Ministries partner to reach thousands of prisoners, families and children around the world with the gospel

By Chris Eyte |
PFI and Faith Comes By Hearing agree to help more prisoners and families
Prisoners around the world are benefiting from studying Luke's Gospel via 'The Listener's Way' using solar power | PFI

A massive evangelistic effort has been agreed between two global ministries now looking to distribute 90,000 audio and visual Bibles to 700,000 prisoners in 70 countries over the next five years, with extra support planned for 90,000 vulnerable children and 40,000 caregivers. 

Prison Fellowship International (PFI) and Faith Comes By Hearing (FCBH) announced the joint renewal plan to share the good news of Jesus Christ with prisoners and prisoners’ families taking part in two of PFI’s frontline programs. The ministries state they have already worked together since 2021 and helped 34,000 prisoners to date.

One of the courses called The Listener’s Way helps prisoners access the gospel in their “heart language” by using “solar-powered, audio and visual scripture”, according to the course website. The other program, PromisePath, gives education support, mentoring in a community setting and biblical resources to children of prisoners. These youngsters are at risk of abuse, neglect, exploitation, slavery and criminal behavior, according to the ministries.  

“The expansion of our partnership to encompass more TLW courses and increasing our reach to children and their caregivers through PromisePath underscores our joint commitment to ensuring all of those impacted by crime have access to the Gospel message,” said Andy Corley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Prison Fellowship International. “Observing the profound eagerness of these individuals to engage with Scripture reinforces the transformative potential it holds in each life.”

The outreach to prisoners provided by The Listener’s Way aims to overcome difficulties often faced with illiteracy. For example, about 50 percent of prisoners are “functionally illiterate” in the U.K, according to a study by the Shannon Trust. This means a reading level of an 11 year old or lower. 

The figure is even higher in the U.S. with 70 percent of prisoners unable to read at a fourth-grade level, according to a National Adult Literacy Survey. 

Another aspect of the program is reaching those prisoners without access to electricity. The study helps prisoners read Luke’s Gospel with ‘Proclaimers and Acclaimers’ audio and visual Bibles charged via solar power. The idea is enabling gospel outreach to isolated prisoners in  poverty-stricken countries.  

“Our strategic partnership to reach the world’s least and the lost with the Word of God has already been profoundly impactful, touching the lives of thousands of individuals and families impacted by incarceration,” said Jonathan Huguenin, Chief Ministry Officer of Faith Comes By Hearing. 

“As we strive to broaden our reach, we remain steadfast in our commitment to providing hope and spiritual nourishment through the Word of God to all who seek it, fostering growth and renewal in communities worldwide.” 

Meanwhile, thousands of children of prisoners and caregivers will benefit from the PromisePath program utilizing support networks for families. The initiative employs direct interventions in education, mentoring and spiritual resources to support these at-risk children and their loved ones, hoping for a better future. 

PFI was founded by the late Charles Colson, former advisor to US President Richard Nixon, in 1979. He had been imprisoned for obstructing justice in the Watergate Scandal. Colson surrendered to Christ after reading Mere Christianity by academic and author C.S. Lewis. 

Colson became passionate about the welfare of prisoners and, upon his release, founded the first Prison Fellowship ministry in 1976 before it went international three years later. The ministry currently supports prisoners in 117 countries.   

Jerry and Anet Jackson started Faith Comes By Hearing, formerly known as Hosanna, in 1972. It was originally a tape-lending library offering Christian resources and is now on the forefront of providing audio Bibles and related ministry. The listening programs have enabled the truths of the Bible to reach millions around the world, in 2,095 languages to date. The ministry has a vision to provide God’s word in every language free-of-charge by 2033.