Part #6 Follow-up--Why Am I Doing This?
Part #7--A song: He Knows My Name

Prison Fellowship seems to be MIA

Last thing, I ever saw myself getting involved in was prison ministry.  As a young newspaper reporter in Ypsilanti, Michigan, I remember seeing convicted serial murderer John Norman Collins in the courtroom and I would shake my head in disgust.  That changed when an ex-con friend of mine invited me to accompany him when he returned to the place where he did his time.

I remember that first time at Michigan Reformatory in Ionia like it was yesterday.  Every preconceived idea I had about criminals was dashed against the walls surrounding the place.  Singing "Victory in Jesus" with these guys touched my heart like it had never been touched before.

Prison Fellowship (PF) was the group sponsoring the program and our visit.  We went back and back and didn't leave ...

PF got me involved in in-prison seminars around the state, first, as a small group person, then as a seminar leader.  I trained several hundred volunteers.  Then PF began to struggle as a national organization and fell off the map.

I recently got a copy of their magazine Jubilee and my desire to get involved was tempted.  In Michigan, they have a three-person staff, but there's no evidence of activity.  Oh sure, there are many individual volunteers who go into prison, but I don't see PF's involvement.  However, they fundraise in Michigan.  The money has to go someplace.

Maybe, it goes to pay salaries.  I might be missing it, but I don't see it filtering down to in-prison programs.  Let me know if I'm wrong.