Evangelism

evangelism_imgThe Saints Prison Ministry uses athletics as a means to gain the attention and respect of inmates in order to share the Gospel. Our teams go into prisons to compete against inmate varsity and All-Star teams. During half-time at each game or between games of a softball doubleheader, one of our players shares his or her testimony and another player presents the Gospel message.

Inmates that are present are given response cards to fill out with the options of:

  • Today I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior
  • I am not ready to make a commitment, but would like more
    information about becoming a Christian
  • I am already saved but wish to recommit my life to Christ.

A space is also provided for prayer requests. These cards are collected by our team and follow-up postcards with the option of enrolling in The Saints Bible Correspondence Course are mailed to every inmate that completes a response card. In addition, each inmate’s name is entered into our data base so we can correspond with him or her. Each year we send hand-signed birthday cards along with a newsletter designed especially for prisoners to each of the 26,000 inmates in our database.

Testimonials:

“Thank you for scheduling a stop at White Post Diversion Center on your recent trip to correctional facilities in Virginia and West Virginia. The staff and the offenders had a great time playing softball and hearing from your volunteers. The men were appreciative of your visit and of the willingness of your volunteers to take time from their lives to visit people they had never met. A number of employees said that it was the most positive experience that they had experienced in their careers. Thanks to you and everyone in The Saints organization for making this program available. Please share our appreciation with your volunteers. They are true ‘game-changers.'”~ Peter VanAcker, Superintendent, White Post Diversion Center, White Post, VA
“The inmate population is still buzzing about the All-Star basketball and softball games. We have had volunteer groups come in to our facility before to play softball games, but never have we had the opportunity to host a basketball team, especially of your group’s caliber. It was a rare chance for our population to show their athletic talents to an outside group as well as see fresh faces with exceptional skill on the basketball court. The basketball exhibition was a huge success for our facility along with the softball exhibition. Your group was an inspiration and excellent representative of your organization’s goals and mission. Thank you again for the opportunity to meet and play against your group.”~ Jeff Monk, Recreation Director Chippewa CF, Kincheloe, MI
“On behalf on all involved, I would also like to take this moment to thank all …for such a great spiritual experience. The feedback was the same and the atmosphere was definitely an expression of the love for Christ Jesus. It may have been promoted as an event, but it was really the fellowshipping of Saintscoming together to worship. It was the unification of all involved expressing their spiritual and athletic abilities that resulted in the spreading of love, compassion and the Gospel. However, it would be only fitting that this expression of gratitude be shared with all respective personnel, therefore I am sending a copy of this to all who had something to do with the success of this event. Again, let us all take a bow, but remember who gets the GLORY.” ~ Cornelius Barker Hudson County Correctional Facility
Announcements

January usually means winding down soccer season, the heart of basketball season, and the first mention of softball season in the way of preseason meetings. To no one’s surprise, soccer and basketball seasons have fallen victim to pandemic cautions.

That leaves the softball season preparation to “announce” and this will surprise no one either. Due to the incredibly unpredictable prison landscape today, the preseason meetings for softball season are postponed until further notice. We are optimistic that we will see some level in-prison activity this summer but, until we have some indication of what that may look like, we are going to move forward cautiously to avoid any confusion or misleading statements.

We appreciate your prayers for our missionary-athletes as they are anxious to once again meet inmates who are desperate for answers once again, face-to-face, in the furtherance of the Gospel.

Hot Topics

COVID-19 certainly qualifies as a Hot Topic, and even more so as it impacts not only our ministry but also the men and women to whom we minister.

Just this week, the first inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Fort Dix passed away as a result of COVID. The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is a long-time partner of the Saints Prison Ministry and we have visited Federal prisons all over the country. But FCI Fort Dix is right in our backyard, a mere 15 miles from our headquarters in NJ, and we have developed many close relationships there over the years.

One inmate’s death is no more or less important than another, but this news reminds us that the incarcerated men and women we visit are living in perilous conditions. While we may choose to lock ourselves in our homes or wear a hazmat suit in public if we choose, prison conditions are so cramped that “social distancing” is almost impossible.

While our ministry is not allowed in-person visits at this time, prayer is a ministry unto itself and we ask all of our Saints family to be praying regularly for the mission field to which we are called.

“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them……” Hebrews 13:3 [Link to the nj.com article referenced above https://www.nj.com/news/2021/01/first-inmate-dies-at-nj-prison-ravaged-by-covid.html