In any given year, the Saints Prison Ministry conducts 8-10 crusades – but obviously 2021 hasn’t been “any” year! However, we did see open doors this summer and we walked through every one of them. Preparing for each opportunity was pressure-packed due to time constraints, yet every time the Lord delivered passionate missionary-athletes, enthusiastic inmates, and administrations that welcomed us warmly.
In April, our team answered the invitations from Central Florida – the first events since March 2020! We visited three prisons, in which we ministered to five different populations, and our team preached the Gospel to almost 400 men. We saw 23 professions of faith in Jesus Christ and handed out 737 Gospels of John!
In late June we opted to return to the very same area of Florida, based on the overwhelming response to our April visit. We returned to one of the prisons from our April trip, added three other prisons that invited us and, cumulatively, seven different populations came out to watch us play.
Although attendance was lighter than it had been previously, God still worked through our MAs to draw 10 men to a personal relationship with him. We also distributed 439 Gospels in these four prisons.
Just four weeks later we gathered our team together again, this time in the northern part of Florida. This trip involved 6 prisons, including the first-ever scheduled kickball game in Saints history! More than 450 inmates came out to interact with our team and God once again blessed our efforts. 40 men made the decision to follow Jesus and we distributed 501 Gospels of John in just four days on the ground!
Finally, in early August, we answered a call outside of Florida! Three prisons in Ohio extended an invitation to the Saints, and our ministry team in Huntington, WV was happy to answer the bell. Over a four-day weekend, 66 inmates added their names to the Lamb’s Book of Life and 443 men each took a Gospel of John back to their cell with them.
One hundred thirty-nine prisoners found freedom in the summer of 2021. More than 2,000 lonely souls can discover the peace and joy found only in the Good News of the Gospel they were handed. Don’t let anyone suggest to you the summer of 2021 was wasted by a virus!