Last weekend, our friend Brian Cole joined us at our offices to lead a training seminar focused on prison ministry and drug addiction. Many 513FREE volunteers and people from the Chippewa Valley came together to better understand how the Gospel applies to the work being done to break the cycle of incarceration. We plan to host more training events in the future. If you're interested in participating, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The heartbeat of 513FREE's re:entry program is helping people discover the freedom given by the Gospel. One way we're doing that is through fostering missional communities.
Definition: 'a community of Christ followers on mission with God in obedience to the Holy Spirit that demonstrates tangibly and declares creatively the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a specific pocket of people.'
Simply put, a missional community is a group of people asking “What does loving my city and neighbor really look like?” and “how can we make disciples of Jesus together?”. As an example, last weekend, one of our missional communities helped our re:entry team in preparing one of our apartments for a re:entry participant being released from jail.
Click here to learn more about missional communities.
We regularly receive encouraging notes from inmates who've either experienced our events in prison or those who are participating in our programs. These are just a couple of the men who have been impacted by the Gospel through the ministry of 513FREE.
'513FREE is changing lives, and people on the 'inside' are less afraid to share and proclaim the Gospel. For 23 years of incarceration, I have prayed for a program like 513FREE. ' - Ramiah (Inmate)
'513FREE has had an impact on me because seeing a part of the body of believers worship Christ and serve Him as they do, encourages me to be the man God created me to be. I'm serving the 6th year of a 19 year sentence, and I've never been more free. May God continue to use 513FREE to touch the lives of all those they come into contact with. They've touched mine.'- Devore (Inmate)
Brian Cole was one of the most influential satanists behind bars. Today, he's a pastor and shares the hope of Jesus in prisons throughout the Midwest. Our friend Brian has one of the most extreme Gospel transformation stories you'll likely ever hear - we captured it on film.
We have been traveling with, and sharing the Gospel with Brian for many years both in and outside of prisons. You can learn more about his ministry by visiting: setusfree.org.
The man in white is Marco - for years he's dealt with internal torment that would manifest itself through cutting, including cutting his face. In July, in Nebraska, we were able collaborate with John Caleb Alarid, Brian Cole, and Prison Fellowship in sharing the Gospel with and praying for Marco, and by the power and grace of Jesus, his heart was transformed.
Following the event, we received this note: "The Religious Coordinator just told me Marco came to class this morning, and he was 'like a new person.' She couldn't believe the change in him."
Just last week (2 Months Later) , in correspondence with The Pen Project collaborators in Nebraska, we received this encouraging note: 'Marco is doing exceptionally well. He has not been getting in trouble, he walks around with a smile on his face, has a lightness to his step. He has not even attempted to hurt himself and his mind is well. He has a peace about him now that wasn't there before.'
We ask you to continue to pray for Marco, and those who've witnessed this incredible transformation. This is just one of many stories we've had the privilege of being a part of. Jesus continues to use the ministries of 513FREE to point people to Him, for which we're incredibly grateful.