Free In Christ Prison Ministries
Jeff & Deb Rudd
PO Box 1492, Yanceyville, NC 27379 | (336) 694-7381
August 1,2013More than fifty men began the new Godly Dads course at Dan River last Friday. We have praying for years, asking the Lord to open the doors and to provide the direction for a class to teach men in prison how to become Godly Dads.
This is a HUGE need (see the stats below). The doors opened a couple of months ago and the Lord has been providing the content. So, we have started a 6-week course that will provide a solid Biblical foundation for men to stand upon as fathers. It is called … Godly Dads: Men of Integrity, Love & Leadership. This may be the most important thing we have done in eleven years of full-time prison ministry. Think about it, among this first group of fifty men, God can affect the lives of close to 200 children!
· Pray for God’s protection and His provision for the course.
· Pray that the hearts of the 50+ men who have signed up will be open to hear God’s Word on the subject.
· Pray that ALL of the men involved will apply the lessons learned as they prepare to leave prison and when they get home.
· Pray that hundreds of kids will benefit from the changes that God will make in their dads.
Most men in prison did not grow up with a father in the home or positively involved in their lives. Many of them have a strong desire to get this right, to be the dad that God wants them to be. So, they need transformation, Biblical instruction and inspiration. There is no place better to teach this course than in a minimum custody prison. Most of these men will be back in their homes and communities with the opportunity to apply these lessons within a few short months.
Thank God for His direction, His provision and for this opportunity!
Free In Christ Prison Ministries
P.S. For those interested in supporting us financially, you can send tax deductible contributions to: Calvary Chapel of Cary, 1600 Center Street, Apex, NC 27502. Just write “FICPM” on the memo line of your check. Thank you!
Godly Fathers make all the difference.
Let me share a few statistics with you that help to bring this problem home:
Children with Fathers who are involved are 40% less likely to repeat a grade in school.
Children with Fathers who are involved are 70% less likely to drop out of school.
Children with Fathers who are involved are more likely to get A’s in school.
Children with Fathers who are involved are more likely to enjoy school and engage in extracurricular activities.
· Father Factor in Drug and Alcohol Abuse - Researchers at ColumbiaUniversity found that children living in two-parent household with a poor relationship with their father are 68% more likely to smoke, drink, or use drugs compared to all teens in two-parent households.
· 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes – 10 times the average.
· Teens in single mother households are at a 30% higher risk than those in two-parent households.
· 70% of youths in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (U.S. Dept. of Justice, Sept. 1988)
· Father Factor in Incarceration – Even after controlling for income, youths in father absent households still had significantly higher odds of incarceration than those in mother-father families. Youths who never had a father in the household experienced the highest odds. A 2002 Department of Justice survey of 7,000 inmates revealed that:
· 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average (Fulton Co. Georgia, Texas Dept. of Correction).
· 39% of jail inmates lived in mother-only households. Approximately forty-six percent of jail inmates in 2002 had a previously incarcerated family member. One-fifth experienced a father in prison or jail.
· Moreover, students attending schools with a high proportion of children of single parents are also at risk. A study of 13,986 women in prison showed that more than half grew up without their father. Forty-two percent grew up in a single-mother household.
There is much more but this paints the picture pretty well – and we have the opportunity to do something to help men in prison to become Godly Dads!
June 6, 2013
Where does ministry end?
Where does ministry end? Short answer … it doesn’t. The book of Acts provides a flowing account of the beginning of the church on Pentecost in Jerusalem and moves through many cities on three continents until Paul (who was a persecutor of the church in Acts 7) is imprisoned for his faith in Rome in Acts 28. This account has no conclusion, the final verses simply say, “Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.” The story continued in the lives of men and women who had surrendered their lives to Jesus and spread the good news. The story still continues.
This is the course of ministry. In our case, we see that prison ministry isn’t limited by the fence. The work the Lord is doing in men’s lives inside prison moves in and beyond the confines of prison grounds. I’ll give you two examples.
Todd was set free in prison. The Lord used Todd’s prison time to establish a solid foundation that he is still building on today. Todd has been out for almost two years and is actively involved in a local church in western North Carolina. Late last year he contacted me to see if he could teach the Beyond Addictions course in the small town where he lives. Working under the leadership of his pastor, he is now discipling men and he is seeing them set free from bondage to addiction through a daily relationship with Jesus Christ!
