increased for the families served by The Child’s Journey. The Prison Fellowship Togo team has distributed life-giving food support to hundreds of children enrolled in the program this year. They often used these distributions to provide additional items such as hygiene kits and school supplies. Such efforts help the children lead healthy lives.

ZAMBIA | Visiting Incarcerated Parent

A group of TCJ children gather outside the bus to visit their incarcerated fathers.

With the easing of most COVID restrictions throughout the country, Prison Fellowship Zambia is once again able to facilitate prison visits for families in The Child’s Journey. For many of the children, this is their first time communicating with their loved one since before the start of the pandemic. The reunions are full of joy and the children treasure the time that they get to spend with their parent. Through such efforts, families can be reunited and encouraged, making it more likely that if the parent is released, they will have a supportive community to return to. This is a key factor in helping prisoners rebuild their lives after incarceration and helping them break the cycle of crime.

Interested in learning more or helping even more children? CLICK HERE.

Preparing for Easter: Walking
with Jesus the Prisoner

As Easter approaches, Christians around the world prepare to celebrate and remember the resurrection of Jesus. When reflecting on this significant time, it’s important to remember an aspect of Jesus’s life that is often overlooked – His time as a prisoner. Jesus was arrested, falsely accused and tried before being sentenced to death on the cross.

Here at Prison Fellowship International, we believe that no one is excluded from God’s sacrifice of His son dying on the cross, including those who are incarcerated. Through our in-prison programs, The Prisoner’s Journey® and The Listener’s Way, prisoners are introduced to Jesus the prisoner and shown the transformative power of the Gospel. This Easter, let the traditional sites of Jesus’s arrest, imprisonment and death serve as a reminder that hope and redemption can be found even in the darkest of places.

Jesus’s Journey from the Garden of Gethsemane to the Garden Tomb 

The Garden of Gethsemane

Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane by Paolo Veronese 

Located at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, the Garden of Gethsemane is the site where Jesus prayed with His disciples before his arrest on the night before His crucifixion. Jesus showed His agony as He asked God for the cup of suffering to be taken away from Him, but demonstrated His willingness to submit to God’s will even though He knew the suffering that awaited Him. 

Biblical References: Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42, Luke 22:39-46

House of Caiaphas

The House of Caiaphas by Gustave Doré 

Also known as the high priest’s palace, the House of Caiaphas (or Annas, the father-in-law of the High Priest Caiaphas) is the site where Jesus was brought for interrogation and trial after his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was at this house where the Sanhedrin, the Jewish council, accused Jesus of blasphemy and decided to hand Him over to the Roman authorities to be crucified. The Bible does not explicitly say Jesus was imprisoned here, but Church tradition says this is one of the places where Jesus was “held” before his trial. 

Biblical References: Matthew 26:57-68, Mark 14:53-65, John 18:12-28, Luke 22:54

The Praetorium  

Christ Leaving the Praetorium by Gustave Doré 

Located in Jerusalem, the Praetorium was the official residence of the Roman governor Pontius Pilate and the site of Jesus’s trial after being handed over by the Jewish authorities. Here, Pilate ultimately made the decision to sentence Jesus to death by crucifixion, demonstrating the political nature of Jesus’s trial. Some believe that Jesus was imprisoned in one of the caves underneath the Praetorium. 

Biblical References: Matthew 27:2, Matthew 27:27-31, Mark 15:1, Mark 15:16-20, John 18:28-40, John 19:1-16

Gabbatha in Aramaic 

The Judgment on the Gabbatha by James Tissot 

Gabbatha was the raised platform where the judgment seat (or bema) was located, near or appended to the Praetorium. This is where Pilate presented Jesus before the crowd and first washed his hands of responsibility for His execution before succumbing to the demands of the crowd to crucify Him. 

Biblical References: John 19:13, Matthew 27:11-26, Mark 15:1-15, Luke 23:1-25, John 18:28-19:16

Via Dolorosa 

Christ Collapsing under the Cross by Anonymous 

Also known as the Way of Sorrow or the Way of the Cross, the Via Dolorosa is the path through Jerusalem that Jesus walked while carrying His cross to the site of His crucifixion. The Via Dolorosa is an important pilgrimage site for many Christians, as it is a way to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and remember His suffering and sacrifice. 

Biblical References: Matthew 27:32-33, Mark 15:21-22, John 19:17


Golgotha by Mihály Munkácsy 

Known as Calvary (Place of the Skull), Golgotha is the site of Jesus’ crucifixion that sits outside the walls of Jerusalem. The exact location of Golgotha is uncertain but the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is widely accepted as the location. Here, He who was without sin came to be crucified – a humiliating punishment that Romans imposed as a gruesome, shameful death. As Jesus is being crucified alongside two criminals, one of them taunts Him while the other acknowledges His innocence and asks for mercy. In response, Jesus tells the second criminal, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” With this statement, Jesus demonstrated His love, mercy and power to save. Dying on the cross, Jesus’s life was the ultimate sacrifice made for humanity’s sins and salvation. 

Biblical References: Matthew 27:33-56, Mark 15:22-41, John 19:17-27, Luke 23:32-43

The Garden Tomb 

Preparation of Christ’s Tomb by Vittore Carpaccio 

The Garden Tomb, also known as the Tomb of Christ, is the site of Jesus’s burial after His crucifixion on the cross. Located in a garden near the Damascus Gate in the city walls of Jerusalem, the tomb was donated by Joseph of Arimathea and was carved into rock. Jesus’s burial in the tomb represented the end of His physical life on Earth, but just the beginning of His spiritual resurrection  

Biblical References: Matthew 27:60, Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42

The Transformative Power of Redemption  

Jesus’s journey through these historic sites reminds us that Easter is a time of redemption. His death and resurrection prove that even the darkest of moments can be transformed into something beautiful. Our programs, The Prisoner’s Journey® and The Listener’s Way, demonstrate this transformative power of redemption by engaging prisoners with Jesus. By confronting their past and finding hope for their future in the Gospel, prisoners experience rehabilitation and restoration. Just as these dark sites can be seen as symbols of hope, prisoners can see their incarceration as an opportunity for transformation and growth.

Community Visits With the Prison Fellowship Colombia Team

Christa Hammond
Children’s Program Team
Prison Fellowship International


I am so grateful to have been able to visit our team at Prison Fellowship Colombia (PFC) and see the incredible impact that they are making through The Child’s Journey (TCJ). I am sharing part of my experience with you with the hope that you will join with me in celebrating and praying for this dedicated team.

