Malaysia (MNN) — How do you share Christ when your audience is unable to read?
That’s one problem Crossroad Bible Institute has faced in its ministry to prisoners in Malaysia. But it has still found a way to make disciples.
CBI Pastor Bobby John started a Malaysia satellite campus in October 2013 through the help of CBI Singapore. Due to the difficulty of obtaining permits to work in prisons, Pastor John brought CBI to different halfway houses and rehabilitation centers throughout Malaysia. CBI Malaysia currently has programs in four rehab centers and is looking to expand into five more centers, as well as other prisons, throughout the year.
“CBI Malaysia specifically works in halfway houses,” says CBI International Coordinator Jacob Busscher. “At these halfway houses, many of these individuals are able to get together in a community of 4 5, 12 individuals who together can work through these lessons.”
One of the rehab centers where CBI ministers is Serendah Prison, a government-run rehab center where severe drug addicts serve their sentence. Many of the inmates are illiterate, so Pastor John and volunteers minister orally.
And they’ve seen the fruit. After monthly visits of verbal witnessing, 18 inmates came to Christ in one session.
“If one, two or even more individuals are illiterate, it just creates a much better sense of community, where a Christian brother or sister can come in and assist many of these illiterate or even very poorly-educated students and just help them along this Christian faith,” Busscher said.
But the assistance doesn’t stop after conversion. Through CBI’s Tier 2 program, inmates receive life-skills training and continued biblical instruction as they prepare to reenter normal life. This summer, CBI Malaysia is overseeing its first Tier 2 students.
“After they’ve completed approximately a year’s worth of courses, Tier 2 is when we can really get one-to-one or closer mentoring from an instructor-to-student standpoint, as well as we’re now able to provide recommendation letters,” Busscher says. “We’re able to provide resources to potentially get them reacquainted with society.
“It’s a good stepping stone and great spot to see the development and see the wonderful follow-up that can continue to happen.
With the Malaysia students, CBI will focus on a more communal aspect with its Tier 2 training, rather than one-on-one. It will work through a program called “All Work is God’s Work.”
“These Tier 2 courses allow an instructor to…really engage these topics of work ethic, community, money, and just discuss: “How do we represent God through our actions?” Busscher says.
There are a variety of ways you can help CBI bring Christ to hurting prisoners. The biggest is prayer. Busscher asks that you pray for everyone involved with CBI Malaysia, those both in and out of prison. Pray also for CBI Singapore, which is heavily involved in Malaysia because of its proximity.
You can also help financially. Funding is needed at the CBI headquarters in Grand Rapids, MI, to offset the cost of CBI’s lesson material. Or, if you are in the U.S., you can volunteer by grading assignments or writing letters of encouragement. Find more opportunities to get involved at CBI.fm.