The Canadian Bible Society, in partnership with organizations and churches conducting Bible Studies in prison facilities, brings hope and the message of true freedom in Christ by distributing free copies of the Prison Ministry Bible - the Key to Freedom. Here are some stories collected from these distribution efforts.
BIBLE STUDY IN A PRISON CELL
The Fredericton Community Chaplain under Bridges of Canada visits Saint John Regional Correctional Centre on a regular basis. He teaches a program called Overcomers and always encourages the inmates to read their Bibles and know what the Bible says and not just to take his word for it. He encourages them to read the whole chapter not just one verse.
Many of these inmates have written to Bridges of Canada and asked for a Key to Freedom Bible. The result being that one of the inmates began a Bible study group in his “house” (house meaning cell). The inmates find that the Key to Freedom Bible is easy to read and to understand. This is a great step when an inmate sees the need to do a Bible study and gets other inmates involved. The Bible is a road map to a new life style for these inmates.
LETTER FROM A GRATEFUL MINISTRY PARTNER
“The Bibles sent to us are invaluable and being well received. As you probably know, we (gov’t) cannot buy Bibles, Qura’ns etc. but they must be donated by the faith groups in Ontario; if it were not for these donations, our 1000 plus inmates would have nothing.
We also disperse hundreds of Bible Correspondence Courses from The Gospel Echoes and New Life Prison Ministries which obviously necessitates the inmates having a Bible to complete the courses.
Before Central East Correctional Centre existed, the inmates were in 7 different jails which are now closed; so, when you supply us with Bibles (which no doubt seems like a lot) you are supplying 7 old jails with a lot of inmates.
For the record, we are frugal with the material sent to us; we have a “One Bible for One inmate” policy and recycle Bibles to other inmates when an inmate leaves and if he/she leaves her Bible here. Many inmates take their Bible with them when they leave because they do not have one at home.
Thank you again for your generous donation of God’s Word to our inmates at Central East Correctional Centre.”
Rev. Wayne B. Moore
Coordinator of Spiritual & Religious Care
FREEDOM BEHIND BARS
Report from Ted Seres, CBS National Director:
We recently got a note from a lady in North Vancouver inquiring about the Prison Bible. She related that a man from her church was in jail and had established a church service because five people had come to faith in Christ. She then sent the following note:
“Eddie led another man to the Lord, that is 10 men who have freedom behind bars/walls since August 29, 2011! Just wanted to share the good news with you. I hope this is encouraging you that God is using these Bibles! May God richly bless you and your organization!”
YOUNG OFFENDER LEARNS TO READ USING THE BIBLE
Don Miller, Director of Ministry Advancement in Northern & Eastern Ontario District, shares this story from one of their Bible distribution activities in the district:
“We gave out five copies of The Key to Freedom Bible to each of the five lads (Young Offenders) we baptized (sprinkle) on Tuesday September 27th at the William Hay Centre here in Ottawa (Maximum Prison for boys). They were very happy to receive them especially with the testimonies.
One of the lads we baptized has an older brother whom we baptized (full immersion) at OCDC last Spring and he (the younger brother) says that he wants to be a very good role model for his younger brother and sister and that there is no way any more that he thinks he will end up some day in OCDC like his two older brothers. This Baptism Service (requested by the lads) was a precedent for the William Hay and possibly for any Young Offender institution in Ontario as far as I know. Praise God for what He is doing in the hearts of young and old inmates.
This young lad said that he is finding his time at the WHC to be helpful as he is able to learn to read (his mother is a crack cocaine addict and his dad is a heroin addict) as he says he did not attend any school as a child in Cornwall. What a great way to learn to read, by reading the Bible.”
“DON'T WORRY ABOUT ME, MOM”
Here is a story from David Akins from Alpha Prison Ministries:
“While we (as Prison Alpha Ministry volunteers) were waiting in the line in the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre (OCDC) lobby one Saturday afternoon to sign in along with the inmates' loved ones, we struck up a conversation with a lady in front of us who was there to visit with her son who was in Maximum Security on a second-degree murder charge. She said that he had just been baptized in the OCDC Worship Centre, and she had the picture to proudly illustrate that. She said to us that her son had just told her: "Don't worry about me Mom. You should read the Bible." To which we asked her if she had one. She said that she did not so we reached into our ministry resource bag and gave her one. She was very happy to receive her own Bible in the waiting room of the prison.
I am sure she did not expect to get a Bible that day!”
Do you know someone whose life was changed by God's Word? How about sharing this story today? Please send your story at firstname.lastname@example.org or write it in the comment section below.