International (MNN) — Discipleship programs in prisons worldwide are booming.
Prison ministry Crossroad Bible Institute (CBI) has grown in no small numbers across Africa and has expanded to reach people on nearly every continent of the globe.
But more growth means more resources. Without a few key resources, personal growth can hardly move forward at all.
A problem arose within CBI programs, especially in developing nations. "These prisoners were finding it very difficult to obtain Bibles when just getting enough food to eat is a big enough issue," Spanish and International Programs Coordinator Cynthia Williams. "And on top of that, our satellite campus directors were themselves facing limited resources."
CBI provides lessons for inmates across the globe to learn more about Christ, Christianity and discipleship. In places like Zambia, though, some prisoners had been using one Bible for as many as 50 people. Not only did that cause a problem for the spiritual growth of these new believers who had such limited access, but it also hindered instructors, who could not easily implement their program with their students couldn't refer to the Word for added counsel.
Clearly something had to be done, and CBI stepped up to the challenge. "We are now implementing the international inmate program where we provide Bibles along with the initiation of the program to our students, especially in developing countries," explains Williams.
CBI now ships Bibles worldwide to provide every one of their students with a Bible. Hopefully now the only Bible-sharing that will need to happen is when a new believer chooses to share the Gospel with a fellow inmate.
Williams says CBI has been receiving responses on a daily basis, attesting to all God has done in their lives through the power of His Word.
"We just are again seeing the Lord open doors in the most amazing ways through our international program into countries we would never have anticipated getting into," says Williams.
There is a definite financial cost to the program, but it's well worth it. CBI is harvesting strong, well-read believers who may be in chains but have been set free.
This program could always use your prayer support. Your financial help is welcome, too. To learn more about how you can help, visit their Web site: cbi.fm, call (616) 530-1300, or contact Williams directly at [email protected]