It is exciting to read his emails and to hear him tell me about people who have been freed from darkness and are now walking in the light of Jesus Christ. So, the work continues and other men’s lives are being changed through the work that the Lord did in one man’s life while he was behind the fence.
Jeremy is serving a life sentence. He gave his life to Jesus when he entered prison. Over the past ten years, I have seen him grow in his relationship with Christ as he learns to live a life of real value while still in prison.
Jeremy’s parents have been divorced for many years. Shortly after he was saved, he started praying for both of them and he consistently witnessed to them in visits, letters and phone calls. Last year, Jeremy’s dad gave his life to Jesus. Last month, his mom got saved too! Talk about fruit!
Both of his parents have written and told me that they could see a real difference in their son, and I know that this was a weighty factor in their decision to commit their lives to Jesus. They saw real peace and joy, and they didn’t see it once or twice, not for a month or two, but week after week for years and years. Through their incarcerated son they saw evidence of what it means to live free in Jesus. The fruit if the Spirit in his life bore fruit in their lives.
Praise God that the work continues. As people are born again and discipled in prison, the Lord uses them to reach far beyond our sight, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8).
The work continues …
Going Beyond Addictions
We completed two more Beyond Addictions classes at Caswell and Dan River prisons last month (the 45th and 46th groups). Since the Fall of 2002, 533 men have graduated from this course at one of the two prisons where we serve. Many others have also completed the book in jails and prisons in Texas, Wisconsin and Arkansas. Over the past 20 months, we have given 609 copies free to men and women in prison, and another 971 copies have been purchased by prison or recovery ministries.
One measure of the effectiveness of the course is the recidivism rate of the graduates. Each year we conduct a recidivism study to find out if Beyond Addictions graduates who have been released from prison have returned. The 2013 study shows that only 21.3% of all graduates who have been out of prison for two years or more have returned. We pray that every graduate remains free from prison but compared to the national average for recidivism of over 67%, this isn’t too bad. So, four out of every five Beyond Addictions graduates have remained free from prison while two out of three in the general prison population have returned.
Clearly, it has an effect. Why? The answer is as old as the earth. All that we are doing with this book and course is to apply the Word of God to this issue and to help men establish a solid foundation in Jesus Christ. Once they have completed the course, most of them continue building on this firm foundation. When the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God in a willing heart, lives change.
We are praying that the Lord will open the doors to teach this course in more jails and prisons and that He will raise up men and women to take it there. Let me know if you are interested.
“Focus on the people in front of you.”
This has been the Lord’s answer as we regularly ask Him what we are supposed to do. A famous politician once said that “all politics is local”. While there aren’t many good comparisons between politics and ministry, this one is – most all ministry is local too. Occasionally, God enables us to reach beyond our sight through books, letters, Internet, audio and video broadcasts but the meat of the ministry is still personal contact from one surrendered Christian to someone else.
I have a tendency to forget the local nature of God’s work, to look past the person in front of me to someone else, or to prepare for the “special message” down the road rather than studying for the regular weekly Bible study. Then the Lord gently gets my attention and says, “Focus on the people in front of you.” They are important to Him and they should be most important people in the world to me right now. Ouch.
This is true when I leave prison too. Who am I bumping into at the supermarket, outside the church building, in the neighborhood or wherever? You may struggle with this one too. Look around you. Let’s ask the Lord to show us how to become more useful to Him now, today. Ask the Lord to be involved in our day. Is there someone you or I need to pray for, to pray with, to help, to visit? Let the light and love of Jesus Christ shine right where you are. Don’t worry about the results; He will take care of that. Just be faithful – focus on the people in front of you.
By the way …
Some people have asked if they could hear the Bible Studies or courses that are taught in prison. Well, yes … sort of. If you are interested, you can listen to MP3 files of the weekly Bible Studies and the Beyond Addictions classes that we teach at Caswell and Dan River. We have been granted permission to record these studies for use on the radio stations. You can find them on the “Bible Study” page on our website at www.ficpm.com/bstudies.php.
