FMC Prison Ministry:
by Eva & Curtis Kratz
Jesus said, “I was in prison and you came to visit me (Mt.25:36, 40). Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers/sisters of mine, you did it for me.”
Isaiah 41:10, 13-
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “Do not fear; I will help you.” (What encouragement that is!) We see God’s power changing lives every time we go in.
When did we get started?
In the year 2000 Liberty Ministries from Schwenksville PA had put a small announcement in our church bulletin about a prison training. I attended and knew the Lord wanted us to be involved in prison ministry.
Where do we minister?
In three different prisons: State Correctional Institution at Graterford , Norristown County Correctional Facilities (MCCF), and at Bucks County Correctional Facilities (BCCF). Thanks to Liberty Ministry for opening the door for us at the first two prisons and Life Abundant for giving us the opportunity to serve in the name of Christ at Bucks prison.
What we teach:
In all our sessions we teach Celebrate Recovery Inside (CRI) and use our Bibles to look up the many verses in each lesson. The men and woman tell us they receive love, forgiveness, hope, and healing from the Lord. Just last week some in our class shared how they received hope to go on where before they felt lonely and forgotten.
CRI is Bible based
out of Matthew 5 (the beatitudes) with personal questions that include a lot of other scriptures to make one look at him/her self and address their hurts. We sing a few songs, have a lesson, sharing, and prayer at each session. We share the love and forgiveness of Jesus; give them hope, respect, and friendship.
What an inmate needs
: a committed faith believing Christian friend to connect with, willing to give time, a listening ear, encouragement, and hope so they can know the Lord loves them and forgives them. God still wants to use them even though they have done wrong.
No pain is too deep
, no sin too great, for the love and blood of Jesus to cover and heal their wounded souls. Inmates need someone they can trust as they pour out their hurts. Prison is like the Whale for Jonah
; they say, “If I would not be in here I would be dead by now.”
“A bruised reed he will not break; a smoldering wick he will not snuff out” (Isaiah 42:3).
- B accepted Christ, the next week she came back very disappointed and said, “I’m still here.” I said what do you mean? She responded with “I thought I would go to heaven when I became saved.” I helped her to see God has kingdom work for her to do while here on earth.
- Some have no Bible knowledge at all. One inmate asked us, “when is sex sin?” She was sexually active since she was nine years old and did not know it was wrong. Some never heard about “the Lamb of God!”
- M said, “I feel so free and clean inside since I shared my hurt and we prayed about it.” (1 John 1: 5-9 “confess the hurt; bring it into the light so we can be healed”).
The Christians become missionaries
- D, a young man, would lead others to Christ in prison, even though his wife left him he did not get angry with God; he had to move to another prison, he wrote telling us he is still bringing other men to the Lord.
behind the walls and reach out to others.
for FMC’s prison ministry and for the missionaries behind bars.
Any questions or comments contact: Eva Kratz firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in helping financially for Bibles & Celebrate Recovery Inside study books for incarcerated men and women contact: Franconia Mennonite Church 215-723-3220