Prisons around the world were faced with a tough dilemma once the pandemic made it clear it was here to stay. Some prisons restricted visitors; others moved prisoners into solitary confinement; several even released prisoners under special restrictions. But one thing they all had in common was minimizing contact with the outside world.
So how, in the middle of a pandemic, did Crossroads Prison Ministries manage to lay the foundations for a new program in Nepal?
As it turns out, the program is a long time in the making. In 2018, a Nepalese pastor contacted Paul Tan of Crossroads, asking him if he could start a Crossroads branch in Nepalese prisons. He already had several contacts within the prison system, including ex-prisoners who wanted to help individuals still in the system.
As long as the pastor could raise the funding from local churches, Tan said, Crossroads could help. They would provide Bibles and study material if they had backing from local believers. Two years of support-raising, network-building, and personal training later, and Crossroads was ready to launch in Nepal.
Then, a virus swept the world in a global pandemic. Crossroads had to change courses. In many parts of Asia where Crossroads already had contacts, including Nepal, prisons went into total lockdown.
As soon as the lockdown in Nepal ends, Crossroads plans to fully establish their prison ministry. In the meantime, they’re still in contact with partners in the area who are involved with the prison system.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Alex Anhalt
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray for Nepal’s own encounter with the pandemic.
- Ask God to empower those involved in the new Nepalese prison ministry.
- Thank Him for the perseverance of people working to kickstart this new ministry.