Please pray for us!
· Right now, 72 men at Caswell and Dan River are involved in a course on how to study and apply the Bible. Pray that it takes root and that they will see Jesus more clearly in the Word as they learn to observe, interpret and apply what it teaches.
· Pray for us regularly, particularly on Tuesdays and Fridays when the bulk of the teaching is done. Pray for physical strength, for spiritual protection, for open hearts and minds, for the Lord to bring the men that need to hear and to apply the messages. Pray that I will have the time to study, and the good sense to hear from the Lord. This is important.
· We have a good ministry friend in Mexico City who is in the process of translating Beyond Addictions into Spanish! Pray for her and for this to be a tool that will be used extensively in Latin America.
· Pray for more fruit in our lives – more evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in me and in the men we are discipling.
· Pray that God will use these men, these new creations in Christ that He has purchased with His own blood as witnesses to change the lives of other men in prison and their families outside of prison.
· Ask the Lord to put this work on the hearts of His people to provide for what He has called us to do. God is SO faithful. He has provided everything we need for the past 138 months of full-time ministry and I believe that He will continue.
· Finally, pray for our family (see photo). Our oldest (along with his wife and toddler) are doing well, our two middle ‘uns are serving as counselors at New Life Camp this summer, and our youngest is with us at home.
Thank you for your prayers and your support!
Jeff & Deb Rudd
It’s been a while since we sent any information to you. I apologize for that. Praise God that we have so much ministry in front of us that it is hard to turn and communicate with the people who are praying for us and supporting us. Please forgive me.
God is blessing His work; it only makes sense that He would. He is also providing the grace to worship Him and to serve Him through the normal trials of life.
We are writing to ask for your prayers, and to encourage you with accounts of what the Lord is doing here as you serve Him where you are.
Thank you for your prayers and your support. Feel free to print and share this with others in your church.
Jeff & Deb
· We have seen significant increases in the number of men involved in weekly Bible Studies and Beyond Addictions classes in 2012. Currently, more than 120 men are involved in weekly Bible studies at Caswell and Dan River prisons, and more than 50 are participating in Beyond Addictions.
· Deb’s dad went home to be with the Lord in August. His faith through the years was unflinching, particularly during the two months this summer when he suffered with an aggressive form of lung cancer. His example of a life well-lived inspires us too. He was a man of grace and wisdom. I pray daily for the grace, love and wisdom of Jesus Christ to flow through us too.
· God has provided everything we need for the past 11 years of ministry without any other visible means of support. We pray for His direction and provision as we move forward.
· Through the years, God has continued to focus us simply on discipling the men that are in front of us at Caswell and Dan River prisons. One-by-one, or small group by small group He has used us as He changes the lives of thousands of men who are being used to influence others. It is a blessing and it is an encouragement to remain faithful in the part of the vineyard where He has placed us without looking over the fence at someone else’s ministry. Just be faithful.
· Praise God for faithful volunteers – Luis Rameriz, Raul Herrera & Walter Baker, and for Pastor David Marini of Calvary Chapel of Chapel Hill who teaches for me when I am away. We look forward to serving with you and with the men who have applied to become volunteers in 2013.
· For the Holy Spirit to convict men of sin and to draw them to Jesus Christ at Caswell and Dan River prisons.
· For more … more of Jesus in us, for more men to surrender to the will of God, for more grace and power, for more discipleship, more training in righteousness and for more workers in the harvest that can take place in prisons and jails across the country.
· For me to be open to His leading every day as I have an open door to disciple men in these two prison units.
· Pray for the 50+ men who are involved in the Beyond Addictions classes right now at Caswell and Dan River prisons.
· Pray for God’s provisions for the work that He has called us to do in the coming weeks and months. He who called us is faithful!
God is in prison.
I know that this comes as a shock to some but … God is alive, well and changing lives in prison. How do we know? We see the results. In John 3:8, Jesus says, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” You do not see the Spirit of the Lord but you see the results of Him being here – men are being born again and lives are changing.
In 2012, we have seen an increase in the number of men surrendering their lives to Jesus and being discipled to live as men of God whether they are inside or outside of prison. Here are brief accounts of three of these men. I hope that this will encourage you to pray for them and for others who are behind prison wire. God’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save nor his ear heavy that it cannot hear.
