Ministry News Roundup – June 2022

Check out this great video by Prison Fellowship Australia about The Prisoners Journey and the findings from the Baylor TPJ study!

Here’s our most recent video update from the European Regional team.

 

Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice takes center stage this week. We are publicly launching our newly rebuilt RestorativeJustice.org to showcase and spearhead an open exchange of restorative justice practices in the prison context. The site features Bible studies, academic research, handbooks, articles and other resources. The site’s blog provides a platform to share any restorative practices or work that you — our national ministry partners — do. Later this week, the Ninth Congress of APACS will take place as part of the Jubilee Year celebrations. During the PF Brazil gathering of an estimated 500 practitioners, partners, volunteers, academics and authorities from Brazil and other countries, Andy Corley will celebrate 50 years of APAC and cast a vision for the future.

PF Colombia Exceeds STP Year Three Goals, Expands Market Reach

PF Colombia, with the grace of God and during the pandemic, managed to exceed the goals set for the third year of STP and managed to extend the program to more prisons. This was possible due to the following factors:

•The credibility and authority that PF Colombia has gained in the sight of the prison authorities, in addition to the good relations it has established with prison officials.

•STP has been positioned before the authorities as a restorative and non-religious program, which has been very well received by the officials. In addition to this, the prison authorities can see the results achieved in changing the lives of the prisoners.

•The team in charge of STP has appropriated the vision and goals and has been a proactive team with great commitment and dedication that, in faith and with the necessary tools and training, focused on developing the program successfully. This will serve as a base to continue developing STP in the program’s second generation.

PF Colombia Market Reach = 35%
Total Prisons in Colombia:132
PF Colombia has access to 46

PF Colombia Market Penetration = 4%
Total Prison Population: 97,935
PF Colombia Y7 Graduates:3,569

 

PF Colombia Best Practices

Dramatization during the course. PF Colombia has implemented the dramatization or role-play in the course sessions that allow for it in the content of forgiveness or dramatizing Jesus, Zacchaeus and the Prodigal Son. This contributes to a better assimilation of the prisoners, and motivates them to participate and get involved. It also contributes to move them to forgiveness and repair. This has helped increase the success of and participation in the program.

Use of games. PF Colombia has encouraged the participants of the course to carry out — in addition to what is indicated in the workbook — poems, drawings, and songs in the peace builder’s session, and this has motivated them to become true peace builders in their cells with other prisoners. In this way, they contribute to improving the prison environment, reducing violence and improving coexistence. All this, when seen by other prisoners, motivates them to join restorative circles because they also want to experience that peace.

Special acknowledgement for graduates. PF Colombia has delivered commemorative items during the graduations, in addition to the delivery of diplomas and personal care kits or material gifts. This symbolic gift has greatly motivated the prisoners because it consists of a special greeting card that makes them feel seen and important, motivating them to be promoters of the program while encouraging more prisoners to participate in the restorative circles. This results in the program’s growth.

Participation of officials in graduations. PF Colombia has developed good teamwork and very good relations with the educational area in the prisons This has allowed officials to participate in the graduations of the STP courses and in this way, they are witnesses of the results of the program and of the changes in prisoners. This has made it possible to have greater support for the implementation and increase of courses in prisons.

Connection with graduates from other growth programs. PF Colombia has coordinated with the educational area in one of the prisons so that the graduates, in addition to joining the growth program established, are given the opportunity to join academic, technical, or recreational improvement programs. This has been seen in a positive way by the prisoners and motivates them to join the STP program to experience a change in their lives. Prisoners are also encouraged to continue their spiritual growth as well as their personal improvement.

Update and Prayers for Ukraine | by Cristina Ursachila and Hugh Greathead

The PF Ukraine team continues to respond to the urgent needs of detainees in Ukraine.

“Every time when we deliver humanitarian items, we tell people about Jesus. We use this time to bring the Gospel to their hearts, we share Bibles with them, we pray for them and of course we mention Prison Fellowship International, who made this work possible.” — PF Ukraine

PF Ukraine has purchased a minibus so they no longer have to rent one! Congratulations! The vehicle will serve to transport humanitarian items and evacuate mothers and children from dangerous regions of the country.

PFU provided VK-70, BVTC-108 prisons in Berdichev region and all prisons in Lwiw region with basic food supplies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are specific prayers that can help guide our prayers for Ukraine:

Ask God to redeem this situation by drawing many people to Himself.

