Papua New Guinea (MNN/CBI) — When Crossroad Bible Institute expanded their prison ministry in Papua New Guinea, they expected to break ground. But they didn’t expect to break records.
In 2012, prison officials saw the success of CBI’s program and wanted to extend those benefits to other institutions. The Buimo Jail in Lae, Papua New Guinea, is one such institution.
The response from women prisoners at Buimo marked a historic first for CBI: fieldworker Terry West reported that one hundred percent of the women who qualified for the program (which requires basic English literacy) chose to enroll.
The next day, West introduced the CBI program in the juvenile, remand and men’s facilities at Buimo. In each of the facilities, he witnessed the same astonishing response: one hundred percent of qualifying prisoners signed up for the program.
The incarcerated were not the only ones to show an enthusiastic response; five corrections officers also enrolled in CBI’s Bible study program. In all, a total of 150 Papua New Guineans became CBI students, and CBI Australia is optimistic that enrollment numbers will continue to grow.
“Other inmates who have seen what is going on with the students doing their lessons also want to start the program,” said CBI Australia co-director Ray Hoekzema.
In establishing the CBI program at Buimo, the ministry received support from a delegation of prison officials and the assistant commissioner of corrective services, Michael Mosiri. Mosiri helped CBI launch the program at Bomana Prison in Port Moresby last year.
CBI’s discipleship courses have been very popular in Papua New Guinea, and prison officials have encouraged CBI to establish the program in additional facilities because of the positive effects on students. Furthermore, Papua New Guinean students have benefited materially from CBI’s courses, as the certificates of completion are highly valued by local employers.
But high enrollment numbers are only the beginning in Papua New Guinea; CBI Australia seeks to lead the many new students to an understanding of the Gospel that will change their lives.
“Please continue to pray for the ministry in Buimo Prison,” West requested. “[Pray] that the students will come into a rich relationship with our Lord and Savior.”