Timothy surrendered his life to Jesus in August. His involvement with the criminal justice system began at 16 years of age. Most of his convictions over a nine-year period involved larceny or receipt of stolen goods. It was just part of a lifestyle of running the streets, stealing, being angry and dealing in drugs. He looked and behaved just like some of the hopeless young men in your town. At 25, he received a sentence of nine years and two months as a habitual felon. His past is ugly but his future is bright. About one year into his current sentence, everything changed. I saw the light come on a few months ago, you could see it in his eyes – they were no longer dull, he had life. You could see it in his desire to learn, in his understanding of the Bible, in the men he began to spend time with, in the words coming (or not coming) out of his mouth. His only regret now is that it took this long and this much punishment for him to lift his head and to open his eyes to the Lord. His future plans have changed. He is building a foundation in Christ for life ahead and he wants to be prepared when the prison gate opens to him in 2018. Timothy’s life was once all about self; now he is focused on Jesus and his life bears witness that II Corinthians 5:17 is true, If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away, behold all things become new.
William used to taunt other Christians in prison about their faith, and when they would share their testimony he would tell them to get out of his face. He knew that he was starving on the inside but he didn’t realize that he was pushing away the very thing that would fulfill him. During the Spring of this year, the light came on in his eyes too. He gave in to Jesus, his fists dropped to his side and his heart was filled with the love of God. In a recent Beyond Addictions assignment, he wrote, “At one time, I was a rebel, at enmity with God but through the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and God’s love for me, I have been given new life. My love for Jesus motivates me to turn from my old ways. … All I need or desire comes from and is in Christ. That’s my new source of fulfillment.” Now he is sharing his testimony with others and he is singing the praises of the Lord (quite literally, he is a member of the praise team at Caswell).
Kevin was a successful businessman driving through North Carolina when the Lord arrested him. His life bore all of the marks of American success – well-educated, a great career, ability to travel, married with kids, nice house, bank account, benefits and … an addiction problem. The final mark was the one that landed him in prison. A two-week trip to see family was re-routed onto a 12-month detour for DUI and possession of a controlled substance. His drinking problem was really just a symptom; the underlying cause was one that is common to most men. Following a session we taught on “What the Bible Says About Pride and Anger” he told me that this topic explained why he was in prison, his pride and arrogance had closed his mind to the Bible and led him to believe that he had all of the necessary answers. He also told me that coming to prison was not only really necessary; it was the best thing that could have happened to him. His pride has now been broken; everything he thought he knew about life and success has been brought into question. Instead of conforming to the world’s ideas of meaning and value, he is being transformed as the Holy Spirit opens his mind to the Word of God. Kevin is listening and he is asking important questions that lead to a life of real purpose as a follower of Jesus Christ. Pray for him to fully surrender to the will of the Lord, and pray for his family, they are in for a big surprise when he returns from God’s detour.
Letters from prison …
We receive letters each week from men in prison. Some of them come from men we have discipled at Caswell or Dan River and have been transferred or released. Others come from men or women who have been reading Beyond Addictions or who want a personal copy. Here are excerpts from a few that we have received in the past month.
My name is Eugene. I received a copy of Beyond Addictions about six months ago. I hate to say it but I didn’t read it then. I spent most of the time moving it from my locker to my bunk and back to my locker until I had fallen back into addiction. It started out with cigs (cigarettes) and got worse until it landed me in the hole*. When I read your book while in the hole I could see why Satan fought so hard to keep me from it. I’ve read it twice now and intend to keep reading it, it has set me free! I have a year left and would like to have a strong foundation to step on when I step out of here.
Eugene in NC
* The “hole” refers to the 6 X 8 feet cell in the segregation unit. This is the jail within the prison where men can be sent for infractions.
Thank you for your Beyond Addictions program. I was recently incarcerated in Denton County, TX where I met a man named Tom who was teaching this course. He is helping us to continue providing this program to inmates in Texas. I left my copy of the book in the county jail. I really regret that and would hope that you may be able to send me a new one. I sure would appreciate having it. Please expect the amount of work in Texas to increase as other men get this message! Glory be to Jesus!
