Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Wyatt Allen, Brian Hamilton
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000480A
00:01 When someone has come from crime to Christ
00:04 to the doorsteps of your church,
00:06 what can we as a church do to help them
00:10 lay a strong foundation for continued growth in Christ?
00:14 Join us today on Issues and Answers.
00:48 Hello, I'm Shelley Quinn and we're are so glad
00:50 that you're joining us today on Issues and Answers,
00:53 where we are continuing to talk about
00:57 how Christ wants us to interact with people
01:02 who He has set free.
01:04 Set free indeed and who'd been released from prison.
01:09 So let me just without further ado
01:11 introduce our special guest.
01:12 We have returning our chief financial officer for 3ABN,
01:17 Brian Hamilton, who is also the director
01:20 of 3ABN prison ministries.
01:21 Brian, welcome back.
01:23 Thank you. Good be here with you, Shelley.
01:24 Always good.
01:26 And we also have Wyatt Allen,
01:28 who is an evangelist for Amazing Facts
01:32 but more than that, an author of a book called
01:36 The Least of the Least: From Crime to Christ.
01:38 You were sentenced with 20 years,
01:41 you served 14 of those years.
01:43 But that began at the tender age of 16, right,
01:46 where you were actually incarcerated
01:47 from the time you were 15,
01:49 and God did amazing things in your life
01:54 and put you on an amazing path.
01:56 I told him, He put you on that narrow path
01:58 and it's that highway to heaven path.
02:01 And now he travels throughout the United States
02:05 giving evangelistic series
02:06 and sharing the good news with Christ,
02:09 with everyone else.
02:10 Gentlemen, just thank you so much for your heart,
02:15 the heart that you have for Christ,
02:17 and the heart that you have for the least of the least,
02:20 the ones who have been incarcerated.
02:22 We talked on our last program how a church,
02:25 when an inmate can do to be prepared to be released?
02:29 And what a church can do to be prepared to receive an inmate?
02:33 And we talked about every,
02:36 the reception should be the same one of love.
02:40 But with the managing or handling
02:46 I don't know how to...
02:47 I'm grasping for a word here but how we incorporate them
02:53 into areas of ministry depends on their crime.
02:56 It's from person to person, it's an individual case.
02:58 But now let's talk about something, Brian,
03:01 I've heard you say
03:02 is rather lacking in the Adventist church
03:08 and that is the support for the financial support,
03:13 the idea of...
03:15 like a halfway house or something
03:18 for people who've just been released.
03:19 Yeah. Okay.
03:22 Almost every week when I go into prisons,
03:26 there will be one or two inmates will come to me
03:30 and say, "I can parole in two or three months
03:37 but I don't have anywhere to go.
03:39 Can you help me on that?"
03:41 And, you know, sadly I have to say,
03:45 "I don't have, I don't know, this I don't have anything
03:48 that we can offer you in that area."
03:51 I do know of one place in Florida
03:55 with Brother Jeff Cobb
03:57 who has a transitional housing for inmates.
04:02 And he told me that there is a place in Texas
04:04 that just opened up one.
04:06 And then Lemuel Vega with Christmas Behind Bars
04:10 has a place for one.
04:12 And those were the only three that I'm aware of,
04:14 now there may be others and I hope there are others.
04:16 But those were the only three that I'm aware of
04:19 that are operating by Adventists
04:22 to help in the transition of an inmate
04:25 coming out of prison.
04:28 And when you think about it, they've been in there 5 years,
04:31 10 years, 15 years, they don't own anything,
04:35 all they own could come out in a cardboard box about...
04:38 That's exactly how it happens. Yeah.
04:40 And they get one bus ticket
04:43 to take them to wherever they want that ticket to go
04:48 and that's all they have.
04:49 What did they do if they don't have a family
04:52 to receive or what if they...
04:53 What do they do?
04:54 Well, that's the big question there is.
04:56 They don't have any place to go.
