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On December 17, 2013, I got an email that was hardly routine - one that sparked a journey toward the newly accredited Calvin Prison Initiative.

February 29, 2016 0 0 comments
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Do Michigan's citizens behave ten times as badly as their Canadian neighbors? How do we deal with the realities of our state of imprisonment?

June 15, 2015 0 0 comments
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The Washington Post  theories of why crime is declining include tougher policing, abortion and even the elimination of lead in gasoline and paint. In his post on Think Christian, H. David Schuringa states that in the past 20 years while Crossroad Bible Institute has flourished, crime rates have...

March 12, 2013 0 1 comments
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I just finished rereading the article, "Can Forgiveness Pay a Role in Criminal Justice" published by the New York Times on January 4, 2013, and am truly amazed and impressed how two families were able to deal with a violent crime through forgiveness and the use of restorative justice principles...

January 8, 2013 0 0 comments
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New Life will host an Open House on February 10, 2013. And you are invited! The open house will celebrate New Life's 2nd anniversary. It will be held at the Calvary Christian Reformed Church Youth House in Pella, IA that Sunday afternoon from 3pm to 5pm. Come for the fun! Come for the food! Come...

January 7, 2013 0 0 comments
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I write several inmates and talk to a few on the phone.  It has been a tremendous blessing for me to share the Gospel with these guys.  Thanks be to God for Him allowing me to do this kind of work! :)

May 30, 2011 0 0 comments
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In case you missed it, here's a powerful story of restoration from the CRC Newsroom:

Ross Hayes speaks to church groups about spending 35 years in prison for murder and how he eventually made peace with family members, especially a nephew, of the woman he killed by shoving a knife into her...

April 6, 2011 0 0 comments
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Hear a perspective on reducing prison spending in Michigan. You are invited to Church of the Servant, 3835 Burton, Grand Rapids on Tuesday, April 26, 2011, where Barb Levine, executive director of Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending (CAPPS - www.capps-mi.org), will speak at 7 p.m....

April 5, 2011 0 0 comments
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Let's share some stories! Here's one about Celebration Fellowship that appeared in the newsletter of the Great Lakes region of Home Missions:

Celebration Fellowship is a church plant located in the Bellamy Creek Correctional Center in Ionia, Michigan. The "brothers" from Celebration...

November 19, 2010 0 0 comments
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This summer, USA Today did a story about the Michigan Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative. The article is really worth reading, as are many of the comments. They also posted a video on their website, which I learned about because it features some people from my church!

I'm curious, what are other...

November 12, 2010 0 0 comments
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I am a member of a Kairos Prison Ministry Team, currently holding weekends and reunions with residents in a federal prison in Ontario. Kairos is operating in 350 prisons around the world. Kairos has published statisitics that show the rate of repeat offenders is reduced by 50% for those particpating in a "Kairos Weekend". The would mean that the rate of repeat offenders for Kairos is about 35%.

When reflecting on this recently, I looked back over 15 years of personal prsion ministry (Bible studies), I probably ministered to about 500 men during that time. Those residents also attended other Bible stuides and Christian ministries. I can count on two hands the number of offenders I have seen come back. I also attend their chapel service every sunday evening.

The most effective method of ministry has to be when somone takes the time to sit with another person and to share their faith and understading of the Gospel  and who Jesus is. You have to build a deliberate relationship built of trust, not judging. You need to be consistent. If you say you will be there, be there. Inmates have been betrayed and disappointed by people all their lives.

In addition, I have been the one most blessed from the interactions.

I see inmates who particpate in Crossroad Bible Study. they are very dedicated to the studies. I have no doubt that Crossroad adds to the rehabilitation of inmates. Now we need circles / groups outside willing to walk with those returning to a hostile environment as an ex-con.

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