CR Inside Newsletter

The blog for CR Inside. Much talk about all things CR Inside...

Prison Ministry… Why Bother?

From the Editor

Why indeed? For those of us who’ve participated in this ministry, we know the challenges of seeing folks struggle to make it in Step Study, struggle to complete their time, and struggle upon release. We’ve been discouraged by our brothers and sisters who volunteer with us who don’t stay committed. For many who don’t participate, it’s difficult to understand. Ninety years ago (March 1923) British mountain climber George Mallory was asked why he wanted to attempt to climb Mt Everest after failing to reach the summit twice before. “Because it’s there” was his reply, and that famous quote has gone on to represent many endeavors. On his fateful third attempt, as observers saw him get to within 1000 feet of the summit, he fell to his death; but we can also see, that he died trying. He never gave up.

In Philippians 4:14 Paul says, “I press on toward the goal…” and in verse 15 encourages us to do the same. And so, we continue to do what we do, “Because it’s there”; and for many, we feel blessed to serve, grateful for where God has brought us from, and hopeful for those whom we serve. How many times have you left the prison yard, or the jail, wondering who got more blessed? Yeah, I know that feeling. We don’t always get to see the fruits of our labor, but what a blessing when we do. Right now, I’m co-leading a step study at our church with a man who was a leader of two step studies inside.

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Why in the world would you go to an Inside One Day?

From the Editor

Why indeed? In this issue, we’ll explore some experiences of those who’ve attended, or participated in Celebrate Recovery Inside (CRI) One Days. If you’re asking what exactly is an Inside One Day, and what distinguishes it from “community” One Days, read on.

As the name implies, this is a one-day seminar that deals generally with the aspects of prison ministry; and specifically, as it relates to Celebrate Recovery. Not all are called to go “inside”, but for each of us, there exists the opportunity to serve “the least of these” in one form or another.

So what takes place at a CRI One Day? As at any One Day, it begins with registration, fellowship, breakfast snacks, welcome, prayer and worship. The first half of the day deals with the challenges (and blessings), of starting an Inside ministry, with testimonies from incarcerated, or previously incarcerated folks, interspersed with a break, and Q & A. The second half of the day is directed towards the various aspects of Inside Out, or release. As Hector (Lozano, National Director) states, “If we can’t provide direction and support upon release, and they fail, then we’ve failed” Or, "if we don't succeed in effective re-entry, from a recidivism perspective, we don't succeed!"

Also, as always, more stories of graduations, inmate leader trainings, and new video. I regret to say, that part two of our interview with Heather Layne was lost somehow, but the good news is that I’ll be visiting with her again in the Fall and will follow up on our interview. Be looking for interviews with other interesting people, including our National Director, and Carol Mathews, Executive Producer of Home Run. Please keep this film in your prayers, there are many who pray at 9:00 PM nightly, will you join?

David Jones