04:59 Now there are various organizations
05:02 that do run transitional housing
05:04 or try to get an inmate re-established
05:09 but they are far and few
05:12 and they have a Christian one, you know.
05:15 People don't realize that Adventists start in prison
05:18 or people who become Adventists while in prison,
05:23 they view that Adventist Church is their family.
05:26 But their family doesn't have anything for them
05:28 when they get out.
05:30 You know, Brian, they invest all this energy
05:32 in witnessing to people in prison
05:34 and to help those to be disciples in prison
05:37 and they grow and become strong Adventists.
05:39 And then like the seed is planted
05:42 and then it takes root and grows up
05:43 but what happens?
05:45 The birds of the air come and pluck it up.
05:46 When they get out of prison they have nothing to help them
05:48 be established to, you know,
05:51 be able to make a success of life.
05:53 And so they're, you know, it's a huge challenge.
05:55 Well, what happened in your case?
05:57 Well my case, you know, again I'm a story of miracles
06:01 and I think anybody could be a story of miracles.
06:03 But in my case the church,
06:05 I got to know the prison ministries,
06:07 or the prison ministers,
06:09 they came in and they kind of vouched for me,
06:11 which interesting enough if you study
06:12 the story of Philemon in the Bible,
06:15 Onesimus was the guy in prison with Paul.
06:17 Paul sent him back and vouched for him.
06:21 And so there is a level of vouching there
06:23 that I think can happens,
06:24 that's why it's important for the inmate
06:26 to be sure they got it,
06:27 get connected with people on the outside
06:29 write the pastors, write the elders in the church.
06:32 Anyway back to it.
06:33 So when I got out, I wasn't sure where I was gonna go.
06:37 I knew I couldn't go back to my family
06:39 or my original home.
06:41 And for most people that's not an option
06:42 because of the environment, it's just not healthy.
06:46 But the church like a week before I got out said,
06:49 "We have a place."
06:50 And it kind of came through last minute and I got out,
06:54 I had an apartment they furnished through donations,
06:58 their community, what you call that,
07:01 the food pantry, they had food in their for me,
07:04 furniture in there for me,
07:06 some furniture I still have to this day
07:08 that they help me out with.
07:09 And so I...
07:12 It was a fresh start and they did everything
07:14 that I would wish to it could be done except get me a job,
07:18 and they just didn't have those resources but...
07:21 But now they gave you motivation for a job.
07:23 Tell us what that motivation was?
07:25 Well, I don't...
07:26 They basically paid my first month's rent
07:30 in this apartment
07:31 but the second month's rent was on me and the utilities.
07:34 Well, without a job knowing that,
07:37 I had a very high motivation to get out there
07:42 and make some money as soon as I could to pay that off.
07:45 And again miracles began to happen,
07:47 I end up moving to another area,
07:51 again if you read the book you'll find those details.
07:52 But I'm telling you what I believe,
07:56 when an inmate takes the initiative
07:59 to do as much as he can himself
08:02 and then the church is taking the initiative,
08:04 together they can have a successful transition
08:08 from the outside and inside,
08:09 but there's exceptional circumstances.
08:11 And I know he is talking about
08:12 transitional housing over there.
08:15 Lemuel Vega purchased a used mobile home,
08:21 in a mobile home park that doesn't cost a lot.
08:26 It's not like buying a, you know,
08:27 $150,000 home or a $200,000 home.
08:31 I mean, and so that's what he purchased
08:33 for transitional housing.
08:36 And he bought it in such an area
08:38 that it would pass the requirements
08:42 for a sex offender.
08:44 And that's usually the most stringent qualification.
08:48 So if it passed for that,
08:50 it would probably pass for anybody else.
08:51 Okay. Okay?
08:53 So that's what he did.
08:54 Then he's made connections
08:57 with other businesses in the area.
09:00 So that if an inmate comes
09:01 and comes to his transitional housing,
09:04 then he can take them and visit a number of businesses
09:07 that might have work potential for that inmates, okay,
09:12 to help them get started.