Our week started at the Prison Fellowship Colombia headquarters where we loaded the supplies for a community lunch and food pack distribution onto a large bus. Alba, the TCJ Program Coordinator for PFC, arranged for us to participate in the community events and join the caseworkers for home visits throughout the day. Once we arrived, we unloaded the bus of all of the supplies that we brought along. Together, with my colleagues and a group of caseworkers, I started the long trek up many flights of stairs to meet with families while the remaining staff stayed behind to start cooking lunch. The chicken stew and rice that was going to be served took four hours to prepare and was cooked in a large pot suspended over an outdoor fire.

The home visits are eye opening, you cannot walk into someone’s home, hear their testimony, see their struggle, pray for them and not leave changed in some way. 

The families shared how TCJ has impacted their lives, how long they’ve been in the program and how grateful they are for the support that is provided physically and spiritually. Many of the families have been in the program for six years and they talked about the tight-knight relationships that they have built with the PFC staff over the years.

The caseworkers care so deeply for each family. The love that they have for these families truly is the love of Jesus. 

During our time together, they were also able to share their concerns with us. Most families struggle with their homes in one form or another and they have concerns about the ability protect their children. The feedback from the families was honest and loving. Because of the great relationships the staff have with the families and the knowledge of TCJ operations, the staff is able to talk to the families when tough subjects need to be discussed concerning program standards. This allows everyone involved to be heard and grow in the program.

The community lunches have enabled PFC to gain the trust and respect of the community. They feed everyone; you do not need to be a TCJ beneficiary to participate. This has allowed the children in TCJ to connect with their peers. It also allows caregivers to meet with other parents in the surrounding community and build a network of care for both them and their child. This helps them to have a support system both within the program and outside of the program that has been built by community gatherings. 

The food pack distribution happened at the end of the event. All TCJ families were able to take home a month’s worth of food. The packs consist of lentils, meat, juices, rice, crackers, eggs, and cookies. Food distribution plays a key role in ensuring the children are well nourished. This impacts one of the “key result areas” that are tracked through The Child’s Journey and it was an honor to be a part of one of these important events.

This experience allowed me to see how The Child’s Journey is excelling in Colombia and providing essential services throughout communities and families affected by crime. I am grateful to my colleagues, the field teams, and the dedicated sponsors and supporters who make this life-changing program possible for vulnerable children of prisoners. May God bless you all.


Click here to check out a short video of the day’s events!

See children available for sponsorship HERE.

Highlights from The Child’s Journey – April 2023

Without intervention, children of prisoners are susceptible to exploitation, poverty, dropping out of school and criminal activity. Together we can stand in the gap to keep them from falling through the cracks of society and giving them a chance for a brighter future beyond the cycle of crime.

Keep reading to see how together we are helping children of prisoners live safer, healthier lives! 

CAMBODIA | Education Support

When a parent goes to prison, their children are at a higher risk of dropping out of school due to poverty. By empowering a child to continue their education, you are enabling them to pursue a brighter future by keeping them safe from child labor and ensuring that they have a crucial source of stability, safety and nutrition. Your support is providing hundreds of children enrolled in The Child’s Journey in Cambodia with school fees, school kits, uniforms and a community mentor to set them on the path to success. Such efforts close the gap of disadvantages that children of prisoners often face in school and minimize stigma from their peers. Pictured: A caregiver in Cambodia watches as her child uses his new school supplies.

COLOMBIA | Hope for Claudia

Claudia’s heart was broken when her daughter and son-in-law were arrested and taken to prison. Once again thrown into the role of motherhood, as she became the caregiver for her four young grandchildren. She took on extra jobs to provide for them, but found herself falling behind on bills and struggling to make ends meet. She prayed for God to make a way, even when she couldn’t see a path forward. Amidst her despair, an unfamiliar person came to visit – a caseworker from Prison Fellowship Colombia. Claudia was thrilled to find out that the children would receive services such as education support, healthcare, a Christian caseworker and Scripture resources through The Child’s Journey. “The Child’s Journey has made my grandchildren curious to learn more about God’s Word,” she shared. She had felt alone for so long, but now she felt like someone cares for her, saying, “I am so grateful to Prison Fellowship Colombia for finding my family and giving us hope. I pray blessings on them and on the sponsors of my grandchildren.” Pictured: Claudia surrounded by her grandchildren

MALAWI | Sponsored Child Spotlight: Ruth

When Ruth’s father went to prison, she and her baby siblings were sent to live with her grandmother, Cecilia. Cecilia worked hard to provide for their needs, but sometimes it still wasn’t enough to fill their bellies and give Ruth the supplies she needed for school. Despite Cecilia’s efforts, Ruth had no uniform, shoes or school bag. She made the three-mile trek to school barefoot, holding scraps of mail for paper and broken pencils. But Ruth is determined to get her education because she dreams of becoming a nurse to help others. When The Child’s Journey contacted her family in 2021, they knew it was an answer to their prayers. 

Moved by Ruth’s determination and dedication to succeed, they quickly enrolled her into the program where she was matched with a loving sponsor. The Child’s Journey provided her with educational support in the form of tuition assistance, school supplies, a pair of shoes and a new uniform. Her caseworker shared that upon receiving the uniform, Ruth’s face reflected a passionate child who would do anything to achieve her goals. Ruth and Cecilia express their profound gratitude to Ruth’s sponsor and the dedicated team from Prison Fellowship Malawi for making her dreams a reality. Pictured: Ruth smiling with joy

RWANDA | Home Repairs

As the global economy struggles with inflation, many families in Rwanda are finding it even tougher to afford necessities like food, much less additional expenses like home repairs. One of the primary challenges facing children of prisoners in Rwanda is a lack of safe housing. Many caregivers, left to provide on their own, do not have the means to perform necessary home maintenance like patching roofs or fixing cracked walls. The Prison Fellowship Rwanda team inspects the home of each child during their quarterly home visits and takes note of any repairs that need to be done. The team in Rwanda is actively working to ensure that all of the children enrolled in their program are living in safe homes. For some, this includes completing tasks like patching holes in roofs, installing locking doors and repairing walls. Pictured: A member of the Prison Fellowship Rwanda team assisting with patching the roof of a TCJ child’s home.

TOGO | Scripture Resource Distribution

A group of children in Togo receive the Reach for Life Bible

The team in Togo is hard at work distributing Bibles and scripture resources to children and caregivers in The Child’s Journey. These resources, provided through our partnership with Biblica, are translated into the heart languages of the recipients. In Togo, Bibles can be prohibitively expensive, especially as the Togolese economy is reeling from soaring food costs that have left many families struggling to even afford necessities. In the photo above, teens in Togo received Reach For Life Bibles that include special lessons relating to young adulthood to serve as a resource for helpful, Biblical discussions during their mentoring sessions. 

