Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. – Hebrews 13:3
Recently, the Lord has given the Northside Community an opportunity to provide weekly sermons to inmates at a state prison in California, where approximately 800 inmates reside. Through some local familial and homeschool contacts, we were introduced to one of the inmates, Christopher, who is a believer; and when we asked him if he would be interested in receiving recordings of the weekly sermons from Redemption Hill Church, he responded with an enthusiastic “YES! That would be awesome!” Since that initial contact, Christopher has met with the warden, who has given permission for a “resource center” for Christian materials to be established in the prison; inmates will be able to check out resources (CDs, books) from the resource center and use them as often as they like. And the current series of messages from the Book of James will be the very first items in that resource center!
The first package of CDs contained the first six messages from the Book of James, and Alex was the first inmate to check them out. At a recent Christian church service in the prison, Alex, who was sitting in front of Christopher, turned around and whispered to Christopher: “I’ve only listened to four so far—they’re REALLY good!” In his letter describing this scene, Christopher commented: “Alex had such a sweet gleam in his normally dull eyes as he told me this news.” (And Christopher said he “can’t wait” for his turn to listen to them!)
Most inmates return to prison within a short time after their release. Unfortunately, most of these men are trapped in a vicious cycle where they are released, commit another crime, imprisoned, released, etc. God has given Christopher, a gifted administrator and experienced businessman, a vision to equip and inspire inmates to break this cycle by learning “on the inside” how to succeed “on the outside” upon release. Please pray for Christopher, the elders at the Christian church in the prison, and those whose lives are being touched by their brothers and sisters at Redemption Hill through our interaction, prayers, and provision of resources.
The Northside Community is seeking the Lord about the best way to love and serve our brothers in Christ in McFarland, California, and we hope to provide discipleship resources, as well as a variety of resources that will be used to train inmates how to succeed as employees and businessmen upon their release.