09:13 Then 3ABN is committed to help them with transportation,
09:19 that was one of our fleet cars that is ready to,
09:23 for us to retire but still road worthy,
09:27 we would share and then they would have transportation
09:31 until they can earn enough money
09:33 to buy their own transportation.
09:35 The whole idea is to get them a job,
09:38 get them so that they can start learning to manage money,
09:41 buying their own, and fulfilling their own needs.
09:44 And then as they faithfully work
09:46 usually other opportunities open up.
09:49 Now with Lemuel you'll also have
09:51 prison ministry opportunity too.
09:53 Because he's running Christmas Behind Bars.
09:55 So on Sabbaths and on weekends he would,
09:59 they would have opportunities to do ministry
10:02 along with again establish.
10:04 So that's what Lemuel did.
10:06 Well, so basically what you're saying
10:08 is the basic necessities of life,
10:11 I mean, if all you're getting is,
10:13 when you released is a bus ticket somewhere
10:15 and you're dumped.
10:16 You have to have a place to live, you have to have food.
10:20 And no wonder so many people return to crimes is, you know,
10:24 suddenly you come out of this protected environment
10:27 and if you're thrown out to the wolves if as it were.
10:31 What you're gonna do to survive,
10:33 that instinct of survival kicks in.
10:35 Now, I want to speak on...
10:38 I don't think inmate should have it too easy...
10:41 That's what my question.
10:42 Handouts is not going to help them out
10:44 because when the handouts run out, what you got?
10:48 So that's why I think it is vital for the inmate
10:51 to really study and prepare for the outside.
10:55 If, you know, understanding how the credit system works,
10:57 understanding finances, and opening a bank account
11:01 if you're going to begin...
11:02 And where do they go to study something like that?
11:04 Oh, I mean, the materials are at every prison
11:07 across this country,
11:08 federal or state is going to have
11:10 a library stocked full of materials.
11:12 Unfortunately, the library is not as popular as the gym
11:16 or the recreation yard,
11:17 or the poker table, or whatever.
11:20 The library is not sought out as much,
11:23 but the materials are there.
11:26 You could write letters to anybody,
11:28 get in touch with pastors and say, you know,
11:30 "I'll be getting out in 3 months,
11:31 I'll be getting out in a year,
11:32 what can I do today to prepare?"
11:34 And they will give practical good advice.
11:37 But I'm just saying that, you know,
11:38 it is an extraordinary measure for a church
11:41 to adopt an inmate.
11:43 Therefore it should be an extraordinary measure
11:44 of the inmate to be adoptable.
11:46 And I think that if the...
11:48 and I say this as a former inmate myself.
11:50 The reason I'm so strong on this is
11:53 because there is so many people looking for handouts.
11:56 Whenever there is other people out there
11:57 willing to work hard for it.
12:00 And I don't want to lose my place so I'm working hard
12:03 because somebody else has burn bridges because hey,
12:06 I'm just looking for you to do me a favor.
12:08 And whenever they have the ability
12:10 and the capability to be a productive citizen
12:14 if they just take the initiative.
12:16 I'm going to say something
12:17 and that I hope will not hurt any one's feelings
12:20 but I do know someone who also went to prison
12:22 at the age of 16 and came out 20 years later.
12:26 As a 16 year old not knowing anything,
12:29 I mean, just being, you know,
12:31 and this is something that I used to make
12:33 a lot of excuses for him.
12:35 Well, you know he's been locked up since he was 16.
12:37 This is why he can't do this.
12:39 You've changed my mind on that
12:41 because reading your book and seeing that
12:44 there is a person if you are watching us
12:49 and you are sitting in a federal prison right now.
12:52 Please understand,
12:54 you should take a personal responsibility
12:58 for preparing for your release.
13:00 You need to learn how the world works.
