Changing Lives, Reducing Crime and Victimization through Jesus Christ
The Prison Ministry team actively goes into prisons in California to minister to the men and women at the prison chapels. They hold services and preach clear gospel messages to the inmates. Every service, we are thrilled to see many inmates come to Christ. As you well know, there needs to be rooting and grounding through discipleship and mentoring. There is no way the prison chaplains can tend to this huge task. Many men and women are needed to go into the prisons to hold regular Bible studies, counsel and mentor.
A Bible Correspondence Course program is presently under construction. This will be a great way to minister to inmates via mail. The volunteers will get to be an influence, guide and counsel as they grade the inmates Bible lesson, make helpful and insightful notes and correspond. The incarcerated Christian babes are hungry and soak in your spirit guided counsel and words.
What’s next for Bethesda’s Prison Team
We now have a team that ministers weekly on several yards at Avenal State Prison as well as CMC East and West. We have recently partnered with Prison Fellowship, Ebeneezer Outreach and Second Wind on a major project at Solano State Prison in Vacaville, California. We are seeing many men coming to Christ through our program. The prison staff comments weekly on the changes they are seeing on the yards where we have a team. Our next phase is implementing a strategic peer mentoring and Bible study correspondence program in addition to a sponsorship program.
We are getting ready to implement the peer mentoring and Bible Study program. This program will identify key inmates who are strong and rooted in the faith to become a ministry “ambassador”. The ambassador will be a respected and trusted individual whom fellow inmates know they can talk with, be accountable with, be a prayer partner and ask about Bible study corespondence course questions. They will also be a liason to Bethesda Ministries and helping us to identify fellow inmates with needs or family needs.
During that implementation, we will be visiting churches all throughout California recruiting sponsors/mentors to match up with the inmates. The inmate will be matched with a sponsor in the local church where he/she will be paroling to.
Rather than reinventing yet another wheel, we will align ourselves with resources and organizations which meet the needs of our clients who are coming home and their families. We will educate our sponsors in utilizing and developing relationships with those resources and having them available when needed. Our Prison Team and Reentry Teams will work very closely together to accomplish a smooth reentry phase.