Prison ministry a shining light in the dark

By October 31, 2014
(Photo cred: CBI)

(Photo credit CBI)

Puerto Rico (CBI/MNN) — Puerto Rico has an incarceration rate of about 332 per 100,000 people, and cocaine trafficking has nearly quadrupled in the last seven years.

New York Times reports that the increase in drug trade is due to traffickers in Columbia and Venezuela who are looking for new ways to import cocaine into the United States.

But like a shining light in the dark, Crossroad Bible Institute (CBI) is thrilled to announce the launch of a new satellite campus in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (USA).

The fast-growing campus has already enrolled 92 students and trained over 40 instructors under the direction of long-time prison chaplain Madeline Garcia.

“When Madeline approached us about starting this campus, we were excited to see how this move could help grow the ministry,” said Sandra Chang Raak, CBI international coordinator. “We believe training local Instructors is the best way to empower Puerto Rican church leaders in the area of prison ministry.”

CBI has served Puerto Rican students for many years, due largely to Garcia’s efforts to personally distribute and collect lessons throughout the island’s prisons. However, without indigenous support, these lessons had to be processed through CBI headquarters in the United States, which nearly doubled lesson turnaround rates.

Garcia realized that establishing a self-sufficient satellite campus would be the best solution to streamline lesson processing.

Garcia has worked passionately for many years to address these problems and bring rehabilitative programs to Puerto Rico’s prison population. CBI Puerto Rico will serve as a key piece in this mission, specifically at the two rehabilitation centers Garcia founded for newly-released prisoners. Garcia is already incorporating CBI’s discipleship program into each person’s treatment plan and facilitating weekly sessions in which students can complete lessons together in a classroom setting.

“CBI Puerto Rico truly embodies the vision for holistic healing that lies at Crossroad’s core,” said CBI president Dr. David Schuringa. “Our growing international program–with 20 established and 7 emerging campuses–reminds us that the need for long-term discipleship and reentry support in America is also present in prisons all around the world.”

Pray that the Puerto Rico satellite campus will continue growing and helping the lives of the prisoners. Click here to learn how you can help.

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