Pray for protection for all those who will spend their time in bomb shelters, metro stations or who are in the process of trying to escape the war.

Pray for all the brave volunteers risking their lives to support others.

Pray for the logistics of getting funds and humanitarian aid to churches and refugee camps so they continue to have food, medicine and other supplies.

Pray for the many pastors leading their congregations at this critical time. They carry a heavy burden.

Keep up to date through our blog.

Many blessings,
Hugh and Cristina

Our Global Family at Work: Connecting Churches with Prisoners and Their Families

Photo-Essay:
This is a mere glimpse of our global family at work, connecting churches with prisoners and their families.

PF Czech Republic
TPJ training powered by the Church.

PF Brazil
Church volunteers help with the Angel Tree outreach. What a feast and outpouring of love at this special time of year!

PF Philippines
From TPJ training to graduation, church connections are key.

PF Uruguay
Church volunteers come alongside those on the STP journey.

PF Caribbean
From baptism to graduation, the Church works hand in hand with PF Caribbean.

Update from Ukraine – 30 March 2022 | by Cristina Ursachila and Hugh Greathead

The battles continue and so does the humanitarian response. In this update, read how church volunteers — connected with NM partners — are responding to the crisis in Ukraine:

“I grew up in this country, my friends are here, my family is here, all my memories are here and now…. look at the pictures.” Nastya, PF Ukraine volunteer

To date, four volunteers of PF Ukraine were killed and eight have been taken captive. Some of these captives are pastors of churches.

The Rehabilitation Center run by the ED of PF Ukraine is now in a red zone. There are three people left in that center who cannot be evacuated. The good news is that they have sufficient supplies to last a long time, and for the time being they are safe.

PF Ukraine transformed a garage into a help center. They purchase supplies in Chernovtsy, which is near the border of Moldova and Poland. Many volunteers gather to distribute packages with basic necessities: food, diapers, medicines, blankets, etc. In the picture below, Vyacheslav´s wife and a volunteer are loading goods in the car.

PF Ukraine is also helping supply prisons and hospitals in different parts of the country. They work through their network of churches to accomplish this. Recently, they have distributed medicine to hospitals in Nikolaev and Slovyansk.

Recently, their vehicle broke down and they had to abandon it on the road! They are now using a borrowed vehicle, but hopefully this problem will be solved very soon.

PF Romania continues to deliver humanitarian aid to partners inside Ukraine. In the past week, they distributed seven vehicles full of supplies to Cernovtsy and Ivano Frankovsk cities in Ukraine. This included: food, blankets and medicines.

PF Ukraine is so grateful for the support they are being given through Hoffnungsträger and the PF family. “You are the only organization who are helping us in such a structured way. If you only could imagine how much your help means to us!”

Let’s continue to pray for Ukraine:

Stay up to date with more news through our Regional Blog.

Children of Prisoners in Ukraine Share Musical Thank You

Hear from Ukrainian children of prisoners in their own words as they send thanks for the support that they have received from PF Ukraine. (They are introducing their social center in Kiev and giving thanks to PF Ukraine for supporting them. Full translation not available, but the spirit of their words are loud and clear.)

Please keep all families and children of prisoners in Ukraine and around the world in your prayers.

Ukraine Update

I am sure we all wish we could wake up and find the conflict in Ukraine was only a nightmare.

Another week passes by, and the suffering only grows. Amidst the disaster, we also see the best in people. The combined actions of individuals, churches and organizations responding all over Europe is a joy. The number of miracles amidst the tragedy is growing.

PF Ukraine is supporting Internally Displaced People.

Closer to home, PF Ukraine continues to help those in Kiev and surrounding areas. Their commitment and sacrifice is an inspiration, and we pray they will experience God’s presence and protection more than ever. Since the start, they have helped more than 300 women and children escape. They have helped two prisons receive extra food. They have helped people within Ukraine as they figure out their next steps. Their tireless activity is an inspiration.

PF Ukraine is helping to evacuate women and children. Some are also being supported with food packages. To date they have helped more than 300 families.

PF Czech Republic has raised more than 6000 Euro and purchased relief items which have been sent to PF Ukraine. Hoffnungstraeger (Hope Bearer) has also raised considerable donations to support PF Ukraine, PF Romania and other organizations.

We will continue to monitor and provide updates to you, our global family.

