Congregations Respond with Bible Donations for Inmates and Their Families

5/28/2015

The Mission Project table at Conference this year was buzzing with blessings. Individuals -- and congregations alike -- were blessed by joining together to Restore Lives with the Word of Life by helping to fund the purchase of Bibles for children, inmates and their families across the state. Contributions to this special mission project were donated in excess of $15,000 and will provide funds for approximately 300 Bibles for children of inmates and for Disciple Bible Study packets for the inmates themselves. 
 
Donors understand that the need for Bibles is great for the inmates as well as their families. Texas incarcerates more people than any state in the United States. If families and criminal justice system employees are included in the number, the Texas prison system impacts more than 1 million people.?”This year’s mission project will impact many families in our state,” adds Rev. Diane McGehee, director of the Center for Missional Excellence. “Families who have a loved one in prison, often spiral into poverty, become homeless, and face significant challenges, including losing the income of the chief breadwinner. Many children are faced with the pain and shame of visiting their parent in a prison visitation room.”

This mission project is allowing Texas Conference congregations to band together to make a difference by restoring life with the Word of Life. Each donation of $50 will cover the cost of one set containing a Bible and Discipleship Bible Study packets for inmates. Rev. Mark Pickett, chair of the TAC Restorative Justice Committee adds, “There is a new requirement to have visitation rooms at the prisons, so these Bibles will be given to one prison in each of our nine districts and placed in the visitation areas and be given to children who come to visit their incarcerated parent.”
 
In addition to the Mission Project table at conference, other mission endeavors represented this year included: ZOE, Discipleship Bible Outreach, Healing Communities, Freedom Bus Ministry, Skills for Life, RJM ministries, Bridges to Life, reVision, InnerChange Freedom Initiative and Justice for our Neighbors (JFON).