ZAMBIA | Caregiver Training

A group of TCJ caregivers join together for a child health and safety training event

Prison Fellowship Zambia hosts caregiver support groups and workshops for the caregivers of children enrolled in The Child’s Journey. Having a support network to share struggles, successes, and everyday life is vital for caregivers, as they often walk through incarceration of a family member and caring for their family with limited resources and community support. While the children are the primary beneficiaries of The Child’s Journey services, the program also seeks to empower and support their caregivers by providing them with training and fellowship. This holistic caring of the family provides an even greater foundation for the families to overcome economic and social challenges. Their most recent workshop centering around child health and safety training was attending by more than 140 caregivers. 

Interested in learning more or helping even more children? CLICK HERE.

A Mother’s Day Reflection

Gina Brockmeyer
Children’s Program Manager
Prison Fellowship International


My mother was one of the strongest women I have ever known, but I will never forget her reaction as a bailiff escorted my oldest daughter, Lena, into the courtroom following her first arrest.

As Lena shuffled across the floor wearing a bright orange jumpsuit, shackled and handcuffed, my mother gasped in disbelief and began sobbing uncontrollably. I, on the other hand, just sat quietly in the chair, too numb to do anything.

Nothing prepares you to see your child in that state.

As I watched the scene in the courtroom unfold, my emotions varied. I felt shame, regret, tremendous pain, a sense of hopelessness and intense anger. My mind was racing with thoughts about what I could have done to prevent Lena’s behavior and this situation. I also kept asking myself and others how I could have been a better mother.

I know that the feelings and emotions that my mother and I felt at that moment, and over the years while we have supported Lena during her incarceration, are not unique.  

I have been involved in prison ministry for over 18 years. Throughout that time, I have ministered to many women who have shared their stories and experiences with me about supporting an incarcerated child. Some were mothers and grandmothers who have or had incarcerated children. Others were or had been incarcerated mothers and grandmothers themselves. And, just like me, all of them expressed shame, regret and anger about their child’s or their situation.

People often forget that incarceration not only impacts the prisoner, it also impacts their families. Mothers are especially impacted when their children are incarcerated. They gave birth to them, nurtured them as they grew up and, in most cases, played a major role in raising them. Many mothers feel responsible for their child’s actions and believe that they are a direct reflection on them.

All the challenges and pain associated with supporting an incarcerated loved one are innumerable and, without support from family, friends or a church, can seem unsurmountable. But I am here to tell everyone that with God’s help, prayer and the loving support of fellow believers, it is possible to persevere, to face each day and to provide support to an incarcerated loved one.

Families of the incarcerated, especially mothers, need to hear that Jesus loves them. They also need to know that we love them too, no matter what their family member has done. They need to know that Jesus is always with them, that He will never leave them or forsake them, and that He is a very present help in their times of trouble.

In Hebrews 13:3, we are told to remember those who are in prison as though we are in prison with them, and to remember those who are suffering as though we are suffering. I believe that means, as Christians, that we should be doing everything we can to support prisoners and their families.

This Mother’s Day, take time to remember all the mothers and grandmothers who have incarcerated children, and all the incarcerated mothers around the world.

Pray that they will feel Jesus’ presence and be comforted. Pray they will be reminded daily of Jesus’ great love for them and His love for their children. Pray they will find a loving and supportive community to support them. Pray that their children will be safe and provided with the things they need.

Finally, pray that Christians around the world would take these verses in Hebrews to heart, and that they will be moved to pray for and provide support for prisoners and their families.


CLICK HERE to learn more about supporting a child with an incarcerated parent.

Paolo Found Forgiveness

Paolo was transferred to an APAC in Brazil to complete his prison sentence. An APAC is an alternative prison model that aims to provide better conditions and opportunities for the rehabilitation of prisoners. Soon after arriving, he was invited by fellow recuperandos* to participate in The Prisoner’s Journey, and he gladly accepted.

He shared, “It was very important to me to be part of this program and journey because it tells the story of a prisoner who suffered, was rejected, massacred, and excluded from society. That prisoner is called Jesus Christ.” Throughout the eight-week course, Paolo realized how much he related to and understood Christ’s story. He knew what it was like to be rejected by society and to suffer. “But that doesn’t matter because I now know that, even in prison, there is someone by my side who gives me strength.”

There was one Bible verse in particular that resonated with Paolo, Matthew 25:36 – I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. “This verse showed me how much Jesus is by my side, helping me through various people,” he reflected.  “They support us, give us the strength to continue fighting every day, showing me that I still have hope. Through The Prisoner’s Journey, I learned that just as Jesus won the world, I am also capable of winning. The course has helped me to see what I did not see, which is that there is a God who has already forgiven me and who suffered to pay the price for me. I loved the course.”

In fact, Paolo loved the course so much that he is now training to become a facilitator for The Prisoner’s Journey within APAC Alfenas. He plans to help other offenders find the same forgiveness and hope that he experienced.

* A recuperando is an offender assigned to an APAC. Recuperando means recovering.

Daiana | Uruguay

“When I was asked to participate in the Sycamore Tree Project: Justice and Peace (STP) to share my experience of being the victim of a crime, I felt that sharing my experience would be beneficial for the course participants. Soon after accepting the invitation to participate, I began to internalize what happened so that I could contribute to the program and I started to get cold feet as I became more aware of what I would be doing in the prison.

One thing that gave me security was that the facilitators assured me while I was participating inside the prison, I would be part of the Prison Fellowship Uruguay team and would be cared for by them. Something that also caught my attention was the fact that I was told that in STP, the victim is also a part of the recovery process towards freedom from the crime. I honestly did not understand what that meant until I was in the prison and speaking with the STP participants.

Before entering the prison, there were many emotions stirring within me. All of my uneasy feelings went away when I got into the prison.

The facilitators instructed me on what to do, and it really helped me feel like I was one of them. Although I did not express it, I felt a great sadness as I entered the prison because of the large youth population. Once the class started, I felt the sadness in my heart disappear. The facilitators created a calm and pleasant atmosphere, and I could see that the participants were paying attention to what was being shared. I did not feel uncomfortable despite never having entered the prison to talk about my life before. As the course proceeded, I became more aware that I was sharing my experience with those who have caused others a similar or greater evil than my own.

As I was sharing what was happening within me during and after such an experience, I felt a sense of freedom from what I experienced. This produced a sense of healing that went beyond the material! It allowed me to put into words how I felt, for the first time in my life.