Tom in Palestine, TX
I talked with you at Caswell when I was there. I told you about some problems in my marriage and you told me to wait and to talk to God about it before I did anything else. Well, I stopped talking to God and I just gave up on everything. I don’t know why but I did. But I have picked my Bible back up again and Jeff, He is really telling me some good things. And God has put one of our friends from Caswell in my life and he is really helping me get to know God. I asked God to help me and I believe he sent me to this man. I know that God has changed his life and I want God to do the same for me. Maybe you could help me. Please send me anything you have that could help. I want to say thank you for everything and I hope to hear from you soon.
Justin in NC
I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior on 3-6-12 and I have since then seen my life change for the better more and more every day. I plan to stay with the Lord for the rest of my life. I have come to understand that I cannot manage my own life so I have asked the Lord to take over my life and for him to use me as He will. I read one of your books in the school library here in prison and would really like to take this course. It is very easy to read and understand. It uses the Bible to show me how to get past all of my addictions and it makes a lot of sense. I just want to learn everything I can.
Take care and God bless you. I will be awaiting your reply.
Rogelio in Mineral Wells, TX
Ten years ago tonight [ nov.30, 2011] I walked out of the Caswell County Courthouse
and received my final paycheck as County Manager
. Over the last ten years, that’s 120 months, the Lord has faithfully provided for the work that we were sure He called us to do – to disciple men in prison. The needs of every day, that’s 3,652 of them, have been met in direct answer to prayer. We have experienced the Lord moving to save lives and to transform men in prison. We have been through some dry periods when no one was growing and wondered if God had called us. We have also been through some very fruitful times when the work of God was evident in restoring relationships, melting away years of anger, saving souls, and seeing formerly hardened men greet each other on the prison yard with smiles and hugs.
We have seen the Lord meet our personal financial needs at the last minute when bills were due or food was in short supply. Sometimes, He has given us a margin of months; in other cases, He has met the needs on the day that they were due. During this time, we have never been late paying a bill nor have we gone into debt to make ends meet. God has met every need.
Here are just a few ministry and personal highlights:
· We have found God to be completely faithful to supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. I am discipling men in prison because I believe that is exactly what God called me to do ten years ago. When He called me, He also promised to meet the needs of the ministry and of our family. He has been much more faithful in holding up His end of the bargain than I have with mine.
· Weekly Bible Studies have been taught in two prisons for the past 520 weeks.
· We don’t know how many men have been discipled through counseling, Bible Study and other courses but it numbers somewhere over 2000.
· As long as the power is on, the Christian Education Network has run every hour of every day in one prison for eight years and in another for seven years and nine months. Thousands of teaching programs have been aired on these radio stations during that time. We have never lacked for computers, transmitters, antennas, teachers or listeners. Men have been blessed to lie on their bunks or walk the prison yard and be taught by some of the finest Bible teachers in the country.
· Forty groups of men have been discipled through the fifteen-week Beyond Addictions Course during the last nine years.
· Beyond Addictions is now being used in seventeen jails and prisons to disciple men and women out of addiction to drugs, alcohol and pornography.
· Three groups of men have completed Living By the Book, and have learned to study and teach the Bible.
· God has provided the resources needed for us to give away hundreds of Bibles and books to men at Caswell, Dan River and other prison units.
· Personally, we have seen our four children grow up and grow in their relationship with Jesus.
· While depending upon the Lord for provisions, our family has enjoyed more than 10,800 meals! A couple of us have eaten more than others; none of us have missed one because of a lack of supply.
· God has met all of our medical needs during this extended period without health insurance. Our out-of-pocket cost for medical care over the past ten years has averaged below $1,000 a year, and that is substantially less than the insurance premiums would have been.
· One son completed college (at that fine institution of higher learning in Raleigh, NC), graduating with honors and he was debt-free (so were we). Thomas and Nissa will celebrate three years of marriage in December and they have given us a beautiful granddaughter named Audrey.
· Josh completed high school and is a freshman, also at that fine institution of higher learning inRaleigh (that’s NC State for those of you who may be un-initiated).
