In this episode, we talk to Andy Corley who highlights the work of Prison Fellowship International, which operates in 118 countries to provide a range of programs and interventions to help restore prisoners' lives, help their families, and successfully integrate them back into the community. We tackled some misconceptions people have about incarcerated individuals and the need to see them as human beings who have made mistakes and may have faced difficult circumstances in their lives. Listen now and gain a compelling insight into the transformative impact of prison ministry. Hear his powerful message of hope and redemption reminding us that everyone can change and grow, regardless of their circumstances.
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About Andy Corley
As President and CEO of Prison Fellowship International, Andy leads the work of PFI among the family of national affiliates in 116 countries to achieve the vision of breaking the cycle of crime and restoring lives, worldwide, through Jesus’s love. Andy values working alongside brothers and sisters who passionately care about prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families. He also enjoys connecting with key ministry partners to build relationships and share about the impactful work God is doing through their generosity and work.
Andy has more than 30 years of leadership experience from global companies to entrepreneurial start-ups. He developed his strategic thinking and leadership skills while serving in various management and director roles for global construction groups, including Lafarge and Hanson Brick Europe. Throughout his career, Corley transformed a number of underperforming companies and divisions into award-winning enterprises. Having a passion for Christian ministry, Corley continues to serve as an advisor and board member to several internationally focused, faith-based organizations. Prior to his appointment as President and CEO, Andy served as Treasurer on Prison Fellowship International’s Board of Directors for seven years.
Andy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from the University of Liverpool. He lives in beautiful Derbyshire, England, with his wife, Andrea, near their grown children. In his spare time, Andy enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, playing sports, and going for a good run.
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The Kingdom Investor Podcast showcases business leaders who have moved from success to significance, sharing how they use worldly wealth for kingdom impact. Discover how they grew in generosity, impacted more lives, and built godly legacies. You'll find motivation, inspiration, and practical steps to grow as a Kingdom Investor.
Daniel White (DW): Hello, and welcome to The Kingdom Investor Podcast. This is your host Daniel White. And today we interview Andy Corley. Andy is the president and CEO of Prison Fellowship International. Andy leads the work of affiliates in 118 countries to break the cycle of crime and restore lives through Jesus's love. Andy has more than 30 years of corporate leadership experience and serves multiple international faith-based organizations.
If you have enjoyed the show, follow us on LinkedIn at The Kingdom Investor Podcast and help us reach more listeners by sharing with your friends. And now without further ado, let's jump right into the show.
DW: Hello, Andy. Welcome to The Kingdom Investor Podcast. How are you doing today?
Andy Corley (AC): Thanks, Daniel. Great to be on the show.
DW: Yeah, would you share just a little bit about where you're coming from and who you are?
AC: Of course, well, right now I'm coming from my office in Washington, DC. But, as you can already tell by my accent, I'm an Englishman. So, I have a long commute from my home in Darby in the United Kingdom with my lovely wife, and I come here as often as necessary and as often as I can. So, right now, I'm coming from Leesburg in Washington in the state of Virginia.
DW: Nice, nice. So, are you in DC a lot or for long periods of time, or just kind of back and forth a little bit?
AC: Yeah, I'm certainly in the United States a considerable amount as a result of my role. But I also travel internationally around the global family of Prison Fellowship International which is in 190 countries around the world. So yeah, a lot of time in the United States. And then quite a lot of time traveling internationally as well.
DW: Gotcha. So I was wondering if you could share maybe a highlight from this week or some project that you're working on that you're really excited about?
AC: Yeah, absolutely. Just got out of some meetings where we've been discussing a new program that we have launched, with children who have a parent who is in prison. It's a new, what we call a modular program, which is designed to interrupt the playground to prison pathway. It's very heavily weighted towards getting the child into education, and then providing them with scriptural age-appropriate Bible resources, hooking them up with a mentor, and that mentor, usually coming from a local church. And we're rolling that out in big numbers around the world. And we're very excited about it. And we've had some great updates on that particular program this week. So, that's a new one, hot off the press, but one that we are really thrilled about its capacity to both scale and interrupt this, you know, what is a scandal, which is that children with an incarcerated parent are six times more likely to end up in prison themselves globally.
DW: Yeah, I remember learning a lot of those statistics early on. I did a little I got a chance to do a little bit of prison ministry when I was 17. And so it just blew me away some of the sad statistics around that. So that's very exciting that you're working on that, in that particular program. Would you mind praying for us before we get started, then we'll dive into your story.
AC: I'd be delighted. Father, God, thank you that we have these technological advances that allow us to listen and to meet and to fellowship electronically. But God, even in this circumstance, we're very conscious that you are present with us, and when you promise that wherever two or three are gathered together in your name, you're there with us. We rely on that. We're delighted in it. Father, we asked you to both give wisdom for myself and a connection with all those that are on the call that enables us to hear from you and to emerge from this next little while just encouraged in our faith and encouraged in the mission that you've called us to both collectively and individually. We ask this in Jesus' name, amen.
