South Africa (MNN) — Crossroad Bible Institute celebrated the second graduation ceremony hosted by its satellite campus in South Africa. The prison warden and four other high-ranking officials attended the ceremony of 32 graduates at Baviaanspoort Correctional Centre in Pretoria.
"To see prison officials embracing the program and participating in the graduation ceremony is something that just thrills us," said CBI President Dr. David Schuringa.
Because of prison officials' support, the program has expanded from one to three facilities over the last year. Officials aren't the only ones who celebrate CBI's involvement. Graduating from the discipleship program and receiving recognition for this achievement holds significance in the hearts of inmates.
"They'll say, 'This is the first thing I've accomplished. This is the first thing that I've finished,'" he stated. According to Schuringa, CBI's discipleship program offers inmates redemption.
"It gives them God's truth. It gives them a vision for the future that when they get out, life can be different because they're going to make different choices."
CBI South Africa now serves 120 registered students in Pretoria. Their studies are corrected by volunteers from four different denominations, including the Reformed Churches of South Africa, the Free Reformed Churches, the Afrikaans Protestant Church and Reformed Baptists. Campus Director Alwyn Bezuidenhout directs the program, overseeing volunteers, and spearheading expansion efforts.
"We are seeing CBI South Africa gain an increasing presence and impact on the prison system in that country," said Cynthia Williams, CBI International Programs Coordinator.
Pray for students discipled by CBI in Pretoria. There are over 42,000 students studying with CBI through satellite campuses on six continents. Schuringa said anyone can become a mentor to an inmate seeking redemption.
"This is a hands-on ministry that any Christian can do; we'll train them," Schuringa explained. "You can be missionaries right in your own home.
"It's totally safe and secure; we've never had a negative incident between a teacher and student."
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