Turning Former Prison Inmates into Missionaries
After trusting Jesus as their Savior, many prison inmates have a real thirst and hunger to know God and share with others. They desire to grow in holiness and serve Christ with a pure heart. God has given us a vision to assist inmates to serve Him full time.
We have a vision statement – it’s to make fervent disciples of prisoners in the U.S. and around the world. What will this look like in 3, 5 or 10 years?
We must continue to equip and mobilize, not only those in prison, but those released whose heart desire is to serve God full time. Surviving in the world after incarceration can be a full time job. Most don’t have the money or education to enroll in seminary or Bible college.
We can take select inmates scheduled for release and give them an opportunity to apply and interview for this program. Those accepted will receive a place to live and the tools and training to serve Christ full time. I’m talking about a physical and Spirit-filled mission center.
Not only will we continue current operations but with our own land and building we will house 5-20 former inmates. At the end of a two year program, we will give them an opportunity to serve CLI through our hubs or even internationally.
The mission center would be run as Jesus ran His: daily life together while learning and doing more prayer, service and witnessing. They would also learn theology, fundraising, management, developing their gifting and working with CLI’s ongoing operations. They become part of the solution of meeting our mission.
By investing in them, we would be investing in our future of building an army of disciples to reach prisoners around the globe. At this point we have been good at laying stones. Yes, we have a good solid foundation. But now it’s time to lift our eyes to heaven and build a cathedral. Let’s lift our eyes to heaven and build the Mission Center.
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:1-3
God has given CLI an amazing opportunity to reach out to the prison community.
Right now, CLI is headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina. Although we serve US prisons in all 50 states, most of our books and financial donors come from North Carolina. We are missing partnering with people and churches in many other areas.
Our vision is to establish CLI Hubs in every community to better serve the local churches and prisons. Hub staff and volunteers will visit churches to request Christian books and visit prison chaplains and determine their needs.
It is our prayer that these new CLI Hubs will build a strong bridge between the churches and nearby prisons. If you feel the Lord is calling you to lead this outreach in your community, please contact us.