· Our girls are doing well. Rachel will complete high school in the Spring and just sent her application to Appalachian State University (NC State doesn’t have a music major). Lydia is growing like a weed spiritually and physically. We’re blessed.
· Deb and I will celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary in December! Praise God! He knew exactly who I needed long before I did.
We still believe that God wants us to disciple men in prison, so we are excited about His plans as we move into the eleventh year of full-time ministry.
We greatly appreciate your prayers and your financial support for the work that God has called us to do. In all ministry endeavors, God calls some to go, some to give, and all to pray. We ask you to please consider whether He has a role for you in this ministry or if He is calling you to commit to other work. In any case, we encourage you to devote your life, your time and your resources to the work of God’s Kingdom. Jesus told us to store up treasure in heaven, and He has a wonderful way of blessing those who are willing to hear His call. We encourage you to live your life in such a way that you are dependent upon Him to provide for you, and to lead you until you go home to be with Him and hear Him say, “Well done good and faithful servant”. Amen.
Email me if you would like more information on the ministry that God has called us to here. We appreciate your help.
Free In Christ Prison Ministries
This may come as a surprise but there are free men in prison! I would like for you to hear directly from some of them.
Right now, we are seeing Jesus Christ set men free from sin, doubt, anger, depression and addiction. While this isn’t anything new, the evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit is greater than I have seen since we began fulltime prison ministry nine years ago. More men are praying. More are taking a stand for Jesus and sharing their faith. Here is a sample of what some of them have to say.
I found what I was searching for.
“I have been searching for and have been in desperate need of peace my whole life! Matthew 11:28-30 just confirms the peace I now have since Jesus intervened in my life. He has set me free from sin and addiction and anger.” T.K.
When asked by a fellow inmate if he would escape if he had the chance T.K. responded, “If the fence fell down, I wouldn’t run. I don’t have anything to run from anymore.” Praise the Lord! This is quite a statement coming from a young man who is expected to live the rest of his life in prison.
How has the Lord affected your life?
“I used to live an image. Now I don’t have an image. It’s all about Jesus. Above all else, I want to live in such a way to bring honor to the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Walt
Walt has been incarcerated for 33 years. He is right about the image thing; he was known as a very violent man. He carried it around with him all of the time. Over the past year or so, he has dropped the heavy load and walks in peace. We were praying after a Bible Study a few weeks ago and I listened as he thanked God for His patience and His love for someone “as evil as me” – no complaints, just a heart of thankfulness.
“When the Holy Spirit touched my heart, it changed how my feet walked. He also changed my sight; He put His light in my eyes so that I could wage spiritual warfare, so that I could discern between what is good and what is only in appearance of being good. With His light, I can learn His nature. I’m finally fit for living!” R.G.
The Lord is using this man to bring many others to salvation and to disciple them in their relationship with Jesus Christ.
A Daily Devotional
We asked some of the men in the Living By The Book course to write devotionals to share with other men in prison. One of the first ones we received was titled “Contentment”. It was written by a 30-year old man who is serving a sentence of life without parole. I think that you will appreciate it.
Prison isn’t a place of contentment. Everyone is restless; nobody seems satisfied with much of anything, The food isn’t that good; the TV is rarely on something that everyone wants to watch; we live in dorms with people we’d rather not be around (well most of them anyway). Prison breeds discontent.
I’m not immune to it, and for years now have dealt with the agony discontent creates. Yet I read in Philippians 4:11 how Paul speaks of having learned to be content regardless of the stare or circumstances he found himself in. It was when I decided to look into it a bit deeper that God showed me something amazing.
You see, Paul was in prison when he wrote that passage, and Roman prisons back in 60 AD were far from pleasant, in fact, they were much worse than the one I’m in today. Plus, unlike me, Paul was imprisoned for no reason other than spreading the gospel of Christ. He had every reason to be angry, depressed, discontented and yet he was content. How? More importantly, how can I do the same? The answer is in verse 13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
In John 15:5 Jesus tells me to “abide”, to dwell in Him and He in me, and by that He will bring forth fruit in my life. A wonderful aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is peace, and contentment is part of peace. Peace and contentment don’t come by my own strength but I learn them through time spent with my Lord, the same way that Paul learned to be content.
