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 last year, 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 150 men and women who receive our devotions six days a week!
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!
Chaplain Charles Iles