On an emotional level, I felt that I had connected with many of the prisoners in the course. I know that they are in prison to pay for their crime, but if at least one can take the opportunity to reintegrate into society using the lessons from STP, then being a victim participant is worth it.”

Daiana, Victim [Montevideo, Uruguay]

The Evidence of Transformation: My Journey on The Listener’s Way

Gina Brockmeyer
Children’s Program Manager
Prison Fellowship International

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet and talk with twelve women at a correctional facility in Phenom Penh, Cambodia who are being transformed as they listen, discuss, and meditate on God’s word for the first time in their lives. These twelve women make up the first women’s group participating in The Listener’s Way (TLW).

According to Sothery Kong, the TLW Program Coordinator in Cambodia, and the group’s facilitator, none of the ladies in the group were Christians when they signed up to take part in TLW, and most had never read or even seen a Bible. But after three months in the program, they are transforming before his eyes. They are hiding God’s word in their hearts and are praying on a regular basis. “The transformation has been evident, and I believe that they have all made a decision to follow Jesus”, Kong stated.

Initially, when I was introduced to the group, they were quiet and shy, and refused to look at me, but as I continued to talk to them explaining who I was and why I came to see them, they began to open up and share about their three-month journey in TLW. One woman told me that before she joined TLW she was angry all the time about her circumstances, but now she is at peace. She said “I know that God is with me.” Another woman said that through TLW she has learned to pray, and with a big smile on her face she went on to say that on three separate occasions when she has prayed specific prayers, God has been faithful to answer her prayers. She said, “I am learning to trust that God is with me, he is faithful, and I am learning he wants what is best for me.” And yet another woman said that she has become calmer since joining the program and does not become as angry when she responds to others and reacts to situations around her.

As we sat in the beautiful little chapel built by prisoners with funds raised by Prison Fellowship Cambodia, and the words of Luke 20-22 poured forth from the proclaimer, the women listened intently. And when the reading was finished, they engaged in a lively discussion focused on what they had learned, and how they would apply it to their lives. They came alive as they bantered back and forth and were challenged to elaborate on many of the things they shared. Their camaraderie was evident, smiles could be seen on every face, and it was clear to me that they are being transformed through this program.

As we closed our time in prayer, I was suddenly overwhelmed with feelings of peace and joy that I rarely experience. I believe those feelings came over me because I had a front row seat to see the impact The Listener’s Way is making and got a brief glimpse of the potential for what can be accomplished through this transformational program in the future.


CLICK HERE to learn more about The Listener’s Way

An Easter message from our President and CEO, Andy Corley

Last year, my wife Andrea and I were given a gift of a page from an original King James Version Bible containing my favorite verse — Colossians 1:10. It’s an appeal to “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”  This verse has been a wonderful orientation in my life — deeply helpful as I have sought for meaning and purpose, as well as providing an internal gyroscope for the good and the noble.

I am particularly drawn to the final encouragement to grow in the knowledge of God because it implies flourishing and expansion in a linear direction. The natural world is full of examples of growth of this kind. Upwards, outwards and inwards. This is most spectacularly revealed to us at this time of year in the northern hemisphere, when flowers, trees and shrubs of all kinds begin to bud and flower.

I think it’s safe to say that linear growth (in three dimensions) is one of the most commonly observed phenomena in our world.

However, I’m acutely aware that my life also has cyclical elements to it, which are deeply helpful as I grow. One example of a cyclical element is the celebration of key events, birthdays, anniversaries and commemorative events like feasts. Reminders of vital events that have occurred in the past, but which are worth remembering for the future.

In the life of a believer in Jesus Christ, one of the most important of these is Easter, which returns each year full of the deepest meaning, significance and hope for our lives now and in the forever future.

At first sight, a line and a circle are clearly different. Yet, there is a three-dimensional form which combines a line and a circle, which is a spiral coil.

It seems to me that in the Christian life, this is a helpful visual illustration. God commends to us linear growth (in the knowledge of who He is and in being conformed to the image of His Son) and also a regular return to fundamental and forever truths (“Do this in remembrance of me”) that comprise our faith.

This spiral coil helps us to visualize how we can both grow and yet return to these events with ever- increasing wonder and appreciation.

May God richly bless you this Easter and renew your awe and wonder of the event that forever changed our world, 2,000 years ago. May this time allow you to again appreciate how the sacrifice of love that His death and resurrection demonstrated has changed our lives forever and embrace the flourishing that God has designed for His children who understand the power of this good news to heal, reconcile and transform.

We are grateful for this renewing message, which we first received ourselves and are privileged to share with those who are in prison, their families and victims around the world.


Andy Corley
President and CEO
Prison Fellowship International


Investing in Restoration and Transformation – Andy Corley Shares About Global Prison Ministry

Andrew (Andy) Corley, President and CEO of Prison Fellowship International (PFI), joined Daniel White on The Kingdom Investor podcast to share about the transformative impact of Prison Fellowship International’s ministry around the world and how Jesus’ light reaches into the darkness of prison to change lives.

To hear Andy and Daniel’s discussion, click play to listen or read the transcript (below). You can also listen to the interview with episode notes and other episodes on The Kingdom Investor podcast.

Announcer: Imagine taking your generosity to the next level, impacting more lives, and leaving a godly legacy for generations to come. Get ideas and strategies to do just that when you listen to these personal stories from high-level Kingdom champions.

The Kingdom Investor Podcast showcases business leaders who have moved from success to significance, sharing how they use worldly wealth for kingdom impact. Discover how they grew in generosity, impacted more lives, and built godly legacies. You’ll find motivation, inspiration, and practical steps to grow as a Kingdom Investor.

Daniel White (DW):  Hello, and welcome to The Kingdom Investor Podcast. This is your host Daniel White. And today we interview Andy Corley. Andy is the president and CEO of Prison Fellowship International. Andy leads the work of affiliates in 118 countries to break the cycle of crime and restore lives through Jesus’s love. Andy has more than 30 years of corporate leadership experience and serves multiple international faith-based organizations.

If you have enjoyed the show, follow us on LinkedIn at The Kingdom Investor Podcast and help us reach more listeners by sharing with your friends. And now without further ado, let’s jump right into the show.

DW: Hello, Andy. Welcome to The Kingdom Investor Podcast. How are you doing today?

Andy Corley (AC):  Thanks, Daniel. Great to be on the show.

DW:  Yeah, would you share just a little bit about where you’re coming from and who you are?

AC:  Of course, well, right now I’m coming from my office in Washington, DC. But, as you can already tell by my accent, I’m an Englishman. So, I have a long commute from my home in Darby in the United Kingdom with my lovely wife, and I come here as often as necessary and as often as I can. So, right now, I’m coming from Leesburg in Washington in the state of Virginia.