I don’t think Paul was content with his imprisonment; however, he was content within that place. He knew that all things on this earth are temporary, that his real home was with Christ in heaven. His eyes were focused far beyond his confines on his Creator and Redeemer.
To me, that knowledge is both beautiful and convicting, So day by day I’m learning to abide more in the love of my Savior and day by day, I’m walking contentedly within my circumstances.
Tell us your story.
We asked a few men to share part of their testimony. Here is one. We’ll share a few more in the coming months.
I was raised in a Bible-believing, Bible teaching family. As I got older I became one of those apples that fell far from the tree and rolled away. I could not wait to be on my own and to make my own decisions. Eventually, I ended up with everything a man could want in life – cars, money, my girlfriend, her two boys plus mine. I didn’t have to leave home because I had everything I needed at home – a nice entertainment center with surround sound, and all of the coke that I could blast up my nose.
I still attended church on special holidays like Christmas and Easter. So life was good or so I thought. Then I began to have trouble with the law; I spent some time in jail. I would get bonded out, then I would go back to jail. I started to ponder why this was happening. While I was in jail, I began attending church services. Then I would get out of jail and go right back to my old ways – snorting coke and doing deals. I hit rock bottom as things began disappearing in my life – relationships, cars, stuff, and like a lot of people, I actually blamed God for my problems, “Lord, why won’t you help me?” Then He did. He sent me to prison.
During this prison time, I started to notice the light of God shining in the lives of certain people. At that time, I started to have a desire to live by God’s Word. I began reading my Bible, seeking the truth and meditating on what it says. I took the Beyond Addictions class, and the Holy Spirit made me realize that satan had me blinded with drugs, women, money and material things so bad that I thought that was the way to live! God’s Word opened my eyes; it will open yours too. It teaches us how to have victory over addictions. I have given my life to Jesus Christ. He dwells in me and I dwell in Him.
God is good!
H.E. (recently released)
Please pray for these men and many others who are being saved and discipled in prison.
· More than 2,400 men will pass through Dan River Prison this year; almost 1,000 more will spend some time in Caswell Correctional Center. Prison provides an opportunity for men to evaluate their lives and to re-think their priorities. We pray that this will be the time when they realize that they are missing real life because they don’t have the author of life – Jesus Christ. Pray with us.
· Pray for the Lord to bring men to Dan River who need to participate in One Day With God on April 1-2, and pray for the Lord to change the lives of these men, their children and others during this very special event.
· Tuesdays and Fridays are full days of teaching in both prisons. Pray particularly on these days for the Holy Spirit to direct our messages and to open the hearts of the men who attend the classes and services.
· Pray for the Hispanic Bible Studies on Friday mornings and on the first Monday evening of each month.
Thanks for partnering with us in the work. We’ll keep you posted.
Beyond Addictions is available outside of prison.
Beyond Addictions is now available as an eBook. And it is priced at $2.99.
available as a Nook Book through Barnes and Noble Here...............
We have taught the Beyond Addictions course in two North Carolina prisons for the past nine years. It has proven effective in setting men free from bondage to drugs, alcohol and sexual addictions, and keeping them free to enjoy new life in Jesus Christ.
This 15-session course has been edited into a single-volume book that will soon be available to everyone outside of prison too.
“Beyond Addictions provides a Biblical basis for real life-change based upon true healing.
I have seen men take their focus off of themselves and their addictions, and begin to focus on God who is able to deliver them as they apply the messages in this book. Marriages have been reconciled, families have been reunited and men reemerge into the work force.”
Tim Fontaine, North Carolina State Elder, Bikers for Christ
· During the past nine years, more than four hundred men have graduated from the course; less than 20% of graduates who have been out of prison for more than two years have returned. This is less than one-half the recidivism rate of the general prison population.
· Beyond Addictions is being used by prison and jail ministries inNorth Carolina, Texas and Pennsylvania. It is also used by Bikers for Christ and others who are working with former addicts.
· This is the first time that the course has been available in a single-volume, 242-page book. It includes all fifteen lessons and the assignments, so it can be used by individuals who are struggling with addiction, or as a full discipleship course within recovery ministries.
