Prison Chaplain, Richard uses The Word for Today in prisons frequently and finds it’s a very popular devotional that prisoners love to read. A lot of people in prison are looking for answers, and many are broken and really searching for meaning and hope.
“Prisoners are searching for healing for the pain that’s inside them,” says Richard. “I think The Word for Today brings a broad picture of life and family and looks at all sorts of different issues. Men pick up on the fact that Christianity is relevant for all areas of life.”
Richard says an example that stands out to him is a prisoner he met in chapel earlier in the year. A group of men came into the area where they met, and the man was given a copy of The Word for Today. “I met with him the next week,” continues Richard. “I brought him a Bible and he brought his copy of The Word for Today. I noticed it was quite worn, and he’d obviously been reading it a lot. It was in reading The Word for Today, he realized for the first time that God wanted a relationship with him.”
This man had a religious background, but never understood what it meant to have a relationship with God. It’s a revelation that’s come from what he was reading.
Richard says the man started reading the Bible, and they would meet often. “He was nicknamed ‘the priest’ in the unit where he was,” Richard says. “He was ministering to so many people. He actually introduced me to one of his co-accused, who also got a copy of The Word for Today.”
This man had a strong business background and was a real leader. A man of influence who would be doing quite a bit of time in the prison system.
Richard believes that chaplains have a role in prisons, but it’s limited. A prisoner however, who lives within the prison system builds relationships with other prisoners. He can identify with what they’re going through because he’s living it himself. There is so much more potential for influence.
“I speak to him on the phone from time to time,” says Richard. “He is now back in contact with his family daily. When I first met him, all contact with his family had been broken. But they’re sensing there’s a genuine change in him. The ripple effect of these men coming to Christ on their families is amazing.”
God is using Vision to see whole families redeemed! Let’s believe together that God wants to see revival in the heart of every Australian. There are so many stories like these of what Jesus is doing amongst people looking for hope.