About Christian Videos for Prisons
…a note from Executive Director Paul S. Taylor
Paul Taylor with part of the latest shipment of evangelism video libraries we donated to needy prison chaplains throughout North America.
Each prison chaplain that received one of these Christmas care packages had expressed a great desire for Christian videos to use in winning prisoners to Christ. But, in each case, the chaplain simply lacked the money to buy them. In a step of faith, we have met their initial needs with almost $20,000 worth of videos.
Volunteers who helped package our most recent shipment of videos for prison chaplains.
Many years ago, the Lord laid on my heart a special burden for the souls of prisoners. Most of us rarely stop to think of the hundreds of thousands of men and women incarcerated within our nation's vast penal system. They are out of sight and out of mind - confined in places filled with incredible spiritual darkness, violence, sexual perversion, and demonic influence. These are lost souls, in desperate need of a changed life and a right relationship with Christ.
Yet, in the midst of this extreme spiritual darkness, there burns a shimmering light. Huddled in the prison chapels, prisoners gather for prayer. They pray for spiritual growth. They pray for the salvation of thieves, addicts, liars and murderers - people whose lives illustrate the utter futility of life without God.
Christian movies, with their dramatic ability to speak to the heart, provide a uniquely effective way of reaching these hardened and often illiterate men, women and young people.
It has been thrilling to watch God use this prison video ministry. Chaplains are overjoyed. They find these tools tremendously effective in attracting prisoners' interest and powerfully reaching them! Praise the Lord! Hearts that many thought were unreachable are being changed.
Almost a thousand correctional institutions in all 50 states (U.S.) are actively using the Christian video libraries we have donated. The result has been thousands of decisions for Christ. Ask the Lord how He would have you use these videos. Show them in chapel meetings, study groups, audiovisual rooms, chapel lending libraries, or telecast them on the institution's closed TV system.
Sending Light into Spiritual Darkness
Christian Videos for Prisons is a ministry of Films for Christ (FFC) - a not-for-profit organization formed to evangelize the world through the production and distribution of high quality Christian films, videos, and books. FFC supplies free film showings to public schools and thousands of free videos to prisons. It also translates the materials into numerous languages and supplies free showings through foreign missionaries in many nations. Many exciting television broadcasts have also been made. FFC's materials are now at work in over 110 nations.
The ministry is evangelical and interdenominational - controlled by a board of dedicated Christians - independent of any denomination. Films for Christ's funding for this ministry comes from the donations from individual Christian families and the sale of its videos and books in the U.S. and certain other nations. The fruit is seen in changed hearts and minds.
The Great Need
Since functional illiteracy is high in our nation's penal system, videos provide a vitally effective way to reach prisoners' minds and hearts.
Through Christian Videos for Prisons, thousands of videos have been placed in the hands of chaplains who specifically requested them for use in their prison ministry. Each video is supplied to the prison absolutely free of charge. We realize that few prisons have the freedom or the budget to purchase such videos themselves.
Never have there been so many men, women and young people confined to prison in America. We can't seem to build the prisons fast enough! This is not surprising, considering that an entire generation has been taught that God does not exist—and that people are merely animals. This belief can affect a person's view of life and other people.
"Who am I? Why do I exist? Is God just a fairy tale?" Alone in their cells, prisoners ponder these questions and many others. Many of these men and women are at the end of their ropes; they have no place to run. They are receptive, but they need answers to their questions.
America's prisons are a fertile mission field. They provide a tremendous opportunity to extend new hope and Christian knowledge. The only way to change our nation for the better is to change hearts. What a fantastic place to save souls! Once prisoners come to know Christ, they certainly have plenty of time to deepen their understanding through lengthy Bible study, prayer, and witnessing.
How Do We Do This?
Donations of videos to prisons are supported by gifts from concerned Christian families, Films for Christ, and other Christian video producers who partner with us in this ministry. Christian Videos for Prisons is a ministry of Films for Christ, a non-profit organization with a worldwide outreach. Gifts to this ministry are tax-deductible. [IRS Section 501(c)(3) non-profit organization]
If you would like to help sponsor Christian Videos for Prisons, simply click here and designate your donation for prisons by clicking on the "For Christian Videos for Prisons" button.
Thousands of Showings to a Captive AudienceHow are these videos used in prisons?
Situations vary widely. Some chaplains advertise special showings to attract inmates to the chapel. Others show them in their regular services or Bible studies. Others place them in the chapel library for lending to the inmates or for viewing on an individual basis right in the chapel. Some prisons allow TVs and VCRs in the cells or in a recreation area. In some prisons these videos are actually broadcast directly to the cells. For example, through closed-circuit TV, one New Mexico penitentiary shows our donated videos to inmates who are locked-down 23 hours per day. "We can't thank you enough for your assistance. I can promise you that every video will be shown many times and through God's grace will open many cold and hard hearts in this 'place of darkness'."
We are continually receiving notes of encouragement from prison chaplains - See our comments page.