Evangelism in Prison Ministry

The following post by Miriam McKenney appears in the Spring 2018 issue of Odyssey. You can find the whole issue here.

The inmates who write to us touch our hearts every day. We’re thankful that Forward Day by Day reaches our incarcerated brothers and sisters, so that they know that God deeply and eternally loves them. Your gifts spread that love throughout the United States and to countries around the world – we are thankful for you.

This story of evangelism started with a request from a woman in a Texas jail.

My name is Sharon and I am currently incarcerated in County Jail. I may be looking at some real time, like 2-10 years in prison. I am writing you today to see if you can send me the Pathways of Faith Coloring Book, and a Day by Day?? I would greatly appreciate it. I do not have any money to pay you. At one time I was very active in my church, seeing how my father was a Pentecostal preacher all my life. However I lost both my parents in 2015 and fell off into depression and here I sit due to my bad choices. I am on my way to recovery and building my relationship back with God. I thank you for anything you are able to send me.

We sent Sharon the materials, but she was moved to another facility, and may not have received them. This is not unusual in the prison system. Thankfully, Sharon didn’t give up. She reached out to us again from her new facility in Texas.

My name is Sharon and I am incarcerated in Texas. I am serving a fifteen-month sentence. While I am here I have entered the recovery program called Turning Points. I am also working on my relationship with God. See, my dad was a minister for the Assembly of God all my life. Well I have lost him and my mother both to a better life with God in 2015. So I am now doing this time alone – well with me and God. I am writing to ask if you could please send me a Pathways of Faith Coloring Book and a Saint Augustine Prayer Book? Anything you could send me to get closer to God and help me while I am doing the time would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and God Bless.

We sent her the materials, and thought that was that. But a couple of weeks later, we received this letter from another woman in the same prison.

My name is Amber. I am incarcerated and I would love to send my child the Pathways of Faith Coloring Book. May you please send me a Pathways of Faith all ages coloring book. Please and God bless.

Her letter included nine additional women’s addresses. A day or two later, we received yet another letter:

Hello my name is Robin. Some of my cell mates received the faith based coloring book you have sent them. Me and my bunky are wanting to receive the same book. Thank you, God Bless.

She listed her address along with those of five other women. We’ve mailed 38 copies of Pathways of Faith to that Texas prison to date. We feel blessed to share something that will bring joy and light into the lives of these women and their families. Often, a mailing from us is the only touch an inmate has from outside prison. Your generosity allows us to say yes to every request like this we receive. Thank you so much for helping these incarcerated women and their families experience a relationship with God.

Can you donate today, so that we can continue to give the gift of prayer to those in need?