13:04 So that you can be more successful when you get out,
13:08 just as you did, it was an idea of God helping you
13:12 redeem the time.
13:14 I mean, you studied other languages even
13:15 but it was something that you made the most
13:20 with the use of your time.
13:21 You could be a better criminal or a better Christian.
13:23 I went to library one day to check out a book
13:25 and there are two workers in the library,
13:26 they were exchanging meth recipes.
13:28 How to make meth better when they got out of prison.
13:30 I guarantee they're doing life on the installment plan.
13:33 Yeah. And they're gonna be back.
13:35 Well, I didn't want that for me at all.
13:38 Many of our prisons today actually have classes
13:43 that are geared and focused toward helping an inmate
13:50 learn about the transition from being locked up to being free.
13:54 So they go over money management,
13:57 they go over how to be a good husband,
14:00 or a good wife, or, you know,
14:03 they go over how to be a father,
14:05 or a mother to children because often times
14:08 they weren't a good one
14:10 and they probably didn't have good mothers or fathers,
14:13 you know, and so they don't know those things.
14:15 And so there is opportunities in a prison
14:18 to go to those kind of things.
14:20 But you have to have the motivation to say,
14:23 "Hey, I want to learn that,
14:24 I want to be successful when I get out.
14:27 I don't want to continue doing conning
14:29 and getting easy money in other words drugs,
14:32 or whatever.
14:33 I want to do it the right way."
14:35 And that transitions back
14:37 into the idea of a prison ministry helping them out.
14:40 When a person takes those extraordinary steps
14:42 and can demonstrate that to a ministry
14:45 that's willing to put out a lot of money to help you out,
14:47 then, you know,
14:48 I think the ministry can feel safer doing that.
14:50 I mean, nothing is full proof,
14:52 but I think there should be an application process
14:54 just like a job.
14:56 There should be, you know, I would have,
14:57 personally if I was running a prison ministry
14:59 that assisted inmates in establishing housing,
15:01 I would have them fill out a very extensive application.
15:04 I'd have them share their testimony with me.
15:06 How are you, you know, how did you find Christ?
15:09 How are you maintaining your Christian walk today?
15:11 And giving as much details as possible.
15:14 Again, it's not full proof but it's something
15:16 that is a way to demonstrate to the ministry
15:20 that this is somebody we can work with.
15:22 And if a person is not willing to do that what's that say?
15:25 They're probably not willing to go out and...
15:26 I mean, I filled 40 job applications in my first month.
15:30 You know, I was rejected 40 times
15:31 but and I did my very best to get a job,
15:34 God eventually provided but it was hard.
15:38 And if you're not willing to do the hard work when you get out,
15:41 or if you're not willing to do the hard work
15:42 when you're inside,
15:44 then you're not giving me any assurance
15:45 you can do hard work when you get out.
15:47 And that's where having someone come
15:49 and vouch with you to an employer,
15:52 I think adds an extra measure...
15:54 Yes. Yes.
15:55 Because, you know, I'm coming as an inmate,
15:59 I've been a felon and they see felon, you know,
16:02 they're jut saying, hey, this is not gonna.
16:04 It doesn't matter what the felon charge is.
16:07 It's scary and so we'll not go with you,
16:10 but they have someone come and vouch for you and say,
16:13 "Hey, I've been working with this young man now
16:15 for three years or for five years
16:17 and I just want to put a good word in for him."
16:19 I think that would be helpful.
16:22 The chaplains are good for that too.
16:24 And not all chaplains like Adventists,
16:26 I wish that was not the case.
16:27 But if they, you know,
16:28 you can get in connected with the chaplain.
16:30 There's some people that
16:32 they never go to any chapel service ever
16:33 and then they want the church to help them out.
16:35 Yeah. It's just.
16:36 But the chaplain can vouch for them,
16:38 that's why a lot of ministries required
16:39 chaplained referral letters.
16:44 But, I mean, we're talking about transitional,
16:48 we're talking about a safety net,
16:50 a safe place to land.
