Ministry News Roundup – November 2022

Prison Fellowship Rwanda Uses Dialogue to Repair Lingering Harm 

Prison Fellowship Rwanda, in partnership with the United Nations Development Program, held a Healing and Reconciliation Dialogue between perpetrators and survivors of the 1994 genocide. The goal of this project was to rid people of shame, unforgiveness, hate and revenge to see themselves as Rwandans instead of belonging to a community separated by ethnicity. Learn more about the initiative or watch the dialogue session. 

Prison Fellowship Ukraine Extends Support to Russian Prisoners of War 

Amidst Russian invasions, Prison Fellowship Ukraine (PFU) is stepping up to help not only Ukrainian prisoners, but also Russian prisoners of war. This article in Christianity Today details the relief and aid that PFU is providing to prisoners and their families during these trying times.  

Prison Fellowship Australia Commemorates Ministry Anniversary with Festivities 

Prison Fellowship Australia celebrated its 40th anniversary, bringing together 200 supporters from around the country. During the celebratory activities, they debuted Ellie’s* story, sharing the impact of its Extraordinary Lives program that is working to break the cycle of crime for children of prisoners.  

Children of Prisoners Explore New Opportunities with Prison Fellowship Czech Republic 

Prison Fellowship Czech Republic brought children of prisoners to a local science museum to explore educational exhibits, demonstrations and experiments. These children are part of its Angel Club, a weekly group for children of prisoners to enjoy fun activities, be encouraged and motivated by PF CZ leaders and volunteers, and experience new things they might otherwise not be able to do.  

Multiple Sessions of The Prisoner’s Journey Training Completed Across Eastern Europe 

Prison Fellowship Ukraine and Prison Fellowship Romania completed The Prisoner’s Journey (TPJ) volunteer training with Stephen James and members of PFI’s Europe Regional Office.  

Prison Fellowship Singapore Receives National Recognition  

Prison Fellowship Singapore (PFS) was awarded both the Charity Governance and the Charity Transparency Awards from Singapore’s Charity Council. These awards aim to recognize good governance and transparency in the charity sector. PFS Chairman, Gregory Vijayendran, and Executive Director, Chua Kok Wan, received the awards from Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law. Learn more about the ceremony and the awards.  

University Students Engage with Prison Fellowship International Affiliates in Europe 

Prison Fellowship Spain (PFS) has visited numerous universities recently. They visited Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia (UCAM) where they held awareness sessions for nursing and journalism students to hear about the work that PFS does and volunteer testimonies. 

They also attended Jaume I University’s volunteer fair, an event designed for organizations to inform students of volunteer opportunities related to fairness and serving those in need. PFS had great success at this event as many students showed interest in the ministry and signed up to volunteer!  

Prison Fellowship Netherlands also has been sharing with college students, as they brought ex-prisoners to 37 class sessions at Van Lodenstein College to share about their choices that led to a prison sentence. Their testimonies included the way that God called them into a relationship with him and their goodbye to a life and identity of crime. 

Prison Fellowship International Publishes Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Impact Report 

Prison Fellowship International released its Annual Impact Report, detailing the global, transformative work that took place over the past fiscal year. This report is a testament to the hard work and dedication of staff, volunteers and leaders in 117 national ministries who tirelessly give themselves to this cause. Our impact is magnified because of the work that each of you do. Read the full report here 

 

Would you like your ministry to be featured in the next Touchstone issue? Submit your content submissions here 

Ministry News Roundup – August 2022

 

Ministry News Roundup – July 2022

Earlier in July, a strategic meeting took place in Ukraine involving four PFI partners: PF Ministries (USA), PF Germany, PF Romania and PF Ukraine. The meeting took place while leaders from all four ministries gathered in Ukraine for more than a week to support the ongoing PF Ukraine relief work for prisoners, ex-prisoners, children and families of prisoners, prison officials, internally displaced people, and all in need in the war-torn country. More information to come in the Europe Regional newsletter and our next roundup.

Prison Fellowship Peru (Fraternidad Carcelaria del Perú) recently celebrated its 39th anniversary! Watch their celebration video here!

The Washington Secretariat had a special visitor! Prison Fellowship South Korea Executive Director Samuel Kwak spent time with the Global Impact team, examining programs that will make a difference in the lives of South Korean prisoners, their families and victims. In-depth discussions were held about Sycamore Tree Project and our Restorative Justice Framework.

Prison Fellowship Brazil (Fraternidade Brasileira de Assistência aos Condenados) celebrated 50 years of the Association for the Protection and Assistance of the Convicted (APAC), an alternative prison model based on restorative justice practices, reconciliation and restoration. PFI President and CEO Andy Corley and PFI Latin America and Caribbean Senior Regional Director Dorestela Medina both spoke at the event, leading both a keynote address and a roundtable discussion. Read more about the event here.

Prison Fellowship Kenya’s annual review was recently conducted. Hear two powerful stories that have come out of that ministry:

PFI Asia Pacific’s Regional Office has officially moved into a new office space! They are co-located with PF Singapore at Parish of Christ Church. Please pray that this office will bring together individuals, ministries and organizations across the region who are deeply passionate about serving and transforming the lives of prisoners and their families. Here is a tour of the office!

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.