Fall 2017 Alpha Prison Ministries Newsletter
“I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Matthew 25:36)
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Impact Night in October
As you may have noticed in our recent communications, the annual APM banquet is now called Impact Night. Yes, we still have a delicious catered meal to show tangible appreciation for our volunteers and supporters, but the real purpose has always been to raise awareness and demonstrate the impact that this ministry is having in the lives of entire families.
We do our best to communicate this impact in the printed form of newsletters like you're reading right now, but it pales in comparison to seeing faces and hearing testimonies first hand from those whose lives and eternal destinies have been forever changed. You are part of that and we want you to experience it, not just read it.
There is a certain challenge involved too. It's not easy to generate enthusiasm for helping people who have committed crimes and are serving time for those crimes. To most people, they are getting what they deserve. That may be true, but when you discover why God includes specific mention of his concern for prisoners you begin to see the importance and impact of prison ministry.
That's what we showcase on Impact Night. We don't just want you to witness it, we encourage you to invite others so they too can envision both the practical and eternal benefits of changing this world one prisoner at a time.
You've already received your invitation, but that invitation is not for you alone. We'll gladly provide a free meal to other people you know because God is calling many others to prison ministry and you may very well be the catalyst to help them find their destiny. Just let us know the head count if anyone you ask agrees to come with you.
While you think about others you can invite, a bit of perspective will help shape the enthusiasm of your invitation. Together we are not just changing the lives of the prisoners we reach, we're changing culture and families. We're helping to prevent the next generation from becoming another sad statistic.
We're building a glorious future in heaven and plundering a demonic stronghold. We're having an impact beyond our wildest dreams. We're having far more impact than we see even though we do get to see exciting adventures of faith, like we'll all experience together on Impact Night. We look forward to sharing that evening with you on October 9 beginning at 6:00.
Former Atheist Gets Baptized
Before I knew Christ I was a proud atheist, and I thought I was in control of my life. Growing up I always felt unloved, unwanted, and alone. At the age of 16, I started to use drugs and alcohol to deal with the loneliness. I became an addict and was in and out of jail, falling deeper and deeper into my addiction and feeling more alone and unloved. My life was out of control.
I cried out to God and prayed for him to take my addiction away and to change my life, no matter what the cost…even if it meant sending me to prison. Two weeks later I was arrested and incarcerated. While on my journey through incarceration, I started attending church in jail.
I couldn't help but to hear the word of God, and the Holy Spirit was moving inside me. Matthew 22:14 says, “Many are called but few are chosen.” I felt like Jesus had chosen me of all people and he started to do a work in me.
Jesus opened my eyes, my mind, and my heart to him. I finally realized I was loved and I wasn't alone. Jesus had been with me the whole time, I just didn't see it. So I started to read the gospel and attending church as much as I could.
When I arrived in prison, I realized my body was in chains but my mind was finally free from my addiction. My prayer had been answered and that was when I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. Since then, I've been accepted into a faith-based halfway house.
Jesus has blessed me every step that I've taken…now I have a home, a job, a church, and over two years of being drug free! Today, I have chosen to be baptized because I have been transformed by Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Jesus Christ has given me a new life with him as my foundation. I am here to repent of my sins and my old way of life and publicly declare that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.
Alpha Volunteers Making An Impact
First, and always first, all thanks and praise to our Father. He is central all the time. I pray this finds you, as well as the Alpha family in good spirits. Since I last wrote to you, I've been moved from Brooks to Saginaw Correctional Facility in Freeland.
I was originally sent to Brooks from Jackson in September 2015. A friend introduced me to Alpha Bible studies there and I've been going every week since. I even went the day I was told to pack up and ride out. I had to say my good byes.
I met Al, Bill, and Norm, three great men doing God's work and teaching his word. I now understand WHY I was sent to Brooks. It was God's will for me to meet these three men as well as the good brothers there: Happy Jack, Bruce, Jamie, Big Drew, and more—I miss those guys.
I prayed to learn and know more about God and his way of life, in order to help me become a better person. God sent me to Brooks—to get to know him better. Thank you Jesus!
Thank you and have a great day.
Brother in Christ,
What We Do (and Don't Do)
It's been a while since we outlined the highlights of what APM does so here is a brief summary:
APM volunteers do one-on-one Bible studies with men in prison who often minister to other inmates
APM sends Bibles and Christian literature into prisons Alpha House provides a supervised living environment for former inmates who are accepted as residents to help them make a successful transition back into society
APM has volunteer mentors who provide discipleship to Alpha House residents
Alpha House residents receive Bible study and emphasis on developing strong Christian character
APM encourages inmates and former inmates to become involved in ministry
APM is a decidedly “Christian” ministry that believes only Jesus Christ has the power to truly transform the human heart through the Holy Spirit
APM does not sell or share our mailing list
Alpha Prison Ministries' Finances, January-July 2017
Total $ Income: 39,279.33
Total $ Expense: 57,876.01
Net $ Income: -18,596.68
Unless otherwise noted,
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)
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