DW:  Nice, nice. So, are you in DC a lot or for long periods of time, or just kind of back and forth a little bit?

AC: Yeah, I’m certainly in the United States a considerable amount as a result of my role. But I also travel internationally around the global family of Prison Fellowship International which is in 190 countries around the world. So yeah, a lot of time in the United States. And then quite a lot of time traveling internationally as well.

DW: Gotcha. So I was wondering if you could share maybe a highlight from this week or some project that you’re working on that you’re really excited about?

AC: Yeah, absolutely. Just got out of some meetings where we’ve been discussing a new program that we have launched, with children who have a parent who is in prison. It’s a new, what we call a modular program, which is designed to interrupt the playground to prison pathway. It’s very heavily weighted towards getting the child into education, and then providing them with scriptural age-appropriate Bible resources, hooking them up with a mentor, and that mentor, usually coming from a local church. And we’re rolling that out in big numbers around the world. And we’re very excited about it. And we’ve had some great updates on that particular program this week. So, that’s a new one, hot off the press, but one that we are really thrilled about its capacity to both scale and interrupt this, you know, what is a scandal, which is that children with an incarcerated parent are six times more likely to end up in prison themselves globally.

DW: Yeah, I remember learning a lot of those statistics early on. I did a little I got a chance to do a little bit of prison ministry when I was 17. And so it just blew me away some of the sad statistics around that. So that’s very exciting that you’re working on that, in that particular program. Would you mind praying for us before we get started, then we’ll dive into your story.

AC: I’d be delighted. Father, God, thank you that we have these technological advances that allow us to listen and to meet and to fellowship electronically. But God, even in this circumstance, we’re very conscious that you are present with us, and when you promise that wherever two or three are gathered together in your name, you’re there with us. We rely on that. We’re delighted in it. Father, we asked you to both give wisdom for myself and a connection with all those that are on the call that enables us to hear from you and to emerge from this next little while just encouraged in our faith and encouraged in the mission that you’ve called us to both collectively and individually. We ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.

DW: Thank you, appreciate that. All right, would you share your story, some of the highlights, and just give us a little bit of background?

AC: Well, I started my working career, Daniel, as a geologist, an exploration geologist, studied geology at university. And pretty soon, in my early career, realized that no geologists that I knew sat on any board of directors and that I was going to have to find innovative ways of, of kind of becoming a little bit more of a businessman and less of a geology major, I ended up working for a number of very large multinational companies, and breaking out of the geological mold into becoming the sales and marketing director of one of our largest construction materials groups in the United Kingdom. I was blessed in that I managed to do that by the age of 40. But at the age of 40, that position was made redundant, and I was found surplus to requirements, because of the direction that the organization was taking. So spent two years without, without much work, I have to say, which was a very clarifying period in my life, and also quite a difficult period, in the sense of type A entrepreneurial type, sitting still and waiting for God is not something that we particularly fit well with us.

But anyway, that was my, that was very much a learning time for myself. And I would say also for my family, I then ended up becoming part of a small car shampoo business, that would fall on really hard times. And during that period of time, I really resolved in my mind, something that I struggled with over many years, which was this sacred-secular divide. that I believe is one of the kind of curses on the Christian world, if I’m absolutely honest, That somehow we feel that what happens on a Sunday is more important than what happens Monday to Saturday. And I’d really struggled with that even, you know, being a sales and marketing director of a, it was a three-quarter of a billion-pound organization. So it wasn’t small but we’re still struggling with this idea.

During that two years, it really got clarified, couldn’t wait to get back into the marketplace, took over this ailing cleaning chemicals firm, and we turned it into an infection control products manufacturer with global markets. It was a real success story. We were really blessed by God more than we deserved. And I got an, as a result of being in a much smaller organization, it also freed me up somewhat to use some of the skills and gifts that God had given me in the marketplace to allow them to be deployed elsewhere in other kingdom activities. And particularly in this particular story on the board of Prison Fellowship International.

So, I was a board member for six years before I became CEO and president. I got an unexpected opportunity to liquidate my shareholding because we’ve done a management buyout. And I was a third shareholder in the company that we had built. By then it had become a very profitable and successful small company but like I said, with global markets. But I’d found my own kind of calling I think, which was that as business people we can do some profoundly good work when we put the gifts that we have to work in all sorts of different scenarios. That led me to where I am now. Switching streams somewhat but as I shared with you yesterday, occasionally somebody will say to me, so now you’re doing the real stuff. You’re doing the good stuff, and my answer to that is absolutely not. I always felt that I was called certainly after that intervention in my 40th year that I was called. And all of us are, if we’re followers of Jesus, we’re all called, it’s just a matter of where, and to who. And so now I’m very privileged to kind of be doing different stuff, but still utilizing an awful lot of the lessons and the thinking and the mindset in a faith-based, for-impact organization, but still drawing heavily on my business experience and background.

DW: So can you tell us a little bit more about how that transitioned into what you’re doing now?

AC: Well, like I said, I got an unexpected opportunity to liquidate my shareholding, didn’t expect that at all. But it just coincided with the time when PFI had, I’d been on the board during a period where we had really gone through some quite profound shifts in the organization building on the foundations that had been laid over 40 years, but needing to look differently about how we were going to serve for the next 40 years. I ended up being very involved in that as a board member. Strategic, involved strategically and then a bunch of other ways as well, and also as a donor to the organization. Now, we are, as I said before building on that foundation, but really driving home, the strategic plan, we’ve got very clear on our mission, and vision and values, a lot of the principles that many of those that are present on the podcast will be familiar with, we employ in our organization, we bring the best out of what I would call commercial thinking and marry that with very much a faith-based organizational perspective. But we are also very passionate about ensuring that what we do we do in a real quality way. And I think the business has a lot to offer in terms of when we understand and of course, the outcomes are different. In business, you may be looking for profitability, you may be looking for a triple bottom line, you may be looking for, in some senses a mix between the two – profitability and social impact. Clearly, the outcomes are different in a faith-based organization. But what’s needed in order to run an effective ship can very often be quite similar.

DW: So, you mentioned calling, and everyone’s called to, you know, some are called a different place or to different people. Can you share maybe a little bit about your calling to Prison Fellowship International?

