Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Prison Ministry Launches Program for Children of Imprisoned People

Program for Children of Imprisoned People. Photo: Christian Newswire

Prison Ministry Launches Program for Children of Imprisoned People

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., June 2 /Christian Newswire/ -- Crossroad Bible Institute, a non-profit ministry providing in-depth biblically-based reentry education to men and women behind bars, announces the launching of a new children's program aimed at the children of people in prison.

Using a Bible study titled Manga Messiah, the program enables children of imprisoned men and women to learn biblical lessons in an easy-to-read format. Manga Messiah adapts the words of the Bible into the format of a graphic novel. The ten Manga Messiah Notebooks provided by CBI to work with this study are written at a third-grade level; they include puzzles, Bible verses and practical application. So far, children enrolled in the program are between the ages of 6 and 18.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, on any given day, 1.5 million children have at least one of their parents in prison. With eight years old being the average age of these children, a program that encourages and empowers them is needed. "Research reveals that these children are likely to be involved in the justice system in the future; this program was designed to be a positive influence and source of encouragement in their lives," says president of CBI, Dr. David Schuringa.

Following a similar format to CBI's program for imprisoned persons, the program provides the opportunity for the child to develop skills through lessons that yield a greater understanding of what the Bible means for their lives while increasing their literacy skills. In addition, each corrected lesson includes encouragement in the form of a personal letter written by the instructor.

With a parent imprisoned, many children experience social stigma and instability; this program allows students the opportunity to be proud of their new skills as well as find comfort and stability in a deepened faith. CBI asks their current students to give their child an enrollment form "to encourage them to grow in Christ." As one child said "Christ has made a big difference in my life."

If you know a child that would benefit from this program, please contact CBI for an enrollment form or visit CBI's website to download the forms. All of CBI's courses are free to prisoners and their families.

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