A Mindset Change
We all know that prison is not a great place. Yet God can redeem the lives of people sent there, as many have found his or her salvation while serving time. Some spiritually mature to the point to become ministers of the Gospel. At World Impact, we have the audacity to make that our goal through our Incarceration to Incorporation (I2I) initiative.
We believe many of the men and women who will lead the urban Church are currently incarcerated. There are amazing leaders who are redeemed and called while carrying out a prison sentence. Our role is to provide a seminary-level education to those who are ministers behind bars.
We know that when the situation changes, the behavior changes. What I2I does is change the situation of time spent in prison. Research of our work in California showed those who participated in I2I had a 6% recidivism rate. We hope to establish this initiative in as many prisons and jails as possible across the nation.
Recently an inmate started to answer a question in class by saying, "As a convict—I mean, as a leader in the church..." We often remind the men and women that I2I is a leadership program. Whether the correction in language was for the site coordinator’s benefit or a genuine realization of God's call, it was a key move towards the mindset change that takes place.
Recently, we had a TUMI graduation at one of the prisons for 44 graduates. It was a great success. The men were especially touched when they heard Dr. Don Davis on the video call out their names; a few of the men even cried for joy. The graduates left feeling challenged to put their learning to work on the prison yard and throughout the community upon release.
We have a $3 million matching grant challenge we are presently trying to meet for TUMI Expansion, which includes I2I. We know that the more revenue raised, the more stories of life transformation. Please join us in prayer for this campaign.