In just a little over two weeks 14 Missionary Athletes from the Saints Prison Ministry and I will be departing from Georgia, Mississippi, and Illinois to travel to Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana. This is the largest maximum security prison in the United States and houses around 6,300 inmates. 71% of these men are doing life sentences. Over my five years of traveling to prison, I have had several conversations with men who have a large amount of regret for the way they lived their life prior to going to prison. The stories of guys who missed out on their kids growing up are the hardest. The regret is most often times accompanied by a longing for a 2nd chance.
In John 3, Jesus is talking to Nicodemus about what it takes to enter God’s Kingdom. Jesus lets him know that we must be “born again”. Jesus isn’t just talking about a religious act but rather dying to ourselves and being born again; this time with Jesus as the King of our lives. John 3:16 (For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life) is a verse that we sometimes take for granted but it is powerful in prison. Jesus offers them a 2nd chance. No matter what these guys have done or however long their sentence is, God loved them so much that He sent His son to die that they might be saved.
That is the message we are taking to Louisiana in less than three weeks and the message we will take to the prisons we visit here in Illinois this summer. Please keep us in prayer as we prepare for this exciting trip!
Here are a few other notes about our Louisiana trip and our Illinois season:
- We will only visit two prisons on this trip but since Louisiana State Penitentiary is so big, we will visit seven different inmate populations. We will also make a morning visit to Dixon Correctional Institution on Thursday, March 16th.
- There are three of us traveling from the Illinois team. Please pray for safety as we travel from Peoria to Dallas to Baton Rouge and then back again!
- I will be leading the team devotions (bible study) each morning before we leave for prison. We will be going through passages from the book of John.
- I am sharing the Gospel on March 17th with Camp F at Louisiana State Penitentiary.
- I am at 57% of my support goal for the season and two Crusades. Our Illinois team is around 10% of our $14,000 goal for this summer. Please visit saintsprisonministry.org if you wish to give online or contact me with any questions.
- Our Illinois team once again has a full schedule! You can view it at http://tomgibson.me/?p=331
- With the weather warming up, our bus will be going into the shop soon to get the air conditioning and a few other items repaired.
I will be posting daily updates on my blog, www.tomgibson.me . I am very excited about this trip and I’m looking forward to sharing the Good News with the men in Louisiana!
Thank you for all of the encouragement and prayer support throughout the years!