When a family member goes to prison, the repercussions trickle down the entire family line.
And often, it is the children who are left abandoned and without resources to care for themselves with many ending up in dangerous and life-threatening situations.
But one organization has chosen to go into the deep dark prisons all around the world and restore not only the lives of hurting prisoners, but their entire family unit.
For more than 40 years, Prison Fellowship International (PFI) has helped restore the lives of prisoners and integrate them back into the community.
By taking them on the “Prisoner’s Journey,” they introduce them to life-changing healing and restoration only found in Jesus Christ.
But one of the most beautiful things about this ministry is they don’t stop with just those imprisoned – they actively work to help care for the children often left behind and forgotten.
You see, with a parent in prison, many children are left to fend for themselves and end up in dangerous circumstances.
Abandoned children are susceptible to human trafficking and slavery, not to mention suffering from extreme poverty without their physical needs being met.
PFI stands in the gap by offering a sponsorship program for children of prisoners which provides children with healthcare including food, medicine, and an education.
But not only does PFI help meet the physical needs of hurting children, they also connect them to a Christian caseworker and a local church to help minister to their spiritual needs and help them begin their journey to heal from trauma.
Restoring broken lives is what Jesus built His entire ministry on.
It was the Pharisees who criticized Jesus for “eating with sinners,” to which Jesus replied:
“On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17
There are success stories all around the world from families who have been helped and restored by PFI.
Samuel in Columbia had sponsors helping him on his journey and his life has not been the same since.
“Samuel in Colombia is no stranger to difficulty. At five years old, he faces physical challenges and developmental delays due to complications at birth that affected his brain. He is prone to frequent convulsions, has difficulty walking, and must still wear a diaper.
But that’s not all.
Samuel is also growing up without a father because his father is in prison. When the breadwinner of the family goes to prison, families are often left in dire situations and the mother or grandparents are left to work and care for her children alone. Children are often scarred emotionally from their parental separation and from the stigma and isolation they experience among their peers and communities because it is shameful to be associated with a prisoner.
Despite their innumerable challenges, Samuel’s mother lovingly cares for him. Still, she struggles to give him everything he needs.
Samuel recently joined Prison Fellowship Colombia’s children of prisoner sponsorship program, which has provided additional support to help lift their burdens. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Colombia, health was an important part of PF Colombia’s children’s program, providing food, training caregivers on health and safety issues, and monitoring the mental and emotional health of children and caregivers. And PF Colombia provides specific training and support for children with special health needs, like Samuel.
Samuel’s mother says she is comforted by the spiritual and emotional support and strengthened by the material assistance. With it, she is able to provide Samuel the dignified life he deserves, and Samuel will grow up knowing he is loved by many.”
This is just one of countless stories of lives being changed by PFI.
Following the model of Jesus, they walk with the weary and broken and often get involved in situations others find too complicated or difficult.
As Christians, we are called to bear the burdens of one another and care for the least of these.
From the comfort of your own home, you too can sponsor a child like Samuel and help bring a hurting child physical comfort while also providing them with the ultimate and eternal comfort of knowing Jesus Christ.
Your small donation will have an eternal impact – and you can rest in knowing you are serving our King directly.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
If you’d like to sponsor a child of a prisoner and change the trajectory of their life, you can choose a child here.
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