Prison ministry celebrates milestone

By September 8, 2004

USA (MNN) — It’s a marvelous story of the church reaching out to most forgotten people in the United States, the prison population. Crossroad Bible Institute is celebrating 20 years of ministry to these forgotten people. And, the ministry is only expanding.

Crossroad’s President Doctor David Schuringa says, “I’m convinced as I read Scripture that the very heart of the Great Commission is reaching out to the down and out, reaching out to the hungry, reaching out to the incarcerated. So, for 20 years, Crossroad Bible Institute has been equipping church members to do just that.”

It all started in 1984. “A small group of church members had a desire to disciple prison inmates. They wanted to develop a long term relationship with them so that true discipleship could take place.”

And, the rest is history because now Crossroad now has a five year correspondence course program. “This year we will have 30,000 prisoners completing lessons. We have 4,000 instructors. Our prisoners are in every prison in the country and in 50 foreign countries. Our instructors are all over the country,” says Schuringa.

As these inmates grow in Christ, they’re leading their fellow inmates to Christ. Schuringa says, “One-third of our new enrollments now come from fellow cell mates. The inmates immediate begin to share their faith. We have numerous stories of inmates who are having their own Bible studies and bringing people to Christ. That’s the goal. We want to see the disciples making disciples.”

Funding is needed to support the ministry, but Crossroad also need more volunteer instructors — especially Spanish writers and speakers. “Right now, Greg, 2,000 Hispanic, Spanish speaking inmates are asking to be discipled, but we don’t have enough instructors for them.”

Go to http://www.crossroadbibleinstitute.org to help.

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