Phase 2 Goal: $1000.00
$800 raised to date
(See successes from Phase 1 below!)
Donations will benefit PA- and FL-based facilities
Why Does this Matter?
Every prisoner is somebody’s son or daughter. Every prisoner is God’s son or daughter.
Seriously, did you ever break the law and not get caught? Or your friend? Or your child?
I could have easily been the one behind bars. That’s probably true of many of us.
By the grace of God, I was touched by his Spirit before I went completely over the edge, as I shared publicly in this post.
Describing those who truly show love in their lives, Jesus taught,
“I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:36, NIV).
You Can Help Our Signature Cause
If you want to make a difference for those who are looking for God—perhaps for the first time in their lives—you can get copies of Jesus Christ, His Life and Mine into prison libraries and other places who help those in need.
- Contribute funds to purchase one or more copies of Jesus Christ, His Life and Mine for placement into juvenile detention centers, adult prisons, addiction recovery facilities, or other institutions who serve individuals who desperately need to experience Christ. (See our planning and tracking below.)
- Or, send us contact information for chaplains and administrators who can help get these books into such institutions. (Use the Contact form.)
Anybody who knows me well knows that I believe in transparency. Nowhere is that more important than when money is involved.
Below is a chart of current facilities who have approved placement of this book into their libraries and a count of books placed. As funds are donated, this will be reported here as well.
None of the money being donated is profiting the author, publisher, or anyone connected with this effort. The books are donated at exactly the cost of printing and shipping to prison librarians and chaplains plus a slight markup, approximately $0.25-0.50 per book, to enable very modest fundraising/advertising.
The facilities listed in the chart below have already told us, “Get us the books and we’ll make them accessible.” Through my current work in prison ministry, I know there is a shortage of high-quality Christian literature—especially a book like this one (described in detail further below). As we learn about more facilities who are interested, we will secure their requests and more books will be placed. You can make an enormous difference and bring the hope of the gospel into someone’s life by donating the money to send a single book at a fraction of the retail price.
As of this writing, the following facilities are eager to receive the books! This is a partial list of requests.
- “We get many guys in and out of here, but it would be a blessing if we were able to receive several copies of this amazing book.” – Main Unit Librarian, FL Dept of Corrections, Doral, FL.
- “This book will speak to many men here at our facility. Is it possible to have 75 books?” – Senior Chaplain, FL Dept of Corrections, Jasper, FL
- “I would be interested in receiving about 200 if possible.” – Senior Chaplain, FL Dept of Corrections, Ocala, FL
- “If you can get these books to me, I’ll make sure they get into all of the prisons in the state (of PA)” – Head of Chaplaincy, PA Dept of Corrections, Harrisburg, PA (See our Facebook post where these books were donated here!)
- “I like what you have done. . . We would like a dozen. I can see the value in this in many different arenas.” – Owner, Women at the Well, Corsica, PA, a Christian women’s addiction recovery ministry. (See our Facebook post where these books were donated here!)
Why this Book and Why Not the Bible?
Clearly, reading scripture is more important than reading other books.
But here’s the real deal:
- Many prisoners don’t have the background to understand the Bible. Even “easy,” modern Bible translations are hard to understand without the guidance of spiritual advisors, pastors, etc.
- Many prisoners have lower than average reading skills.
- Applying scripture to our personal lives is not easy. It often takes explicit guidance to make it relevant.
Why do I feel so passionately about this?
The book Jesus Christ, His Life and Mine was written with prisoners in mind. I never forgot about them as I worked on it for over twenty years.
I worked with juveniles in a correctional facility that specialized in drug and alcohol addiction and mental health issues. I witnessed the needs and life experiences of these young men up close and personal.
The whole idea for Jesus Christ, His Life and Mine came to me after talking to a young man in one of my math classes. (I was a math teacher at the time.)
Tim was his name. Tim was ticked off that day in class and he swore at me, which wasn’t all that unusual. But it was unusual for Tim.
As we talked, he apologized and later said, “My counselor gave me a Bible.”
I nodded. I knew Tim was trying to change his life. He had a good heart.
“I can’t understand it!” he agonized.
Tim struggled to read anything at all. I knew he had no chance of understanding something as complex as the Bible without caring support and guidance.
After that conversation, I thought to myself, “There’s gotta be a way to write about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ in a simple way for kids like Tim. There has to be a way to make it real and important and relevant to his life.”
I searched for something that I felt would work.
Nada. Not a thing. Not even close.
So, I decided to try my best and fill the need. In fact, I felt called to do it and that feeling never left me.
Why This Book Works (for Prisoners and the Whole Twitter Generation)
- The vocabulary is simple.
- It assumes no prior knowledge of the Bible.
- It’s designed for people with low attention spans (like most of us nowadays).
- It’s like a guided tour with a caring mentor who pulls the reader aside and explains things.
- It helps readers get comfortable with the language of scripture.
- Most importantly, it points out what Jesus did in his life and invites the reader to compare that to his or her own life. This stimulates communication from the Holy Spirit which (1) testifies that Jesus was truly the Son of God and (2) inspires the desire to be like Jesus.
Call to Action
Can you help? Donate to purchase one or more books for a prisoner, a struggling addict, and others who face an uphill climb.
If not donating financially, no issue! Pray for our success and help us identify places that can use these books, preferably with the names of facility administrators who may be able to help. Many thanks, dear reader. Many thanks.
Successes to Date!
All PA State-Run Prisons Receive Books
February 19, 2019 (See Facebook post and video.)
All remaining Phase I donations were applied to send 40 books to the chaplains throughout the state.
Books Donated to Bring Inmates and Addicts to Christ
December 11, 2018 (Read Facebook post.)
A dozen books to Women at the Well, Corsica, PA, a women’s addition recovery facility.