Here is what former students and others have to say about Beyond Addictions …
“In 2002, I participated in the first Beyond Addictions class. It helped me understand who I was in Christ, which transitioned me from a user of drugs and people to a worshipper of Jesus. As I began to understand who I was in Christ, the desire to worship Him grew, and the old lifestyle simply began to fall away.
I encourage you to not just read but put into practice the contents of this book and you’ll find that in worshipping Jesus, you’ll truly find the ‘good life.’”
Jeremy Parker, Beyond Addictions Graduate 2002
“While serving as facility head of Dan River Prison Work Farm from 2003 to 2010 it was my pleasure to observe the development and growth of inmates involved with the Beyond Addictions study. The men routinely made the transition with biblical values into their daily practices, and carried the training forward. I received visits, calls and notes from released inmates who had participated in the program, and wanted to share success stories with me. The life choices taught and exampled in Beyond Addictions freed the men in many different ways.”
George Solomon, Regional Director, North Carolina Department of Corrections
“Addictions are a mighty big problem for Christians and non-Christians alike, but the power of God is even mightier. In Psalm 119:9 David tells us how we can live a clean life, ‘How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.’ Beyond Addictions shows you how to cleanse your life from the inside as you apply the Word of God. This program has proven successful in setting men and women free from the bondage of addiction as the Bible is applied to their lives.
God meant life to be lived. Some need a little extra help. I believe Beyond Addictions is that extra help and I strong recommend it for use in recovery ministry in the local church.”
Pastor Rodney Finch, Calvary Chapel of Cary, NC
“Beyond Addictions is very important to inmates in the Denton County, TX jail. I have presented it to men at a Pre-Trial Facility and watched God work as the men complete the lessons. It's a blessing to see men share with new inmates how much this course means to them. I'm hearing from inmates I haven't met who would like to take the course by mail.”
Tom McCollough, Outreach Ministries, Crossroads Bible Church in Double Oak, TX
“This course was instrumental in making a real change, transforming my thinking and my behavior. God used it to set me free in prison and to keep me free now that I'm on the outside.
After re-reading the Beyond Addictions book, I realized how much of it I have incorporated into my daily life since my release two years ago. I heartily recommend it for anyone who truly wants to move beyond all addictions into a free and meaningful life.”
John D. Whitehead-- Beyond Addictions Graduate 2008
Beyond Addictions will be available by July 31st.
You will be able to purchase single copies through Amazon.com. They will probably charge around $12.75 per copy.
Beyond Addictions will also be available at reduced prices in quantities of 5-9, and 10 or more directly from Free In Christ Prison Ministries. Lord willing, we will be able to offer the book in quantities for $7.50 - $8.50 per copy. Information regarding pricing and availability will be on our website within the next few weeks.
We will provide Beyond Addictions free of charge to men or women in prison.
We want to push the prices down as much as possible, so please pray for us as we move ahead.
Beyond Addictions is now available as an eBook. And it is priced at $2.99.
Free In Christ Prison Ministries
Thank you for continuing to pray.
If you would like more information regarding this ministry, please call us at (336)694-7381
Tax deductible contributions can be made to Calvary Chapel of Cary; be sure to write “FICPM” on the memo line of your check.
Jeff & Deb Rudd
Free In Christ Prison Ministries
PO Box 1492
Yanceyville, NC 27379
Beyond Addictions is now available as an eBook. And it is priced at$2.99.
available as a Nook Book through Barnes and Noble Here...............
Follow this link to purchase the Kindle edition through Amazon.com.
If you use an IPad or IPhone, you can quickly download a free Kindle app, and then get the book in less than a minute.
It also should be available as a nook book through Barnes and Noble within a week.
This is a good way to get the book easily and inexpensively, and to review it to see if it fits your ministry. Since August, the printed version has been picked up and used by more than 1,000 people in jail, prison, recovery ministries, and local churches
Pray for us, and for the men and women who are seeking to be set free from addiction through a living relationship with Jesus Christ!
Free In Christ Prison Ministries
PO Box 1492
Yanceyville, NC 27379
P.S. Please share this information with other pastors and ministry leaders who may benefit from it.