Ministry in prisons can pose challenges that many are not used to. We must deal with the demands of high security, limited resource options and an audience overwhelmingly made up of those whose minds and bodies bear the scars of long years of drug and alcohol abuse. You face men and women of every background, people who have committed every conceivable crime—and others which are inconceivable. These are people who have made a string of poor choices and have seen the worst of life. For many, they’ve hit rock bottom and they don’t have any expectation of anything better. For them, this truly is the end. There is no hope.
People housed in jails and prisons receive minimal support, and the people around them are mostly committed to confining and punishing them. They deal with racial polarization, economic disparity and poverty, terror and violence, drug and alcohol abuse, personal and family brokenness, isolation and loneliness, anger and meaninglessness and guilt. Behind the walls of every prison and jail are fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors … they are NOT just numbers in the statistics we show.
Keeping the connection with the outside community and bringing humanity back into these people’s lives is a crucial element in reducing recidivism. Helping them take that time inside to “grow in body, mind, and spirit” is what they want and need.
Our goal at APM is to keep that connection the best we can. From our monthly visits and classes to our correspondence courses, from sending study materials in to jails, prisons, and rehab facilities to holding Blots and rites in the outside community. Our work is 24/7/365.