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‘This Is the Love of Jesus’: Ministry Gives Inmates Chance to Celebrate Christmas with Their Kids

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For the thousands of moms and dads spending time behind bars, the opportunity to see their children is very rare. But one ministry is giving them a chance to make a meaningful connection with their families, this holiday season.

God Behind Bars, a ministry that “sets inmates on a journey to reconnect with their family through Christ and help them follow Him,” gave moms and dads a chance to see their children and even gave them Christmas gifts.

“All is Bright” is their yearly event that reveals the true meaning of Christmas. 

Children who have never met their incarcerated parents or haven’t seen them in a long time get to see their parents.

“This is the miracle that can happen during Christmas. We believe that Christmas can be the best time to show the love and hope of Jesus for inmates. They struggle with suicide and depression during the Christmas season and this is our moment to be the hands and feet of Jesus,” God Behind Bars commented on social media.

Two-thirds of parents in prison have never received a visit from their family and 75% of children with one incarcerated parent are more likely to end up in prison. And more than a third of parents will still be in prison by the time their young children reach their 18th birthday.

That’s why God Behind Bars is giving parents in prison the opportunity to restore a relationship with their child during one of the most meaningful times of the year. 

“Our heart is for the children,” Isaac Holt, Director of Innovation at God Behind Bars, told CBN News recently. “We want to create dignity for their mom or dad. We want to restore that relationship with their family.”

 

As CBN News reported, many inmates are serving life sentences for crimes they have committed but have now turned their lives to Christ.

“During my prison sentence, I was on my way to fight someone. And God was really nudging on my heart during this time,” inmate David shared. “And as I walked into this guy’s cell, instead of fighting him, I just looked at him and said, ‘I want to know Jesus and I want to get baptized, do you want to know Jesus and get baptized?’ And he was super confused and said, ‘No.’ So then I went and got baptized anyway.”

“I didn’t take my faith seriously for about a year. Then, some of the guys here pulled me in and started disciplining me,” he continued. “I started going to their Bible study. Life hasn’t been the same since. I have done some terrible things that I don’t forgive myself for, but God’s forgiveness is mind-blowing.”

David is now leading hundreds of men to Jesus and is getting his degree. 
 

During the ministry’s Christmas outreach, women inmates also had the opportunity to see their children for the first time in years.

 

One incarcerated mother had not seen her children in nine years. 

God Behind Bars captured the moment when she got to hold her children again. 
 

“This is the first time they were able to hug each other. God is so good and His grace knows no bounds,” the ministry expressed. “For some of these men (and women), this is the first Christmas they have ever had with their child.”

According to the Las Vegas-based organization, Christmas can be one of the loneliest times of the year. Inmate depression, assault, and suicide rates increase. That’s why God Behind Bars decided to help inmates spend Christmas with their families. 

“Many people tell us that these men and women don’t deserve any of this,” God Behind Bars wrote on Facebook. “We disagree. The best way to show them the grace and love of Jesus is to give them the very best Christmas with their kids! It doesn’t matter if it’s deserved or not. This is the love of Jesus!”
 

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