You can tell your church how it can help bring change from the inside out. Why not put an article in your church newspaper or magazine. Feel free to use the wording below.
Stephen found himself in prison after becoming addicted to and dealing in heroin. He faced a four year sentence inside and felt as if life had lost all hope. Then a prison visitor introduced him to Jesus Christ. Stephen looked at the Gospel for himself, realised his need of a saviour, became a Christian in prison and saw his life transformed. Stephen served the remainder of his sentence, overcame his addiction and after release decided he wanted to share the good news of his saviour with other offenders.
Stephen is now part of the Daylight team and works with Christianity Explored to take the Gospel into prisons so that more offenders can see their lives transformed and given a new hope for the future.
Bringing change inside
It is stories like this which remind us why we do what we do at Daylight. The 96,000 prisoners in the UK are an often forgotten mission field who need the Gospel of Christ just as much as the rest of the community. Working with prison chaplaincies, churches and other Christian organisations, Daylight was established in 2004 to take the Gospel to prisoners across the UK, so that lives would be changed from the inside out. Daylight’s relationship with chaplains enables us to go into prisons to lead Bible studies, chapel services and meet with prisoners individually. We can establish relationships with prisoners during their sentence so that we are better able to support them after release as they rebuild their lives. We are now working in over 70 prisoners and have contact with 7,000 prisoners every year.
Bringing change from the inside out
Prisoners do not just need support during their sentence but also after release. To help provide practical post-release support to ex-offenders as they reintegrate into a local community and avoid re-offending, Daylight has established regional Prayer and Support Groups to help local churches work in partnership with other service providers to make sure ex-offenders seeking to adjust to life on the outside get the help that they need. Prayer and support groups provide Daylight with its local roots which mean that we are able to respond to individual needs by meeting ex-offenders at the prison gate, transporting them to new accommodation, transporting them to their probation officer, and by referring ex-offenders to local service providers for housing, employment, health and family support. We can also put an ex-offender in touch with a support group in whichever part of the country to which they are sent to after release. For those who wish it, we can also put them in touch with a local church which will provide an additional layer of support.
Help bring change from the inside out
Daylight’s work with prisoners during their sentence and with ex-offenders after release, allows us to work with more people like Stephen so that they have the opportunity to hear the good news of Jesus Christ, can develop supportive relationships during their sentence with experienced and trained volunteers, and can be supported as they make the transition from prison to a local community.
Stephen is only one of the many stories that Daylight has been part of over the last eight years and we pray that there will be many more telling their story in the years to come. One prisoner serving a sentence for murder said, ‘I thank God I came into prison…it’s not easy in prison, but life is beautiful…because I have a relationship with [God]’.
Please join us in praying for the thousands of men and women serving sentences across the UK and for those adjusting to life after release as they rebuild their lives and try to break the cycle of crime.
To find out more about how you can pray for, support or be part of Daylight’s work in your region, visit the Daylight website at www.daylightcpt.org.