AC: Well, I think what happens to me, in my journey to becoming a board director, well, I don’t think this is what happened. So I was invited to a global convocation in Canada in 2011. And I saw something at that global gathering which I’d never seen before and never had cause to think about before which was around the area of prisoners and their families, those in prison and their families. I’d been, I’d thought a lot about the role of the marketplace where it intersects with evangelism. I thought a lot about running organizations on Kingdom principles. We got very involved in donations, particularly around the chronically poor, in places like Romania and Pakistan, and elsewhere. But I’d never thought about those in prison and their families. And so when I attended this event in Toronto, I saw some things that are, that really have stayed with me for the duration of my time. now, even now that I’m in a senior executive position.

The first was I loved the cross-cultural, multi-ethnic nature of the Prison Fellowship International family. To have representations, brothers and sisters who gathered around Jesus around a mission that was clear or around an underserved people group, if you like. But also, really, we’re not interested in the usual things that divided, divide us. So we rarely ask the question, what’s your denominational background? We don’t really care what color of skin you are at all. And, of course, we’re dealing with prisoners. So many of the, quite a few of our national ministry leaders will have been those that have been in prison and are now living transformed lives and doing remarkable things. So, you’ve got this incredible mix of people in a room.

Really the only important questions on one level that are asked are, do you love Jesus? And do you love the prisoner and their families and victims? And that was something that I had not experienced before, a kind of missional alignment that transcended the usual barriers that get in our way. I really liked that. And it doesn’t, does not mean that we’re not really clear that inner transformation is key to what needs to occur in a person who’s in prison, his life, or the life-giving opportunities that God, with the second chances brings to us are not really relevant for families. It doesn’t mean we’re soft on that. It just means that we’re able to position that in a very effective way. And I would say globally, Prison Fellowship International is really well known for the practical nature of the interventions that it provides. We mobilize about 50,000 volunteers around the world. We make live the proverb: Show me a man who is skilled in his work. He’ll stand before kings, not before men of obscurity because the things that we do, are the interventions that are helpful to prison ministries around the world.

So we really do have a good reputation for what we’re doing. We have a good reputation for our reliability. We’ve earned the right and our national ministries have earned the right over 40 years to speak with some clarity and forcefulness in a way that is really helpful. And as a result of that, that was my exposure to PFI and frankly, you know, I kind of fell in love with it as a mission that was on the razor-sharp edge. I believe of what God is doing in our world, not some kind of fringe activity, that people who are slightly weird get involved in. This was front and foremost, look for Matthew 25, Psalm 68, you know, he places the lonely in families, he leads the prisoner to prosperity, I just was really massively motivated by that, and that was, you know, became something which has changed me in the process, I would say. I don’t think that that’s an exaggeration, I have probably changed more, I hope for the good as a result of my understanding of God’s love for those that are incarcerated, their families, victims. It’s changed my heart in a way that is revealed God’s character. And I have been the beneficiary of that. So, long answer to your question, but hopefully that gives you a bit of a kind of flavor for the passion that I have for what we are doing together as a global organization.

DW: Yeah, I think that was really helpful and insightful to hear, hear your heart and the calling that God placed on your life. So, would you maybe share on a high level, globally, you said 118 countries, can you give us kind of a big picture first, and then drill down and maybe give us a specific story or two of tactically what you guys do?

AC: Sure. So as I said before, we are in 118 countries, we are, without hubris, the largest faith-based, for-impact family that is in prison ministry around the world which brings along with it, great opportunity and some real responsibility that we feel that we want to steward. There are many other wonderful ministries, working in prisons, we love them all. And we are, this is a space that is big enough for all of us. God bless anybody who is working in this space. However, our particular contribution, I think, is in terms of breadth and depth that we are going for at the moment. What PFI does, the bit that I’m CEO and president of because all of our national ministries are independent and indigenous. That gives us a real strength we are as global as necessary and as local as possible. But what that means is that PFI that the small, relatively small team, that I am privileged to lead of about 50 people, half of them in the United States, half in regional offices around the world, we catalyze their global ministry. And we do that in a variety of ways, we create an environment for them to be able to flourish because many of them are operating in really significantly difficult circumstances.

You know, in Africa, or Latin America, the Asia Pacific region, the Middle East, it’s just not like it is. And it’s difficult in Europe in some countries as well. But, you know, we’re used to the UK prison system, the United States prison system, and the kind of prisons, the kind of ministry that is demanded. The problems that they face can be extremely, in context, extremely difficult, and different. However, what we do find is that there is a suite of interventions that most of our national ministries say that’s really important for us. And they are what we call our program interventions. So the in-prison program interventions would be a Start A New Life with Jesus course, which we call the Prisoner’s Journey. We have discipleship programs. We have audio Bible programs, our audio Bible program is called The Listener’s Way. We have programs outside prison, working with families and livelihood. We have a restorative justice practice, called The Sycamore Tree Project.

And then what we’re also beginning to do on behalf of the family, we invest in our national ministries, almost like a kingdom investor. So we bring the programs, the integrity of the programs, startup funding to them. And in exchange, what we asked for is accountability on implementation, that they join in the effort to raise local funds. We put an arm around their shoulder in terms of capacity building, leadership development, board governance development, all the kinds of things that we know are going to be necessary for them to be bigger and better if you like in the future. That’s what I mean by we create an environment for them to flourish in. But we do it through very good practical interventions. We pack the capacity building around the practical interventions, and that as a strategy is working for us in a in quite a profound way, I would say. We have many, many stories of national ministries that have really grown as a result of us adopting this new strategic approach, which is around the interventions but helping them become more of who God has called them to be.

DW: Do you have any stories of individuals that have been impacted that you could share?

AC: You know, Daniel, I have too many to recount. We just have probably thousands of stories, but I will give you, I’ll give you one, and then I’ll give you another perspective. So, a couple of years ago, I was in Zambia, and I met a man called Bernard. When I met him in his home, his home is a mud hut. He has a garden that he is cultivating now on behalf of his family. Because while he was inside prison, he learned how to grow his own food. And his family of five children live with him in this mud hut. We had supported that family while Bernard was inside prison. So  through our child’s journey program, which is a child sponsorship program, we had kept the family together. So that after Bernard had finished his five-year prison sentence, he came out to a family that was still intact, and a family that still wanted him with a skill that enabled him to provide for his family.

But what had happened to Bernard while he was in prison was that he had graduated all three programs that we ran in Ndola which was the city in which he lived. He graduated the Prisoner’s Journey. He’d done The Sycamore Tree Project. He’d gone on to further discipleship. And as I said, before, he had also, his family had also been the recipient of our children’s programs. He could not wait to show me his graduation certificates. But what was wonderful was that now he was volunteering, going back into the prison that he had left as a volunteer to deliver those programs. His life had been transformed by Jesus while he had been on the inside. When I met him, he was, I think he’d been out a couple of years. His family was in great shape, his eldest boy, he was so proud of his eldest boy, because his eldest boy was playing youth-level, national football for Zambia, he was a goalkeeper. He proudly showed, I mean, they were dirt poor, but they were together, his life was different. He was staying out of prison, he got a purpose in his life. And he was now going back into prison to share the good news of what he had discovered while on the inside.

