God At Work Through IM

GraceLinks

GraceLinks

In Acts 16, the Word of God tells us that the Holy Spirit twice prevented Paul and his co-workers from going where they wanted to go to share God’s Word with people. For this reason, Paul went to Troas where, one night, he received a vision of a man urging him to come to Macedonia to share God’s Word with the people of northern Greece. So, that’s what Paul did.

In 2020, it seemed as though a door was being shut when the Department of Corrections “closed” our prisons to all visitors and volunteers in early March because of the Coronavirus. Just like that, Institutional Ministries’ “face-to-face” ministry to hundreds of men and women in prison was put “on hold.”

But our Lord has graciously provided another way in which we may share the Gospel with men and women in Wisconsin’s prisons. Under normal circumstances, inmates in Wisconsin’s prisons may send and receive email communications through a system called CorrLinks — or GraceLinks as we have dubbed it since it has provided us with an opportunity to continue sharing God’s grace. This system was added a few years ago, so that individuals in prison could communicate electronically with the people on their Regular Visitors list. At the same time, individuals in prison may also receive information from DOC-approved sources, many of which are religious in nature.

After some investigation by our Executive Director, it was determined that Institutional Ministries could utilize CorrLinks to email daily devotions to men and women in prison at a cost of ten cents per email, a cost which is paid by the ministry. All that the offender is required to do is email Institutional Ministries to inform us that they want to receive our devotions.

In June of 2020, the ministry began sending invitations to men and women in prison to receive our devotions. Every time a prison inmate is referred to our ministry, our Executive Director sends them a letter inviting them to receive our devotions via CorrLinks. To date, hundreds of invitations have been sent out, and we now have more than 450 men and women who receive our devotions six days a week! 

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. – Acts 16:25 NIV

 Please join us in thanking our Lord for this electronic way in which we may share God’s Word with men and women in Wisconsin’s prisons. And pray that many more individuals will choose to hear and learn God’s Word in this special way!

 

 

 

Who actually goes into the correctional facilities to talk to these people?

Since Wisconsin began to expand its correctional system in the 1990s, Institutional Ministries (IM) has been blessed with a “network” of parish pastors who serve as IM Contact Pastors at a state prison. At present, there are nineteen pastors who are serving in our ministry in this special way.

These pastors serve by sharing the Word of God through Bible studies and/or one-on-one pastoral visits. And 85% - 90% of the men and women with whom they share the Gospel have had no previous contact with our ministry.

What a wonderful blessing these pastors are to the men and women who learn about their Savior Jesus! And what a blessing these pastors are to our ministry! 

I was in prison and you visited me. - Matthew 25:36 EHV

How do you keep inmates connected to God’s Word?

Not only do some parish pastors serve at a state prison which is located in their area, they are also an important part of our efforts to keep men and women connected to God’s Word.

When individuals are transferred to another prison, the Institutional Ministries (IM) Contact Pastor notifies our ministry. In turn, our ministry refers the individual to another IM Chaplain/Contact Pastor so that we may, with our Lord’s blessing, keep them connected to the Word of God.

And when the individual is released from prison, if possible, our ministry refers that individual to one of our local congregations.

It’s all in an effort to nurture those who have begun to study God’s Word, so that by God’s free and faithful grace, they will continue to trust in Jesus as their Savior and enjoy life everlasting in heaven!

Ministry Behind the Walls

Institutional Ministries is a nonprofit organization established in 1901 that carries out behind-the-walls ministry by shining the light of Jesus’ love into hearts.