Prison Fellowship Colombia Spotlight | by Dorestela Medina

Prison Fellowship Colombia (PFC) is a nonprofit organization founded in Colombia in 1980, and affiliated with Prison Fellowship International (PFI). At the global level, PFI has had United Nations (UN) special consultative status, participated in the UN Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, and has led research, advocacy and promotion of Restorative Justice.

Prison Fellowship Colombia, like PFI affiliates throughout the world, is a vital member of Prison Fellowship International. With more than 40 years of experience in Colombia, our mission has been to work with people deprived of liberty, victims, perpetrators of the armed conflict, and their families.

Volunteering

A PFC volunteer is one who, in addition to his own professional work, in a continuous and responsible way dedicates part of his time to activities not in favor of himself, nor of the associates (unlike associations), but in favor of the others or collective social interests, according to a project that is not exhausted in the intervention itself (as opposed to charity), but tends to eradicate or modify the causes of social need or marginalization.

Prison Fellowship Colombia throughout its more than forty years of operation in Colombia has learned the importance of watching over and shepherding our volunteers, as we recognize the positive impact caused on our population deprived of liberty by the comprehensive work carried out by each one of them. We carry out this accompaniment through the following actions:

To be part of our volunteer team, our applicant must share their curriculum, which we then analyze to identify their profile and vocation. However, in this step, the most relevant thing is to identify their interest in serving people with dedication and passion. Once we determine this, we will know their judicial background and make sure that the applicant does not have any type of restriction to enter the prison. Finally, the applicant must begin the training process by completing the volunteer course and signing the voluntary agreement, after which they will be given tools, policies, and behavior guidelines that will be key to the success of their work.

For PFC Volunteers, there is no type of Distinction…

It is wonderful to see the great cultural, academic, and social diversity that is part of our volunteer team. We have ex-inmates, professionals, high school graduates, people deprived of liberty, merchants, rural population, members of indigenous populations. This diversity has taught us to value the capacities and abilities that God gives to each one with the sole purpose of fulfilling our missionary objective, learning tolerance, and the capacity to live as a multicultural community that works for a single objective “Expanding the Kingdom of God.”

The volunteer is synonymous with dedication, passion, and commitment. Today, PFC has witnessed the impact that the work of a single volunteer can have on the heart of a person, family, and society.

Volunteering at PFC is an example of faith, commitment, and trust.

To accompany, train, and save our most valuable human capital – our volunteers – must be a priority for all PFI members around the world.


Dorestela Medina is the Regional Director, who supports and oversees the national ministries in Latin America. She brings us 30 years´ experience working in government, embassies, the United Nations, and NGOs (Oxfam GB, Save The Children Sweden, Care International, and SICA).

European Region Brief: Ukraine | Nov 17, 2021

Convincing Results from the PF Ukraine Assessment

PF Ukraine will reach 55,000 prisoners in all 109 prisons nationwide with an opportunity to participate in The Prisoner’s Journey (TPJ).

PF Ukraine is expected to graduate 26,000 prisoners from TPJ — nearly 20% of the prison population — by the end of their third year running the program. This will be a significant step on the path toward breaking the cycle of crime and restoring lives, worldwide, through Jesus’s love.

In order to reach this graduation goal, PF Ukraine will mobilize, train, and deploy a force of 1,700 certified volunteers to support the program.

In their fourth year running TPJ, Prison Fellowship Ukraine will expand outside of prisons into the probation and parole system, allowing them to serve 50,000 more people within the correctional system.

“PF Ukraine is a shining example of a national ministry that is harnessing the power of the church in its ministry to prisoners,” said David Van Patten, PFI COO. “Eleven denominations are represented on their board, bringing together thousands of volunteers from Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant churches who are working shoulder to shoulder to bring the Good News to prisoners throughout the Ukraine.”

Latin American Region Brief: Costa Rica | Nov 17, 2021

Persuasive results from the Costa Rica TPJ Onsite Assessment 

PF Costa Rica is on track to reach 17,400 prisoners in all 20 prisons nationwide — 90% of the prison population — with an opportunity to participate in The Prisoner’s Journey (TPJ).

By the third year of running TPJ, PF Costa Rica should graduate 8,700 prisoners from the course, which is nearly 47% of the prison population. They will reach a nationwide tipping point of 20%, and they will continue to scale.

In order to reach this tipping point, PF Costa Rica will mobilize, train, and deploy a network of 400 volunteers from a network of 60 Evangelical Protestant and Catholic churches. This is a testament to leveraging church partnerships!