DW: Thank you, appreciate that. All right, would you share your story, some of the highlights, and just give us a little bit of background?
AC: Well, I started my working career, Daniel, as a geologist, an exploration geologist, studied geology at university. And pretty soon, in my early career, realized that no geologists that I knew sat on any board of directors and that I was going to have to find innovative ways of, of kind of becoming a little bit more of a businessman and less of a geology major, I ended up working for a number of very large multinational companies, and breaking out of the geological mold into becoming the sales and marketing director of one of our largest construction materials groups in the United Kingdom. I was blessed in that I managed to do that by the age of 40. But at the age of 40, that position was made redundant, and I was found surplus to requirements, because of the direction that the organization was taking. So spent two years without, without much work, I have to say, which was a very clarifying period in my life, and also quite a difficult period, in the sense of type A entrepreneurial type, sitting still and waiting for God is not something that we particularly fit well with us.
AC: But anyway, that was my, that was very much a learning time for myself. And I would say also for my family, I then ended up becoming part of a small car shampoo business, that would fall on really hard times. And during that period of time, I really resolved in my mind, something that I struggled with over many years, which was this sacred-secular divide. that I believe is one of the kind of curses on the Christian world, if I'm absolutely honest, That somehow we feel that what happens on a Sunday is more important than what happens Monday to Saturday. And I'd really struggled with that even, you know, being a sales and marketing director of a, it was a three-quarter of a billion-pound organization. So it wasn't small but we're still struggling with this idea.
AC: During that two years, it really got clarified, couldn't wait to get back into the marketplace, took over this ailing cleaning chemicals firm, and we turned it into an infection control products manufacturer with global markets. It was a real success story. We were really blessed by God more than we deserved. And I got an, as a result of being in a much smaller organization, it also freed me up somewhat to use some of the skills and gifts that God had given me in the marketplace to allow them to be deployed elsewhere in other kingdom activities. And particularly in this particular story on the board of Prison Fellowship International.
AC: So, I was a board member for six years before I became CEO and president. I got an unexpected opportunity to liquidate my shareholding because we've done a management buyout. And I was a third shareholder in the company that we had built. By then it had become a very profitable and successful small company but like I said, with global markets. But I'd found my own kind of calling I think, which was that as business people we can do some profoundly good work when we put the gifts that we have to work in all sorts of different scenarios. That led me to where I am now. Switching streams somewhat but as I shared with you yesterday, occasionally somebody will say to me, so now you're doing the real stuff. You're doing the good stuff, and my answer to that is absolutely not. I always felt that I was called certainly after that intervention in my 40th year that I was called. And all of us are, if we're followers of Jesus, we're all called, it's just a matter of where, and to who. And so now I'm very privileged to kind of be doing different stuff, but still utilizing an awful lot of the lessons and the thinking and the mindset in a faith-based, for-impact organization, but still drawing heavily on my business experience and background.
DW: So can you tell us a little bit more about how that transitioned into what you're doing now?
AC: Well, like I said, I got an unexpected opportunity to liquidate my shareholding, didn't expect that at all. But it just coincided with the time when PFI had, I'd been on the board during a period where we had really gone through some quite profound shifts in the organization building on the foundations that had been laid over 40 years, but needing to look differently about how we were going to serve for the next 40 years. I ended up being very involved in that as a board member. Strategic, involved strategically and then a bunch of other ways as well, and also as a donor to the organization. Now, we are, as I said before building on that foundation, but really driving home, the strategic plan, we've got very clear on our mission, and vision and values, a lot of the principles that many of those that are present on the podcast will be familiar with, we employ in our organization, we bring the best out of what I would call commercial thinking and marry that with very much a faith-based organizational perspective. But we are also very passionate about ensuring that what we do we do in a real quality way. And I think the business has a lot to offer in terms of when we understand and of course, the outcomes are different. In business, you may be looking for profitability, you may be looking for a triple bottom line, you may be looking for, in some senses a mix between the two - profitability and social impact. Clearly, the outcomes are different in a faith-based organization. But what's needed in order to run an effective ship can very often be quite similar.
DW: So, you mentioned calling, and everyone's called to, you know, some are called a different place or to different people. Can you share maybe a little bit about your calling to Prison Fellowship International?
AC: Well, I think what happens to me, in my journey to becoming a board director, well, I don't think this is what happened. So I was invited to a global convocation in Canada in 2011. And I saw something at that global gathering which I'd never seen before and never had cause to think about before which was around the area of prisoners and their families, those in prison and their families. I'd been, I'd thought a lot about the role of the marketplace where it intersects with evangelism. I thought a lot about running organizations on Kingdom principles. We got very involved in donations, particularly around the chronically poor, in places like Romania and Pakistan, and elsewhere. But I'd never thought about those in prison and their families. And so when I attended this event in Toronto, I saw some things that are, that really have stayed with me for the duration of my time. now, even now that I'm in a senior executive position.
