“The number of fathers in U.S. jails and prisons has increased four-fold since 1980. Among the more than 800,000 parents in federal and state prisons, 92 percent are fathers.” – fatherhood.gov.
In hope-challenged settings like prisons, the pandemic has not only resulted in sickness and death, it has also severed some of the hope-giving mechanisms on which staff and inmates rely.
In Arkansas Department of Correction prisons, it has been over a year since the hundreds of volunteers from around the state have been able to enter, encourage, edify, and share the Gospel in person. It has been over a year since the full-time chaplains have been able to administer a full program of religious services that includes in-person pastoral preaching, baptisms, Bible studies, and worship opportunities normally offered.
The chaplains have not given up. They have walked the halls talking with the sick and dying, grieving with inmates and staff who have lost loved ones, praying for every need, and leaning on God for strength while they have stood in the gap. They have continued to share hope even when they themselves have battled hopelessness.
PRAYER POINTS: Pray that worship gatherings may resume in our prisons. Pray that volunteers may return soon to our prisons—their presence alone will be a encouragement. Pray that God shows Himself to be good, mighty, loving, and all-sufficient to and through our chaplains in the Arkansas Department of Correction.
When you give to your church, you give to missions through the Cooperative Program, bringing the Good News to the whole world. Find more CP resources at ABSC.org/CPShare.