When I was given the opportunity by FlyBy Promotions and Prison Fellowship to review The Restoration Series: Jonathan’s Walk- a 5 part series, I was a little apprehensive. This is not a subject I feel called to, and I don’t know anything about it. But for some reason I felt that this was a chance for me to learn more and open my heart and eyes to this important subject. I was offered a video preview for the upcoming series The Restoration Series: Jonathan’s Walk from Prison Fellowship, (due out February 20, 2019). This story of The Academy, a revolutionary in-prison program, shows how they are combating incarceration and targeting recidivism head on.
Did you know that although America is home to only 4% of the world’s population, we house more than 20% of its prisoners? And recidivism–the tendency of a criminal to re-offend—is out of control. While these are facts, these are also the designations that society places on offenders- that they can never get out, and if they do they will return. I’ll be honest. Many of the people I know and hang around with won’t ever have a time when they are either in prison, or even know anyone in prison. But that doesn’t mean prison doesn’t exist, or that there isn’t a need for ministry to those who have made mistakes and ended up there. Fortunately for those who are involved in the prison system, there are folks who are called to support, minister, and mentor them.
As I watched the preview for the series, I found myself drawn in more and more with every minute. There are so many emotions, and so much hard reality for these folks. I think those of us outside the prison system tend to want to make everyone there out to be heartless and hopeless. The few minutes that I watched this preview I realized that we are so wrong for plugging all of them into that bucket. We have got to remember that everyone’s walk in life is different. Just because it doesn’t look like ours, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. One of my favorite lines in the preview is- “my walk is not for everyone”.
I know, and have met, terrific and compassionate Christians who have been called to prison ministry. As I watched the preview to The Restoration Series: Jonathan’s Walk (www.prisonfellowship.org) I caught a glimpse into the reasons for their calling. The men and women who have made mistakes, have repented, and who have committed themselves to the Lord are no different than us. They deserve mentors, they deserve ministry, they deserve a chance to be forgiven. They deserve to be recognized as people and allowed to maintain their dignity. In this short preview it was clear- who are we to place judgement on them if God has forgiven them? Something to think about…….
“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Other resources about Prison Ministry can be found HERE.