Ministries team up to evangelize prisoners in 65 nations

Ministries team up to evangelize prisoners in 65 nations

The New Mexico-based ministry Faith Comes by Hearing offers digital recordings of God's Word in many formats -- one of them is the BibleStick, which is a personal player that comes pre-loaded with the New Testament, a complete Bible, or a kids Bible.

Ministries team up to evangelize prisoners in 65 nations

Two Christian outreaches are partnering to share the gospel with prisoners in 65 countries as they launch 100,000 in-prison Audio Bible programs that are slated to graduate 1 million inmates by 2027.

Prison Fellowship International (PFI) and Faith Comes by Hearing (FCBH) are combining efforts as global catalysts to transform incarcerated lives with God's Word.

"This partnership marks a truly historic moment in the evolution of both PFI and FCBH," PFI COO David Van Patten stated in a press release last week. "The alignment of our mission, vision and values is remarkable, and our complementary capabilities will dramatically increase our global impact. It is truly amazing what God can do."

Healing a global problem

PFI estimates that some 15 million people are imprisoned globally – every year – and laments that social constructs are only making the matter worse.

"Problem-ridden correctional systems and high recidivism demonstrate that prisons alone are ill-equipped to rehabilitate inmates," the prison ministry informed. "The steadily growing rate of imprisonment and the massive impact imprisonment has on society form a vicious cycle that is difficult to break."

In their commitment to reach wayward prisoners, PFI and FCBH combined their proven transformative biblical resources with their impressive track record of forming key partnerships that have expanded their ministries' impact around the globe.

"FCBH's extensive inventory of Audio Bibles contains versions in more than 1,500 languages," the outreaches shared. "PFI's Bible-based prison course and unparalleled access to prisons worldwide make it uniquely prepared for the challenge."

Darkness to light

Jonathan Huguenin, who serves as FCBH's vice president of global partnerships and language recordings, is excited to see how transformed prisoners will shine God's light on fellow prisoners, visitors and even on extended family and friends once they are released.

"This partnership takes God's Word directly into dark places, bringing hope to men and women – equipping those who have lost all hope to return to their communities and families with light," Huguenin explained.

After examining PFI's "The Prisoner's Journey" (TPJ) course that has graduated some 360,000 inmates globally, researchers conducting a Baylor University study made some key observations:

"[T]hrough increasing prisoners' religious engagement, TPJ inspires their increased motivation for identity transformation, helps them grow in virtue and gain a sense of meaning in life," PJI reported from the findings. "These significant changes within prisoners can lead to a culture change within prison walls and beyond into the community."

PFI president and CFO Andrew Corley emphasized that the transformative power of God's Word is something for all men – not just inmates.

"God's activity is always redemptive and restorative – it is His nature" Corley asserted. "Our lives have been transformed by His goodness and power, so we take delight in helping others experience the same – this is the essence of our partnership with FCBH to those who are in prison. Camaraderie, gifting, prayer and skill will play their part in getting us off the ground, but our reliance is on Him, fully convinced that God loves to transform lives in the broken places."

Set for a July 2022 launch, the ministries' program utilizes PFI's network spanning some 100 indigenous prison ministry affiliates so that it is distributed to prisons all over the world.

"There will be a two-year pilot in 20 countries, followed by a three-year rollout in which 15 countries per year will begin offering the program," the release detailed. "By 2027, the program should operate in 1,200 prisons in 65 countries."

FCBH president and founder Jerry Jackson is grateful that God has provided a way to reach inmates with His Word where they are – both physically and cognitively.

"A successful businessman said his success was from finding a need and meeting it," Jackson shared. "PFI has found a worldwide need in prisons for the Word of God, and FCBH found that most prisoners do not read – so the Audio Bible and Gospel Film in the multitude of languages spoken is a perfect solution for this 'need.' This partnership was designed in Heaven for this time in history."