16:51 How long, I mean, when do you cross the line
16:54 because you don't want to become a laborer?
16:58 How does, I mean,
16:59 there's people out here who may be,
17:01 you know, this is stirring something
17:03 and they're saying, you know, we could do that.
17:05 We could have that
17:07 but they need a little more guidance.
17:08 Where would you cross the line?
17:11 Well, you've got the experience on this.
17:13 I don't know what to say.
17:14 Well, you know, first of all...
17:18 You'd need collective wisdom.
17:19 You know, this is and I want to make this very...
17:21 no one person should make a decision about how to do,
17:25 work with an inmate getting out of prison
17:27 because you can get blinded,
17:28 you could really see through only your eyes
17:31 and I've actually heard a very dangerous situations
17:33 where a couple assisted a guy
17:36 in his transition in getting out.
17:38 But then because of his past of a sex offence,
17:41 he was in very uncomfortable situation in the church.
17:45 And the... He's targeting people.
17:48 Certain members felt he was targeting the younger people
17:51 and taking advantage of some people,
17:53 and they confronted them.
17:54 No, no, no, that's not the case and the reason is
17:56 because he became blind out of the relationship.
17:59 He was actually living with them
18:01 and so I'm not saying that, that should never happen.
18:05 I'm just saying that the more people on a council
18:08 or a committee that is involved the safer it's gonna be.
18:11 And so bring in more people
18:13 and that's you're not gonna end up crossing any lines
18:17 as long as you have
18:18 the multitude of counselors they're safe,
18:19 that's what the scripture say.
18:21 And so do that,
18:23 even if yours very small church,
18:25 you can get connected with your sister churches
18:27 and churches in your district
18:29 and pull money to help this to be able to finance these,
18:34 whatever you need to do to help an inmate get established.
18:37 But like the widows there is a criteria for widow
18:41 and you cannot, it's just not wise for a church
18:44 to help somebody out
18:45 who is not willing to meet those criteria.
18:47 So what you are saying is in the scripture
18:49 when Paul is talking about supporting the widows,
18:52 he lays down what the criteria.
18:54 Very straight guidelines for the church
18:56 to support the widow.
18:58 So if the church is gonna support an inmate,
18:59 I think read those guidelines through.
19:01 I think there's a lot of it can be, can overlap.
19:04 But generally it's just wisdom that you need
19:07 and let the love of Christ reign
19:09 and just don't let it blind you to the fact
19:12 that not everybody out there has...
19:14 And if I can add on your initial question is,
19:18 "Where would you draw the line?"
19:19 I would say customarily people at a transition like this
19:24 are looking out about a year.
19:27 And so I wouldn't make a commitment
19:29 to an inmate for more than a year.
19:32 I would say this is what we all do
19:35 to help you get going for a year.
19:39 And then we will relook at it after that
19:41 if there's still a further need.
19:43 That's good. To set those goals...
19:47 You're free, you're dependent now a year.
19:49 Because to get a job
19:51 and to get save up enough money for a car,
19:56 you're not going to do that in three months or six months,
19:59 you know, it's gonna take a bit.
20:01 And so I would think, we would be looking at somewhere
20:05 about around a year's time.
20:07 But anything after that I would say
20:10 they're just on the welfare program may be, you know...
20:15 So that seems very, I mean,
20:16 a year seems quite generous to me particularly
20:18 when you said you had 30 days and they gave you motivation.
20:22 Yeah, but when you think about it some people
20:24 they don't have a license.
20:26 That's true.
20:27 So how long will it take him to get a license
20:29 and, you know, and go through that process?
20:31 Well, sometimes they've DWI,
20:32 and they're not gonna get their license back for several years.
20:34 Yeah. That's true too. Get the bicycle.
20:36 And then they're not gonna get a job in a month.
20:41 It may take two or three months for them to get a job.
