A Charge to Bless the Prisoners

Rachel Chimits

World Challenge partners and the church in Eswatini are finding ways to reach those who are in prison with God’s Word and forgiveness.

World Challenge’s partners in Eswatini have begun a special outreach called Potter’s Prison Ministry, believing that God has incredible plans for those who are currently behind bars.

This ministry has seen incredible growth this year.

Five times this last year, they have conducted new membership “connect” classes; and though these classes, over 170 new adults, along with their children, have officially joined the church.

Entering the Prisons in Prayer

The church, and World Challenge partner, believes in impact one heart at a time. Kingdom transformation happens one life at a time.

“It has been wonderful to see the growth in the Prison Ministry team this year,” one team member said. As the church family expands, so can their outreach and impact in the community as they serve together.

Over the past couple of months, the Potter’s Prison Ministry team have been teaching an eight week long course they’ve started calling “The Prisoner's Journey.” The inmates were invited to sign up for the classes voluntarily; the prison had no requirements for prisoners to join, and there were no “benefits” beyond the discipleship they would receive from instructors.

The team visited inmates at three different prisons where they walked with their students through biblical lessons about God’s mercy and grace, forgiveness of sins and practical application for these lessons.

During the course of the class, 16 inmates who had not been believers when they began to course gave their lives to Christ.

New Doors of Opportunity Opening

Potter’s Prison Ministry recently had a total of 88 students graduate from the program in a ceremony hosted by the correctional facility’s college. Volunteers cheered as inmates received a certificate of completion along with a Bible.

The guest of honor at the graduation was the deputy commissioner. He stood up at the ceremony and expressed his gratitude to the church, then he unexpectedly added that he wished the team would offer these classes and other useful training to the prison officers.

The team was jubilant over this opportunity. “We are excited to see where the Lord may take this open door.”

Meanwhile, they planned a women’s retreat for their female inmates, which proved to be an excited opportunity to see God move. “We heard powerful testimonies of salvations and even more on healings, revelations and freedom from unforgiveness, anger, shame, and pain and bondages,” the team explained.

“God knit their hearts together in miraculous ways. God is doing an amazing work at Mshaweni through Pastors Themba and Thuli, and we are anticipating transformation in that community as the ladies who attended the retreat grow in their faith….”

As the work continues in Eswatini, please pray for the World Challenge teams there and that God will nurture the seeds of forgiveness and new gospel life.