A new Bible tool provides a great boost to prison ministries.

By June 17, 2005

USA (MNN)–In the U.S., nearly 2 million adults and youth crowd our prisons and jails. Every year, about 30 percent of them are released after serving an average of three to five years.

The statistics show about two-thirds of ex-convicts re-offend and return to jail within three years. But the research also shows that inmates who make decisions for Christ, and then are released, are 50 percent less likely to end up in jail again.

It’s a clarion call to believers to get involved. To that end, Operation Starting Line launched. It’s a sweeping evangelistic outreach that links the resources of over twenty five Christian groups with believers from local churches.
International Bible Society’s Rich Blanco says they got involved when they introduced a special Bible specific to prison ministry. “They asked us to incorporate a Bible study-that was actually written by the Navigators-in the Bible. So, we’ve done the special edition in addition to the Navigator’s Bible Study, there’s also a response card where prison inmates can sign up for a correspondence course through Crossroad’s Ministry.”

Blanco explains why they felt it was necessary to provide this unique resource. “There are some prison institutions that only allow the inmates to have a limited amount of resources and that really helps the inmate get a really effective Scripture and Bible study material just in case they’re really not able to go to a service or a Bible study that’s being offered.”

“More than $100,000 has been contributed by the International Bible Society and other Operation Starting Line collaborators to produce the special edition of the Free on the Inside Bible,” said Blanco. “However, funds are needed to ensure we can continue to distribute these prisoner-oriented Bibles to inmates across the country.”

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