20:45 Even if you don't have a crime and you're looking for job,
20:48 it may take you a number of months to get a job.
20:50 It all depends on the connections.
20:52 If you have connections, pre-connections ahead a time
20:56 where you have the place for them to stay,
20:58 you have ways to get in their clothing,
21:01 to get started,
21:02 and you have transportation for them
21:04 and a job,
21:05 then I would say that transition would be shorter.
21:08 But if you don't have those things in line,
21:10 then the transition is little longer, you know.
21:13 It's occurring to me, gentlemen,
21:14 as we're sitting and talking
21:16 and, Wyatt, you can probably answer this,
21:20 as much as an inmate looks forward to being released,
21:24 it's a scary prospect.
21:26 Oh, it is. To be released.
21:27 Very scary.
21:28 But you have to make that determination
21:31 if you are about to be released whether you're male or female,
21:35 if you want to live life
21:38 on the installment plan as you said,
21:40 if you don't have an intentional plan
21:45 to walk on the straight narrow path,
21:50 you're going to end up back in prison again.
21:52 So it's scary because you're, you know,
21:57 I'm sitting here and I'm thinking
21:58 may be there's some inmate that's going, wow,
22:00 I didn't know the church would receive me with such,
22:03 you know, ambivalence.
22:04 It happens.
22:05 But the world, you know,
22:07 are always going to be hard to get a job
22:09 as you said it's hard everywhere.
22:13 But if you don't have that absolute intentional plan
22:18 of no matter what it takes, I'm gonna follow the Lord,
22:22 I'm going to stay, you know, clean and sober,
22:25 I'm gonna do this
22:26 and I'm gonna do that as you did.
22:28 Then you're probably setting yourself up
22:30 for failure right away.
22:32 It starts, you got to be connected with Christ,
22:35 you've got to have a personal walk with Him,
22:38 you've got to be spending your time in the word daily prayer
22:41 because, listen, if you're not truly converted.
22:45 I'm not saying you're going to have troubles,
22:46 but if you're not truly converted,
22:48 you're doomed for failure.
22:50 But if the church is helping out an inmate
22:52 who is converted
22:53 and an inmate is looking for a church to help them
22:56 and they're converted.
22:57 God will do miracles,
22:59 there's a thousand ways God has provide for us
23:00 of which we know nothing.
23:02 And so I believe that, that if we as inmates
23:05 take the initiative as you're saying,
23:08 making sure that there is nothing in our life
23:10 that's holding us back.
23:12 Making sure our thoughts are pure, you now,
23:13 especially, you know, the sex offenders,
23:16 almost all of them had the root in pornography
23:19 and yet I get out of prison,
23:20 and all the sudden you got billboards
23:22 that have naked woman
23:24 and, you know, you have to deal with this reality
23:27 that they're getting out into a world
23:28 that saturated with sexuality
23:30 and they've got to stay pure minded.
23:33 You know, if you are a drug addict,
23:34 you get out of prison and find out there are states
23:35 legalizing marijuana, what you're gonna do?
23:37 So you've got to make sure
23:40 that you are committed to following Jesus,
23:42 no matter how hard it's gonna come.
23:44 It was terrifying my first day out,
23:46 it was terrifying going to the store,
23:49 and going to the Goodwill and buying some clothes
23:51 and a suit for church for my first Sabbath.
23:53 It was terrifying to sit down on my first job interview
23:56 but I hate to say this, "Fake it till you make it."
23:58 You heard that before? I'm not sure.
24:00 You know, instead of fake it till you make it,
24:02 what I say is, "Faith it."
24:05 I even like that better.
24:06 Faith it until you make it.
24:08 But, you know what, though sometimes
24:09 you have to force that smile on your face
24:10 even though you're scared as can be.
24:13 But God, listen, but you put your faith in Him,
24:14 "Faith it till you make it."
24:16 I love it. God will provide.
24:17 Yeah. He will support you.
