20,000 prisoners reached with gospel via Christianity Explored/PFI link up
Christianity Explored Ministries’ (CEM) new link up with Prison Fellowship International (PFI) is already bearing fruit ...
Christianity Explored Ministries’ (CEM) new link up with Prison Fellowship International (PFI) is already bearing fruit.
Since its inception last January, evangelism tool The Prisoner's Journey, within which the Christianity Explored course is a key component, has been used in 103 prisons in 11 countries. These include Nigeria, Australia, Singapore, Spain and Brazil.
This means that 20,000 inmates were reached with the Gospel in 2015, across five continents. Nine more countries will join the programme in 2016: Portugal, Honduras, Malta, Albania, Kenya, Zambia, Swaziland, Togo and Burkina Faso.
Testimonies from those prisoners who have completed the course are eloquent and powerful. One example is Daniel, from South Africa, who said: “A lot of people who are not believers are taking part in it, especially in my cell. Even inmates that I used to invite to church and didn't accept my invitation, joined this programme.”
PFI was founded in 1979. Its network of 45,000 volunteers currently undertakes monthly prison ministry with two million inmates in 3,700 prisons in more than 120 countries. There are an estimated 10 million inmates in 22,000 jails across the world. Christianity Explored is a core element of The Prisoners Journey, the programme which is at the heart of PFI’s strategy to reach one million prisoners with the Gospel by 2020.
The Promotion phase of The Prisoner's Journey encourages participants to embark on a journey with Jesus Christ, emphasising that he, too, experienced much of what they feel now, including fear, loneliness, alienation and abandonment.
Prisoners wanting to learn more are invited to join the second phase of the program, The Course, where they go through the Christianity Explored materials in a group setting. This second phase is an eight-week course which simply lets the Gospel of Mark tell the Gospel of Jesus. It focuses on who Christ is (his identity), what he came to do (his mission) and our response to him (his call).
The final phase, Discipleship, seeks to engage prisoners with a real, personal relationship with Christ within the context of the Church.
Ian Roberts, Chief Executive of CEM, comments: “We’ve been thrilled how the Prisons Edition of Christianity Explored has already been embraced by chaplains and volunteers in the United Kingdom and beyond. We are even more delighted that our partnership with PFI is bearing fruit in a similar way.
“We trust the enthusiasm with which The Prisoner’s Journey has been received will multiply further in 2016 and will lead to more prisoners all over the world exploring Mark’s Gospel and finding true freedom and salvation in Jesus Christ.”