INCARCERATION TO INCORPORATION There are amazing leaders who are redeemed and called, serving time behind bars. World Impact partners with reentry homes, local churches and mentors to move these leaders toward success and incorporation into a caring body of believers through our ministry initiative, Incarceration to Incorporation (I2I).
TRANSFORMATION INSIDE AND OUT Randy and Monica grew up together; they had been friends most of their lives. Their friendship was filled with ups and downs, but neither of them could have planned the journey God had for them. Randy’s journey landed him in prison. For some, this is where the story ends, but God used this time to begin a redemptive work in Randy’s life. While in prison, Randy heard about The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI), which offers seminary-level classes for those ministering in the urban poor context. He signed up and for four years he studied along with seven other students. After graduation, they immediately began putting what they had learned into practice as leaders in the prison church. While Randy was incarcerated, Monica felt led to correspond with, encourage, and give him support. As their friendship grew, Monica and her son saw Randy’s heart for the Lord. They both felt the Lord’s hand in their relationship and desired to get married.
However, Monica and Randy knew they needed Biblical counseling for marriage. So they asked World Impact missionary Daren Busenitz, who taught one of Randy’s TUMI courses, to guide them. The prison allowed Daren to meet with the couple for six marriage-counseling sessions, which was followed by a wedding! Currently Monica is counting down the days until Randy will be released, but she isn’t sitting idly by while she waits. Monica began a ministry to support and encourage the families of inmates.
This past Christmas, she cast vision, raised money, and coordinated a powerful evening of fellowship, worship, and teaching to give hope and encouragement to families who were experiencing many of the same struggles she was. The Lord is using both Randy and Monica on the inside and outside to impact others for the Kingdom. Together as a family, they are already a strong team and powerful witness to Christ and His message of hope to those who feel hopeless. •
STORIES FROM THE INSIDE
Partnerships with programs like Prison Fellowship allow us to provide the TUMI curriculum, teachers, and mentors to impact the lives of men and women in prison for the Kingdom.
LIVING TESTIMONY Billy, a TUMI student at California State Prison Corcoran Yard B, had been in the security housing unit for 15 years. It left him feeling like a zombie; he could not look people in the eye, he walked with his head down, and it was hard to understand him when he spoke. But something happened to him as he read through Fight the Good Fight. A fire ignited in his heart! After an inmate who was a spiritual leader was transferred to another prison, Billy took over preaching at the chapel four to five times a week. TUMI is the perfect material to help him develop his sermons! Now, he speaks with authority and power about the Bible; he
evangelizes and encourages other inmates while looking them in the eyes. Billy is a living testimony of what God can do in the lives of those who seek Him with all their hearts.
BEYOND WALLS TUMI students in the Dolph Briscoe Unit minister not only to their families on the outside and other inmates on the inside, but also to guards within the unit. Recently two of the correctional officers asked one student about TUMI and he was able to share the Gospel with them. The guards told him later that they went home and asked their wives about attending church, something their wives had been trying to get them to do!
GROUNDED WITNESS Spanish-speaking students at Pleasant Valley Yard D recently started their very first TUMI module. Julio, one of the students, had a cellmate who was a Satanist. Every time Julio would talk about Jesus, his cellmate would become argumentative and stubborn. The current module helped Julio ground his witness and teaching in the Word so he could clarify and explain the Gospel. His cellmate no longer argues. In fact, he asked to be baptized and requested the Bible of the real God! Julio said, “It is truthful testimony that when you pray to God and you study the Word and believe in Jesus, this will help everybody!” •
MILES AND WALLS Written by Mary Flin, World Impact Topeka City Director One day I stepped into our TUMI classroom to check on a student who was studying and heard her on the phone. When she finished, she told me, “I was talking to my son! He was doing his TUMI homework and I told him I’m doing my homework, too!” Her son Devon* is in a prison several hours away and they are both enrolled in TUMI. It was an answer to this mom’s prayer!
“At the conclusion of the class, I knocked on my cell door to get the instructor’s attention. I told her my name and she responded with, ‘We have all been praying for you.’ I was thinking to myself, how does she even know who I am? She then let me know that my mother was involved with TUMI on the other side of those physical walls, praying and chipping away at my mental walls along with others from TUMI.”
“Her son is in prison... and they are both enrolled in TUMI. It was an answer to this mom’s prayer!”
We asked Devon to tell of God’s work in his life. He wrote, while his mother prayed for the Lord to intervene, he experienced a revival of his faith in county jail. Even though there was a TUMI class in his housing area, he had refused opportunity to apply. In his words, “My energy was sapped, no praising, no joy, and no more peace.”
One day, the TUMI facilitator held class in a common area, and Devon overheard the video from his cell, “…it was (Dr. Davis’) greeting ‘welcome in the strong name of Jesus’ that I sprang up from my rack and went to the door. I stood there listening through the whole class, glued to that TV screen and intrigued by his teaching. I became hungry, not for food but for the Word of God.
He was accepted into the class, and when he was transferred from county jail to prison, the coordinator of that TUMI site helped him continue. Although they are divided by miles and walls, this mother and son are united by their common goals of service in the Kingdom of Christ and advancement of the Church. Devon concluded, “I am and will forever be humbled to know that God doesn’t build walls and that it is only by his power and might that walls are torn down.” • *Name changed for privacy.
AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS Written by Rashad, Valley State Prison TUMI Graduate My grandmother used to tell me about the love of Christ, saying, “Whenever trouble comes your way, there’s room at the foot of the cross.” I didn’t understand it at the time, but it was a seed from God planted in my heart. Even when I ended up in prison, I could still hear my grandmother say, “Son, there is hope at the foot of the cross.” When she was 95, she visited me and said, “Rashad, your life has been a journey and you have tried all that this old world had to offer. Why don’t you try Jesus? There is salvation at the foot of the cross.” As a result, I gave my life unto the Lord. My grandmother smiled, and shouted, “Thank you Jesus!” Two weeks later, she went home to be with the Lord.
“It was a seed from God planted in my heart.” I began to search for the Lord, but there were setbacks at every step. I enrolled in Bible college, but the federal grants were pulled. I looked into another school, but I could not afford it. Then my mother died. Still, I remembered my grandmother saying, “There’s healing at the foot of the cross.”
Later, I was transferred to another prison and was interviewed by Prison Fellowship for admittance into TUMI. They said there may not be any room left for me in the program. I heard my grandmother say, “There’s room! There’s room!” So I told them, “There has to be room for me. There’s room at the cross for me, so there must be room for me to be in TUMI.” My graduation from TUMI is a reminder of what my grandmother told me. TUMI equipped me, and allowed this clay on the potter’s wheel to reach out to those who need to hear: there is love, peace, hope, joy, salvation, and healing at the foot of the cross. •
worldimpact.org | P: 323.735.1137 | F: 323. 735.2576 2001 S. Vermont Ave | Los Angeles, CA 90007 | email@example.com in Canada: Box 12085 | Murrayville RPO | Langley, BC V2Y0M6
Incarceration to Incorporation