The Church Behind Bars Movement 2017 Results
2 Prisons… 1 Team:
- - 83 made decisions made for Christ
- - 323 rededicated their lives
- - 383 asked for further contact
- - 12 months produced 75 graduates, who became thoroughly trained as leaders and mentors.
- - Out of 100 women, 60 of them graduated, and 9 others received a certificate of participation.
- - Out of 30 men, 15 graduated, and 9 others received a certificate of participation.
One of our women graduates wrote a drama about Ez. 37- The Valley of Dry Bones that was presented at graduation. There were nine bone piles, each representing one of the areas of service in the church: PREACHERS, TEACHERS, WORSHIPERS, MUSICIANS, EVANGELISTS, INTERCESSORS, TESTIMONIES, HOSPITALITY and ADMINISTRATORS. At the end of the drama, each person covered in bones stood up and saluted. Together they shouted, "WE ARE THE CHURCH BEHIND BARS!"
The narrator then told all the Department of Corrections represented at graduation: "In the beginning none of us knew what we were signing up for or what to expect. At first, we thought Revs. Tony, Debbie and Robin and all the volunteers were like all the other ministries that come to teach us. CBB did teach us a lot, but they also uncovered us. Like the bones in Ezekiel 37, God knew what they were and what their potential was. God saw us, what we were and what our potential was too. When these beautiful people pack up and return home, the Church Behind Bars will still be here. Let us not forget as we enter a new year, WE are the Church Behind Bars."
Transformation has genuinely happened…
A former volunteer chaplain recently said, "Debbie, I worked with these inmates for several years and have not seen the heart change until CBB... Their attitudes and countenance have changed. They have learned the meaning of forgiveness, mercy and compassion from the Lord and for one another. They are learning to put others first and live unto the Lord. They have truly gone through a transformation."
They have discovered WHO they are...
- * It's mind blowing how God is breaking though each and every one of us...He is tapping into every bit of talent and gifts that He has given us.
- * CBB has shown me that you can be free even behind the gates of barbed wire. Prison, my past and my charges do not make me who I am. God made me; I'm a child of Christ and finally free to hit the ground running as a conqueror in Jesus Christ's army.
- * CBB has trained us up to be warriors in the Kingdom and be true servants of God to continue in this prison.
- * I’VE NEVER LOVED MYSELF, MUCH LESS EVER LIKED MYSELF. Now because I know Jesus is in me, and how He sees me, I feel love for me for the first time—EVER!
- * No person has ever known the depth of self-loathing and shame that I have walked in… But guess what? It’s gone!
- * I’ve learned how to have my own experience (daily) with Jesus Christ.
- * I’ve learned how to listen for His voice
- * I’ve learned how Christ sees me spiritually, and BOY! Am I beautiful!
- * I’ve learned that He gave me gifts to use to help others see Him
- * I’ve learned how to operate as part of a body, rather than flopping around on my own.
- * I’ve learned how much difference it makes when I encourage someone, compliment them or thank them.
- * I’ve learned to more I speak positive to people, the more people want to listen.
- * I’ve learned that people often just want someone to listen to them.
- * I’ve learned that conflicts are fewer and further between when there’s love instead of offense.
- * I’ve learned that I am a bride of Jesus Christ and words fail to describe the difference in me because of it!
- * For uncovering me, dusting off all the debris life has piled on me over the years…for having hearts for Jesus and coming here this past year jut for us, THANK YOU!
Now they have an assignment and a mission field…
- * We understand the importance of going out to minister to the lost, the hurting, abandoned, lonely, oppressed, depressed, the widows, diseased, homeless, abused and the broken hearted- all in LOVE
- * We know others in this prison are depending on us! They are broken, hungry people and it's up to us to give them what we have received.
- * This is the first time we are seeing ministry happening outside of the Chapel. We realize that we have been equipped to BE the Church.
What separates Church Behind Bars from Prison Ministry of the past?
- * Other prison ministries came to feed us fish, but CBB has taught us to fish!
- * Prison ministries in the past came to "save" people, which is cool, but what do you do after that? CBB has equipped us for service!
- * In the beginning nobody knew what to expect from CBB, or they didn't want to get comfortable and then be let down. As time went by however, a foundation was built and everyone welcomed change. I've never been able to get up in front of others and talk. So now to be able to publicly read the Word and not care what others think is amazing.
It has taken many people to accomplish such an enormous assignment! Through the faithfulness of intercessors, financial partners, volunteers, and the CBB staff, God’s baby was not only born, but a Church Behind Bars has emerged from the shadows and taken its place in the ranks!
Thank you for going with us through your prayers and financial support! The Kingdom is BIGGER because of your partnership! As we come to a close in 2017, know that this is only the beginning of something GREAT! As these leaders break out of the stereotype that prisoners can't change, and can't fulfill their God-given assignment, they are destined to change their part of the world.