The purpose of this prison ministry is to help the people that are in the depths of depravity. That would include mostly inmates and those that are incarcerated, however, it will also include those that are addicted to opioids, prescription drugs, alcohol, etc...
When they cannot break free, we will seek to help them to break free
People are dying every day from overdoses of heroin and prescription drugs. I believe that frequency and reach of excellent teaching is key to setting them free. That means that the people listening to the radio show will know that every time they tune in, they will hear a half hour of audio that is specifically devoted to getting free. Hope for Convicts and Opioid Addicts airs Monday through Friday 8:00 pm to 8:30 pm on AM 1160 Hope for Your Life.
For the five years that I was in prison, one of my most precious possessions was my Sony Walkman. I listened to Christian radio day and night. It transformed and helped me. It discipled me, taught me and nurtured me. There may have been a few ministries coming into the prison, but by far 90% of my transformation occurred because of Christian radio.
I seek to provide prisoners with some type of electronic listening device. They will include the Bible on tape, maybe some key ministries, but mostly they will include Christian radio. Plus, these devices will only get Christian radio. I think some inmates will look to get these listening devices and find out they can only hear Christian stuff and they may very well listen. Plus, the radio ministry will be promoted through posters, direct mail and visiting prisons.
Our listening audience is growing. There are 30,000 inmates just within the Chicago suburban area which we are targeting. There are a lot of good TV and ministries out there and I encourage everybody to partake of all of them. I will be focused on walking in the Spirit, and ridding yourself of addictions. I will be focused on the inmates and how can they spend their time wisely while incarcerated. There also will be a focus on those that have addictions that are not in prison.
It is my hope that loved ones who have family members or friends that are addicted will ask them to tune into the program. I will also ask pastors to give me a half hour of programming where they record a radio show specifically dedicated to one question. Does Christianity work? Can a zebra change its stripes? Can a person live a life free of crime and addictions and not be “white knuckling”?
For those that do not know that term, white knuckling is when somebody gives up the crime or the addiction, but they just think about it day and night and are tempted to go back all the time. That is no way to live. Jesus said, “When the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed.” I will ask pastors all over to give me audio on why Christianity can work for a heroin addict or an inmate or anyone.
I want this ministry to be a cooperation of the entire local body of believers. It will be important for those Christians listening to this radio show, to realize that my number one goal is simply to get them to listen. I may say things like, “please do not change anything, but please do listen.” I believe if they listen and they begin to understand the Word, the Holy Spirit and the abundant life that God has promised, the problems would take care of themselves. I always thought Christianity was a bunch of rules and regulations that nobody could keep. Therefore, I will not be focused on getting the sin out or stopping the activities. I will be focused on this: “Please listen. Please give me a chance to show you that Christianity works.”
When Jesus told his disciples to tell John the Baptist about the proof that Jesus is the Messiah, He said, “The lame walk, the blind see…. The gospel is preached to the poor.” I believe the people I am preaching to will be the poorest of the poor, and I do believe it is an unreached mission field even right here in Chicago.
Luke 7:22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[a] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.”
Why are we qualified?
For over 30 years I have had the opportunity to set people free. Having been in prison and having been addicted to every type of drug and alcohol and many other problems, I know what it is to live there and I know what it is to live here, and here is better.
There are many people in the body of Christ who are qualified to help these people. I find my unique station in life is because when they know that I was there and I understand and sympathize with their addiction, they will listen. When they know I was one of them and can prove it works, they will listen. I am someone who can take their hand and lead them out by experience.