You may have noticed that there are almost no pictures on this site. There's a reason for that; we can't take pictures inside or even outside the prisons we go into. In almost 20 years of doing this we don't have one picture of us doing what we do. And that speaks to a simple fact: as the prison population continues to rise, it all happens out of sight and out of mind. Many of these inmates are forgotten by friends and family and especially by our society and even worse by our churches.
Imagine being physically shackled with chains, handcuffs, metal bars, concrete walls and just a basic lack of freedom. Imagine being emotionally shackled by addiction, anger, violence, feelings of worthlessness or whatever the driving force is that has shaped so many lives of these inmates. Imagine being spiritually shackled by darkness and hopelessness. Then imagine being abandoned and forgotten.
That is a sad, harsh reality for many inmates.
However, there is a brighter reality as well. Many inmates are vibrant growing believers, walking with Jesus in a very dark place. We are often humbled to be in their presence and some of the deepest most freeing encounters we have had with God have happened inside prisons and penitentiaries with the believers there.
We don't pretend to even begin to understand what prison is really like. We only see a brief glimpse when we walk in with some guitars and other instruments, share songs and scripture, chat and pray with some inmates and then walk back out into freedom.
Consider this: have you ever truly pondered what life is like for these people removed from our communities? What does twenty years of life in jail look like with another ten or twenty to go? How soon does that become hopeless?
One final prison reality: the Bible, our source of hope, God's word to us, was written in large part by prisoners, by exiles, by refugees. Paul wrote many of his letters in jail or after being released from prison and in fact he talks about the feeling of being abandoned and isolated. The heart of God is to reach into these institutions and bring the life changing power of His Gospel. Please pray for us as we do our small part.