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Prison Discussion

I count many incarcerated people among my friends. I see these friends every week; we exchange thoughts on life, incarceration, religion, goodness, evil, and plants. We discuss the books we are reading, debate the merits of “plant-based pizza,” and write down our hopes and dreams for the future.


One of my friends has spent over two decades in prison. This past week, he shared a message with a group of 40-or-so “free people” and 48 “incarcerated people” at Walker State Prison.  He quoted Isaiah 61:1:


The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,

    because the LORD has anointed me

    to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

    to proclaim freedom for the captives

    and release from darkness for the prisoners


He said he doesn’t like this scripture because it mentions “freedom for the captives” and how it seemingly applies to his current situation. He’s realistic – he knows he probably isn’t going to magically be set free soon. But this scripture helps him realize that despite his circumstances, he is free.


He exclaimed to the room of free people and inmates alike, “God makes us free; we are liberated.”


Prison can only confine the body, not the soul. Some people living in prison are freer than us on the outside. What I witness among many of our students is that their spirits are free. They are thriving spiritually, building community, and proclaiming the Gospel in the unlikeliest of places. It is such an honor and privilege to be able to walk alongside them and learn from them.


Please continue to pray that those in prison – incarcerated people and staff - will be set free in spirit and mind. We know that “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36) That is our hope for every person we come in contact with each day. If you feel called, please consider supporting our mission by visiting


Thank you and have a blessed day.



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