Got so many of those, then, you know, I, that’s just one that I personally experienced. The second would just be to say, we have at least five national ministry leaders now who have spent time in prison, where God has grabbed ahold of them, turn their lives around, and now they’re running organizations that are serving their whole country. Indeed, as many of your listeners will know, that was the start of how Prison Fellowship came into being through Chuck Colson spending time in prison as a result of his, what happened with Watergate. Our whole story, in so many respects, is one of God breathing new life into individuals whilst they’re in prison, bringing reconciliation, healing, and restoration in a way that profoundly impacts them, but then brings healing restoration to their families and communities as well. We have so many stories of that I couldn’t tell you. But that’s just a couple of examples to enable us all to see that this really is a missional passion, I think, God, he leads the prisoner to prosperity is real in our experience.

DW: Yeah, I think that’s really powerful to hear those stories, because it really, it makes it real. You know, it’s really neat to hear the globalization of it, or the global reach of it, but also to hear the one on one relationship and how that’s been transformed. So that yeah, I think that was very helpful.

So I wanted to ask you, looking forward, what is the vision for Prison Fellowship International? Where are you guys going? What’s the next step?

AC: So, our mission, what we do every day, what we wake up in the morning and apply all the energy that we can do around transformation, to transform the lives of prisoners, their families, and victims through a global network of ministry partners. So we’re looking for outcomes in individuals’ lives. That’s the thing that really motivates us here at the end of all of our statistics, all of our programs are people, human beings created in the image of God, who are, you know, a ways away from him relationally. But as we all are at work at any point in our lives, we can all find ourselves relationally separated from God the Father. But that is the outcome that we seek that they find a renewed relationship with the Heavenly Father in a way that affects their life for the rest of their lives.

That’s what we do every day, but our vision is much bigger. Our vision is to break the cycle of crime and restore lives worldwide through Jesus’s love. Now breaking the cycle of crime is really complex, and it’s met very multi-layered. We are not going to be able to achieve that on our own. We do believe that we’ve got some very significant jigsaw pieces to deploy in that whole area. We’re upping our game a lot on the gathering of empirical data around our programs inside prison and outside prison working. We definitely know that early stage, empirical data, the first time that this has been done with Baylor University in Texas around the impact of faith-based programming in Colombia and South Africa, has revealed that culture change in the prisons is something that is it’s it’s occurring as a result of what is happening in individual lives.

So, let me just take you on that continuum. When men and women engage in faith-based programming, they experience a crystallization of discontent. I don’t like my life, I want it to change. We know that is a critical factor in any decision to engage in a new narrative and a repositioning of your former behavior, not being what you want to be engaging in the future is always really important for anybody who is currently in prison. That leads to identity transformation which is where the good news has some, I mean, imagine, all you’ve ever been taught is that you have no future, that your last act defines the rest of your life, that you are a monster, some kind of monster that doesn’t deserve a second chance. Into that comes the light of the good news of Jesus. It’s like a light bulb going on. Because God says, I love you, I forgive you. I give you a hope and a future. And I’m going to give you the power to change.

That’s really dynamic in a prison environment. And what we were getting tons of anecdotal evidence about was that when all of that came together, through faith-based programming, it was altering, it was changing the environment of the prison, and that there were increases in some very important pro-social behaviors. And this was now becoming a really important factor in prisons for prison authorities, because hey, they wanted to work in prisons that were less violent. They wanted to work in prisons, where men had hope and felt that there was a future because they know that this is an important piece of what it’s going to take for a prisoner to emerge from prison in a different state than what they went in and stay out. So it’s anecdotal evidence around the culture-changing, prison changing, becoming different was really important for us to study. So, that is part of where we’re headed, in answer to your question.

Our vision is to break the cycle of crime. There’s a lot more work to do, we’re not going to achieve that, it’s not an overnight kind of thing that we can point to. I think there are a number of other interventions that we’re either going to have to partner with others around, or we’re going to have to adopt them into our kind of daily strategy. But we are definitely seeing early-stage results that our vision, we believe our vision is achievable. And that breaking the cycle of crime, there is no reason why a child needs to end up in prison. That’s just a scandal. It should not be happening. There is no reason why a man or a woman if we have the right interventions for them in prisons, because there’s the problem. It’s true to say and

I’m not sugarcoating the hideous effects of crime here, by the way. There may be people on the call whose families have been affected by crime. I’m not sugarcoating at all, at all. There needs to be accountability, there needs to be responsibility taken.

But the plain fact of the matter is that 90% if not more, of prisoners globally, come back into our communities. It’s in the community’s interest to ensure that what happens while they’re in prison is beneficial to ensure that they don’t go back in. And I think it also is something that is really important for us as a society to have a grace-filled attitude that says, this is important. It is important that we don’t lock people up and throw away the key. It is important that our society is based on principles of forgiveness and a second chance. It says something about us as a civilization or as civilization, that is really important when we have a no man or woman left behind kind of policy. Everybody created in the image of God, everybody being released to be fully human. And we got some big messaging around that and the prisoner kind of those in prison, they exempt and their families they exemplify that and articulated in the right kind of way. I think we are convinced that breaking the cycle of crime is not something that we should be giving up on quite the opposite, we should be working to realize it.

DW: What do you wish that people knew about prison ministry?

AC: That if I was able to take you into prison with me tomorrow, you would meet men and women who are just like us. There but for the grace of God, go I. I think the first time I ever went into a prison, I think that was what grabbed me the most, was that I felt like I was interacting with men who I knew as a rugby player, if that makes sense, just the character type. And again, not sugarcoating the fact that crime had been committed, others harmed, often very deeply, hideous things can occur. But often, they are in prison, because of circumstances that have not been of their own making. They make poor choices, really spectacularly bad choices. But sometimes, the environment that they were brought up in, has landed them there. And when it all gets stripped away inside the prison, and you’re able to encounter the humanity of the other. I recognize them as people that I knew and liked.

And so I think that’s the one thing is to humanize the people who are incarcerated. And I had a great phrase this morning which is that, there are no monsters in prison, there are only people who’ve done monstrous things. That’s a that’s pretty much been my kind of experience. And it’s why whenever I go into prison, if there is a football or soccer yard, in the prison, I don a soccer shirt, and try to play soccer with the guys to kind of humanize in some. I mean, it’s a small thing, I get it. And I’m probably getting too old for it now. But, it just humanizes the other person in a way that I think is really good for us as a society to want to engage and not to place people away, who has just, you know, for different kinds of reasons ended up in prison.

