Light Penetrating Prison Walls

An Amazing Fact: In 1980, 440,000 men and women were behind bars in the United States. Today, there are 2.2 million—a 500-percent increase! And while more than 600,000 people are released from prison every year, the Bureau of Justice estimates that about two-thirds of those released will be back behind bars within three years. But you and I can help change that.

Locked away in a prison cell in Arizona, Timothy was about to end his life. He writes, “I had given up all hope, and I had everything planned out.”

This, of course, is not rare. Especially now with the pandemic, suicide rates are skyrocketing in prisons.

But then Timothy received a personal letter from the Amazing Facts International correspondence team, along with Bible-based materials full of encouragement. When you support this ministry, you’re reaching behind dark and lonely walls, bringing the light of hope and truth to thousands on the verge of giving up.

Prisoners Are People

Prisons are overflowing all over this world. But not all inmates have hardened hearts. Thousands are regular people who had no former criminal record—but who, in a reckless moment, made a foolish mistake.

And yes, some prisoners have been unjustly incarcerated. Remember: Joseph, Jeremiah, Peter, James, John, and Paul were all in prison at one time. Much of the New Testament was written from a prison cell!

The Bible says that Christ was “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Luke 7:34), and He knows what it’s like to be treated as a prisoner …

“He was taken from prison and from judgment” (Isaiah 53:8). But He also came “to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (Isaiah 61:1).

Yes—Jesus died on a cross for those who are incarcerated.

He wants you and me to help convicts find new life. The question is, what can we do? With recidivism rates so high, are we simply throwing away literature when we send materials to prisons?

Not on your life!

The Power of the Gospel

Why is it that the majority of those released from prison end up back behind bars in just a few years? 

Something must change on the inside of a person before they can live a different life on the outside. They need to experience God’s promise: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).

But do Bible-based materials really turn repeat offenders around? YES! One study found that recidivism rates dropped from the state average of 40 percent to 0.8 percent when inmates joined a prison fellowship! 

That’s what happened with Timothy. Instead of ending his life, he said to himself, “Let me just wait a little to see what this Amazing Facts can show and teach me.”

You Visited Jesus in Prison

On judgment day, Jesus will pronounce a blessing on His people who cared for prisoners. “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for … I was in prison and you came to Me” (Matthew 25:34–36).

Visiting prisoners right now is nearly impossible because of COVID-19. To prevent the spread of the virus, inmates aren’t being allowed to see even family members. Most are locked in virtual solitary confinement.

But when you support Amazing Facts, you are visiting these lonely souls. You send not only faith-building materials … you send a lifeline.

Gifts of Light and Life

Nearly 30,000 letters come to us each year from prisoners. But since the start of this pandemic year, that has increased by about 45 percent! Just this year, you have helped mail out well over 40,000 pieces of literature to prisoners. 

Many consider us their family because we work tirelessly to answer Bible questions, give spiritual encouragement, pray for them, and send free literature to bolster their faith.

Louis, a prisoner in Arizona, caught the virus and nearly died. He was in a hospital bed recovering next to another prisoner asking him all sorts of Bible questions. So, Louis wrote to Amazing Facts, asking for materials to share about the last days.

A single Amazing Facts Study Guide might be shared by 20 convicts. In one prison, a copy of my Richest Caveman book was passed around to almost every inmate until it was in tatters!

Timothy writes, “Amazing Facts and its people”—that’s you!—“showed me there are people who still care about people like me.” He even said that the letters and materials you sent him are “the reason why I am still breathing.”

Lead Prisoners to Freedom in Christ

With these lockdowns, there is a giant need to shine God’s truth to prisoners like Timothy. The Holy Spirit uses your gifts to change hearts for the kingdom through personal letters, Bible lessons, booklets, devotionals, and even our inspiring annual calendars. Without you, we simply cannot fill this urgent need.

For a gift of $20, you can reach countless prisoners through Bible Answers Live radio and Amazing Facts television programs. For $60, you can mail 12 devotionals or 40 Study Guide sets in English or Spanish to lead people to Christ. And for a loving gift of $175, you can even provide Amazing Facts Prophecy Study Bibles to prisoners serving lifetime sentences or send hundreds of DVDs and Bible School enrollment cards.

Timothy had decided to end his life in a lonely prison cell. But the Lord used you to send a personal letter that brought light to his darkened heart. Today, Timothy is a changed man. Please join me in visiting desperate men and women who need to hear Christ’s words of assurance: “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). Thank you!

Proclaiming freedom to captives,

Pastor Doug Batchelor

President, Amazing Facts International

Amazing Facts is a non-profit, donor-supported ministry.
We greatly appreciate your prayers and financial support.

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