Imagine Facing Prison

08.27.18 | Heartbeat, Community Outreach | by Cassie Davison Bair

Imagine Facing Prison

    What does Hebrews 13:3 look like in real life? I thought about it from the perspective of someone facing prison. My concerns would be whether or not I’m justly convicted and if my sentence matches my crime. I’d be concerned about the possibility of being physically or sexually assaulted while serving time. If I had a health issue, would I receive care? I’d wonder if I’d be able to find employment, a place to live and reintegrate into society once released. I’d hope to not be defined by the worst thing I had done, but by Jesus Christ who redeems and restores me.

    If this is what we’d desire for ourselves, should we not also be passionate about speaking up for the just treatment of others?

    The United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other country in the world. More than two million image bearers of God are incarcerated and more than four million are under community supervision. Mass incarceration is a term used to describe the substantial increase in the number of incarcerated people in our prisons over the past 40 years.

    We follow a God who redeems and restores, but today’s justice system is not designed to restore those who have broken the law. As Christ followers, we are called to remember those in prison and to speak for those who are denied a voice. With this in mind, Community Outreach is taking a deep dive into the justice issue of mass incarceration.

    Take the opportunity to learn more about the topic of mass incarceration at the upcoming art gallery and forums in October and consider picking up the books, Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson and Rethinking Incarceration by Dominque Gilliard. Pray about getting involved in Prison Ministry. 

    Prison Ministry
    Prison Ministry is a thriving, up-close ministry that reveals God’s love, mercy and transformation in the lives of others as well as your own. Be part of an experience where God is changing lives.

    “One of the things I have learned in my 11 years serving in prison ministry is that the women I meet with weekly are like me. They have cares and concerns, struggles and joys, and life decisions. We are all one decision away from being in the situations these women are in. I want to give them hope that life can be different, to assure them of the peace and new life found in a personal relationship with Jesus.” Sherry Olson, volunteer at Hennepin County Jail

    Opportunities are open for men and women to volunteer through prayer, writing letters and providing assistance in Bible studies. 

    Cassie Davison Bair is Community Outreach Director at New Hope Church. Much of her free time is spent with her husband, Kyle, family and outdoor activities. She loves how, as we tend to the needs of our neighbor, we open the doors to relationships where gospel centered conversations can naturally flow.