Worth remembering that as well, Daniel, God forbid, but, you know, I drove out of our car park last night, here in the office, narrowly missed hitting somebody on a motorbike, who had no lights on. If I had, and it was really close, one of those scary moments, which I’m sure everybody identifies with the way you kind of stop the car and you breathe, go, thank God that could have been so different. But you know, if I hit that person, and I had been deemed to be responsible, I could be in prison as a result of that act.

And our prisons are full of people who have made spectacularly bad decisions, but they’re also full of people who are sad. And because our prisons have also become the place where everything that has gone on many of the deepest problems of our society, end up daylighting a very big proportion of them are also what I recall, in the mad category. They have profound mental health issues and prisons have become a place where society has failed, and we have failed the men and women inside prison. That’s where they end up. And we’re called to those people. We’re called to those people. They’re the people that Jesus did not give up on.

If you want the story of it. It’s right there in Luke 8 where Jesus is absolutely determined to get to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. There’s a massive storm preventing him to get there. He’s getting there, his disciples are panicking. But he said, we’re going over to the other side. But on the other side is a person who we call him the gathering demon-possessed man. But he’s a prisoner. He’s in chains. And I think that gives you, you know, a flavor of the passion that God has for those that are incarcerated, and those that are really hurting. For whatever reason, for whatever reason, we just haven’t an obligation to care for them. When I was in prison, you came to me, the Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he’s anointed me to preach good news to the oppressed, the captive. We’ve got a responsibility to do it. And if we can move prison ministry from the kind of, along with many others, by the way, this is not I’m not saying we’re the only show in town. But if we can move prison ministry, from the fringes of missional activity for the church, into the center of this is God’s mission, then that will be that’ll be a good thing for us to do.

DW: So, what brings you the greatest hope when thinking about that?

AC: The stories, without a doubt. The transformational stories that we are so privileged to sit on top of. We just have them by the bucket load. And then when you go into prison and see what is actually happening, like I said, I wish I could take everybody into prison. Because it’s just not what you generally expect. And that does something in us which is really healthy. That’s what I get most inspired by. I also get really inspired by our volunteers. We’ve got 50,000 of them globally, our national ministry leaders, the passion that they bring to this, the joy that they undertake their work with. I think the people are involved in prison are some of the happiest, fun, if I say so against myself, slightly fringe people but they’re just great to hang around with. All of that plus a profound encounter that always occurs when you go into prison, which I encapsulate by saying, we never take Jesus into the prisons, we just follow him in there. And all of those build up to just an immense feeling, of immense privilege and real hope that God is doing some amazing things in people’s lives.

DW: So, for listeners who feel like God has put it on their heart to get involved, how can they do that?

AC: Yeah, so given that our audience is in the United States, so it falls into the usual three categories, I think, Daniel. Pray, go, or give or maybe do a combination of all three. So, there is a remarkable prison ministry here, Prison Fellowship, which is focused on the United States. They do great work, your listeners will, no doubt have heard of Angel Tree and The Academy and interventions like that. So, go on to the Prison Fellowships websites. If you’ve got an international perspective, pfi.org or RestorativeJustice.org which is another one of our websites that is more on that kind of empirical, best practice with a restorative justice lens, RestorativeJustice.org would be the right place to go.

We have really big plans to reach a tipping point of the world’s prisoners. That takes resources. If people want to give we have multiple opportunities for them to do that. I’m really confident that whether you are passionate about evangelism or discipleship or scripture engagement, or passionate about practical interventions with the core and those that really need help, when you have the major breadwinner ripped out of your family, all that other kind of problems that come with that, there will be something that Prison Fellowship is doing because like I said before breaking the cycle of crime is very complex. There is likely to be something that will resonate with your leaders, with the leaders that are gathered online here. So, we’re always very grateful for additional financial support, or volunteer. You know, that’s, that’s another massive piece of what we do is we take people into prisons, they become part of the volunteer force that is so vital to the ministry that we undertake. There are just so many ways. I think it just takes the first step and finding out a little bit more and praying about it, and God will do the rest but I couldn’t recommend it more.

DW: And how can we specifically be praying for you?

AC: Well, I think the, what I’ve just said, is, as a growing family, we have growing needs. And that’s not just financial resources. So, many organizations have growing financial needs, particularly at this time, I mean, it’s a tough time for everybody. So, I don’t want to specifically focus on that but clearly, it will be an issue for us at the moment. I think that the thing that I would ask, probably more than anything, is just that some of the passion that we have for this, let’s call them, for want of the better term, an unreached people group, that this gets firmly anchored in the character of God. And that we see the prisoner, we discovered the, what I think is a kind of amazing truth that, that the prisoner is one of the disguises that Jesus takes in our world. And, you know, when I was in prison, you came to me, those words are quite staggering, actually, when you begin to read them slowly, “when I was in prison, you came to me”. So I think that’s the thing that I would ask you to pray about is that for all of us, that we have such a strong sense of who God is, who the passion of God, as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ for the prisoner and their families. And answering the question of why I think takes all of us into a greater appreciation of just how amazing God is. And then the rest works its way out. And that, you know, we all at that point, we all grow in that process, we grow in the knowledge of God, but we end up leading lives that are pleasing to Him and called according to His purpose. And that kind of works its way out as a result of having our eyes open to who God is and what his passions are in this world that he has created and what our role is in that.

DW: Well, can I pray for you now?

AC: You certainly can. Thank you.

DW: Let’s pray. God, I thank you for Andy and for Prison Fellowship international. Lord, I pray that you would be guiding them, and that you would bless the ministry, that you’d provide for the ministry, that you would provide the volunteers and the finances and the access and the ability to connect with these people. Lord, I pray that you would help us to see clearly that you care for and love these prisoners and that we’re called to serve and love and bring life to them. Lord, I pray that You would bless the ministry and that you would bless Andy. In Christ’s name, I pray. Amen.

AC: Amen. Yeah, thank you for having me on Daniel, and just as a word of encouragement for everybody that has joined. Thank you for the work that you do in the marketplace which has probably had more impact than you could ever imagine. Salt and light is hugely needed. And I just want to, having come into a ministry kind of situation, affirm you all in what you are doing. It’s really, really important.

DW: Yeah, thank you for that. That is really encouraging. All right. Thank you guys for listening to this episode and we’ll catch you next time for another episode of The Kingdom Investor Podcast.