In late August, set in the picturesque Adelaide Hills, a group of 60 Prison Fellowship staff, volunteers, and supporters, welcomed a new season of ministry in South Australia.
Ian Elliott, Chair of the Prison Fellowship International Board of Directors, was our honoured guest and after-dinner speaker. He recalled stories from across the globe of lives changed by Prison Fellowship. Tales of prisoners who had found forgiveness and faith, victims whose lives had been restored, and faith-filled believers who had dedicated their lives to God’s calling to visit ‘the least of these’. Ian was very encouraged by the local leadership in Australia, especially new State Manager and Chairman in South Australia, Ian Townsend and Shane Ellery.
As this ministry re-launches, several South Australian prisons have expressed interest in our programs, especially our SLAM sports program. An informal and non-threatening way of sharing God’s message of love, SLAM sends Prison Fellowship volunteers into prisons as soccer or basketball teams to play with inmates. Through sport, volunteers build relationships and share stories of hope and a second chance.
Prison Fellowship International
In recent months, a number of people have expressed an interest in being involved as a volunteer for the first time. Clyde, in response to a request for SLAM volunteers, exclaimed,
“As a Christian exploring ways and means of serving God, this request spoke to me, even though I am now in my 50’s! I enjoy good health and reasonable fitness – I wondered if you could use someone like me – either to play, or possibly to help score, umpire, coach or something else.” Of course we can!
The message is out there, South Australia; even if you have never been involved in prison ministry before we want to hear from you! We believe God wants to bring restoration and wholeness to those locked behind prison walls and he is asking us to help share that message.