As someone who visits prisons, jails and juvenile institutions on a regular basis, I'm very happy about the Bill Glass Prison Crusade coming to Northeast Ohio, in July. Former, four-time, all pro for the Cleveland Browns, Bill Glass is the founder of what is possibly the world's largest prison ministry. It's Bill's belief that the common denominator among prisoners is having been raised in a fatherless home.
Approximately every two weeks, Bill Glass invades 8-10 prisons over a 3 day weekend with an average of 400-500 volunteers. The goal is to reach the hearts of lost and hopeless people with the love of God, and the hope found in the Bible. These weekends are called 'Weekend of Champions'.
Bill's team includes housewives, bikers, businessman and ministers. There are also special guest speakers including professional athletes and other notable people who have found a new life in Christ.
I personally joined the Bill Glass team for a 'Weekend of Champions' a couple of years ago and visited several Atlanta area prisons. It was awesome. Even the guards were getting blessed.
I was able to hang out with Tino Wallenda of the famous 'Flying Wallenda's for the weekend, traveling from prison to prison. Tino walked on a wire some 30 feet in the air and shared the gospel of Jesus while perched on a chair. In spite of the fact that we already had a captive audience, he appeared to have everyone's undivided attention.
The Bible reminds us to remember those in prison as though we were in prison with them. (Heb. 13:3) The Bill Glass Prison Crusade puts this verse in action and allows anyone the opportunity to join them as they reach out to prisoners young and old, male and female.
I've just been invited to join Revival Fires Ministries to visit Russian prisons. Recently, Russian prison officials have given them a special invitation to distribute Bibles and host evangelistic services. How ironic that 40 years ago we were smuggling Bibles into Russia while freely distributing them in America's classrooms. However, today we have to smuggle Bibles into our schools while we have open invitations to distribute them in Russia, including schools and military bases.
Have you ever thought about sharing your faith with others? Have you ever thought about helping others to share the gospel? If you're feeling led to reach out to those in prison, consider this your invitation to be a prison volunteer. To join the Bill Glass Prison Crusade this July in Northeast Ohio, call Doug Korrey at 330.273.3286. If you'd like to join Revival Fires Ministry to visit prisoners in Russia, call Chuck Todd at 800.733.4737.
For those of you who don't feel led to go or are unable to go, please pray. To help you pray effectively, here's a quote from Associated Press writer, Angela Charlton, regarding a Russian jail:
"Rats scamper across gruel-encrusted bowls in a cell at Tula's jailhouse. The dishes molder in a sink two feet from a clogged, putrid hole in the floor that serves as a toilet. Ten men share it's cell and it's six bunks. They sleep in shifts, wheezing into the same pillows. Their crimes vary, but all ten have been sentenced to a disease that is eating holes in their lungs: Tuberculosis."