24:20 Also if anyone thinking about this idea
24:23 of getting involved in transition housing,
24:27 it's important that you have certain boundaries.
24:30 For instance, there will be no alcohol in this home,
24:36 there will be television,
24:38 we'll determine the television
24:40 what programs are on that television,
24:43 whether it will be Christian television...
24:45 MySDA box.
24:47 Yeah. Right.
24:48 Right. Okay.
24:49 We expect that you will not be bringing people over
24:52 for sexual relationships.
24:58 You should be want to come to church into Sabbath school.
25:02 We want you to be at prayer meeting.
25:04 If there is Bible study is being given,
25:06 we want you to be involved in that.
25:08 We expect that the house will be kept clean
25:12 and the yard mowed,
25:13 we'll provide the lawn mower in that but
25:16 and you take out the trash.
25:17 We're not gonna take out the trash for you
25:19 and it's not gonna grow and just pile up in the house.
25:23 These are the rules of this house.
25:26 And if you want to come and join us in this situation,
25:29 then this is some things we expect from you.
25:32 And so those are some boundaries
25:34 that help them learn, this is,
25:37 life is real and this is how you live life,
25:39 and are successful at living life.
25:41 And don't be afraid to say that,
25:42 they've been around boundaries for a long time
25:44 when they are in prison.
25:45 They're used to boundaries, don't be afraid of that.
25:48 And these are boundaries to help you grow.
25:51 You know, it's just, I think that's what the Lord did
25:53 when He gave us the Ten Commandments,
25:55 He said, "These are the boundaries
25:56 in which you will be safe, you can run,
25:59 you can run in my commandments.
26:01 But as long as you stay within these boundaries,
26:03 you're going to have a beautiful life."
26:05 And it's nothing that we should look at
26:07 that is restrictive on us,
26:09 it's just where we find the greatest freedom
26:11 within those boundaries, and that is something you do.
26:13 God wants to bless
26:14 but we want to put ourselves in a position
26:16 where He can bless us.
26:20 I don't remember the text exactly
26:24 but the one that, you know,
26:28 so you don't have clothes and we say,
26:30 we'll pray for you, and you don't have food,
26:32 and we'll pray for you."
26:33 And, you know, this is one way
26:36 of actually providing the food, clothes and helping the person
26:41 as you pray for them you see...
26:44 And this is a step further.
26:45 What you're quoting is from James 1
26:47 but one of the way John said in 1 John was that,
26:51 you know, love in with action not just with words.
26:57 I mean, if you're gonna love in truth
26:58 its action, not just words.
26:59 There's a ministry in Alabama,
27:01 United Prison Ministries International
27:03 that's one that you left out of your list earlier
27:04 that I thought of.
27:06 They actually, some of the people they help out,
27:07 they put them on the garden
27:09 and they got them working for plan so,
27:11 there's those ministries out there that are like that
27:13 but mostly it's the local churches
27:15 that are gonna do most of the prison ministry work
27:17 and praise God for prison ministries.
27:20 Ministered to me for many years and when I got out too
27:22 and is ministering to some.
27:24 And praise God for the miraculous transformation
27:27 in your life and for all the people
27:28 that He put there to support you.
27:31 Amen. Brian, final thought?
27:33 This is a challenging area, but I would encourage anyone,
27:38 pray about it, see if the Lord want to help you open doors
27:42 to help an inmate in a very practical way,
27:46 very practical way.
27:47 Thank you so much for both of you being here today.
27:50 Thank you for your input on this very important topic.
27:54 And once again we want to tell you,
27:57 all of you, we're praying for you.
27:59 And it doesn't matter if you are in prison
28:03 or out of prison, we're praying for all of our viewers,
28:06 and we truly love you because
28:09 not because of the goodness of our heart
28:11 because God pours His love into our hearts for you,
28:14 we ask for that.
28:16 So may the Lord richly bless you
28:18 and may the fellowship of the Holly Spirit
28:19 be with you all.