AC: The first was I loved the cross-cultural, multi-ethnic nature of the Prison Fellowship International family. To have representations, brothers and sisters who gathered around Jesus around a mission that was clear or around an underserved people group, if you like. But also, really, we’re not interested in the usual things that divided, divide us. So we rarely ask the question, what's your denominational background? We don't really care what color of skin you are at all. And, of course, we're dealing with prisoners. So many of the, quite a few of our national ministry leaders will have been those that have been in prison and are now living transformed lives and doing remarkable things. So, you've got this incredible mix of people in a room.
AC: Really the only important questions on one level that are asked are, do you love Jesus? And do you love the prisoner and their families and victims? And that was something that I had not experienced before, a kind of missional alignment that transcended the usual barriers that get in our way. I really liked that. And it doesn't, does not mean that we're not really clear that inner transformation is key to what needs to occur in a person who's in prison, his life, or the life-giving opportunities that God, with the second chances brings to us are not really relevant for families. It doesn't mean we're soft on that. It just means that we're able to position that in a very effective way. And I would say globally, Prison Fellowship International is really well known for the practical nature of the interventions that it provides. We mobilize about 50,000 volunteers around the world. We make live the proverb: Show me a man who is skilled in his work. He'll stand before kings, not before men of obscurity because the things that we do, are the interventions that are helpful to prison ministries around the world.
AC: So we really do have a good reputation for what we're doing. We have a good reputation for our reliability. We've earned the right and our national ministries have earned the right over 40 years to speak with some clarity and forcefulness in a way that is really helpful. And as a result of that, that was my exposure to PFI and frankly, you know, I kind of fell in love with it as a mission that was on the razor-sharp edge. I believe of what God is doing in our world, not some kind of fringe activity, that people who are slightly weird get involved in. This was front and foremost, look for Matthew 25, Psalm 68, you know, he places the lonely in families, he leads the prisoner to prosperity, I just was really massively motivated by that, and that was, you know, became something which has changed me in the process, I would say. I don't think that that's an exaggeration, I have probably changed more, I hope for the good as a result of my understanding of God's love for those that are incarcerated, their families, victims. It's changed my heart in a way that is revealed God's character. And I have been the beneficiary of that. So, long answer to your question, but hopefully that gives you a bit of a kind of flavor for the passion that I have for what we are doing together as a global organization.
DW: Yeah, I think that was really helpful and insightful to hear, hear your heart and the calling that God placed on your life. So, would you maybe share on a high level, globally, you said 118 countries, can you give us kind of a big picture first, and then drill down and maybe give us a specific story or two of tactically what you guys do?
AC: Sure. So as I said before, we are in 118 countries, we are, without hubris, the largest faith-based, for-impact family that is in prison ministry around the world which brings along with it, great opportunity and some real responsibility that we feel that we want to steward. There are many other wonderful ministries, working in prisons, we love them all. And we are, this is a space that is big enough for all of us. God bless anybody who is working in this space. However, our particular contribution, I think, is in terms of breadth and depth that we are going for at the moment. What PFI does, the bit that I'm CEO and president of because all of our national ministries are independent and indigenous. That gives us a real strength we are as global as necessary and as local as possible. But what that means is that PFI that the small, relatively small team, that I am privileged to lead of about 50 people, half of them in the United States, half in regional offices around the world, we catalyze their global ministry. And we do that in a variety of ways, we create an environment for them to be able to flourish because many of them are operating in really significantly difficult circumstances.
AC: You know, in Africa, or Latin America, the Asia Pacific region, the Middle East, it's just not like it is. And it's difficult in Europe in some countries as well. But, you know, we're used to the UK prison system, the United States prison system, and the kind of prisons, the kind of ministry that is demanded. The problems that they face can be extremely, in context, extremely difficult, and different. However, what we do find is that there is a suite of interventions that most of our national ministries say that's really important for us. And they are what we call our program interventions. So the in-prison program interventions would be a Start A New Life with Jesus course, which we call the Prisoner’s Journey. We have discipleship programs. We have audio Bible programs, our audio Bible program is called The Listener's Way. We have programs outside prison, working with families and livelihood. We have a restorative justice practice, called The Sycamore Tree Project.
AC: And then what we're also beginning to do on behalf of the family, we invest in our national ministries, almost like a kingdom investor. So we bring the programs, the integrity of the programs, startup funding to them. And in exchange, what we asked for is accountability on implementation, that they join in the effort to raise local funds. We put an arm around their shoulder in terms of capacity building, leadership development, board governance development, all the kinds of things that we know are going to be necessary for them to be bigger and better if you like in the future. That's what I mean by we create an environment for them to flourish in. But we do it through very good practical interventions. We pack the capacity building around the practical interventions, and that as a strategy is working for us in a in quite a profound way, I would say. We have many, many stories of national ministries that have really grown as a result of us adopting this new strategic approach, which is around the interventions but helping them become more of who God has called them to be.
DW: Do you have any stories of individuals that have been impacted that you could share?
AC: You know, Daniel, I have too many to recount. We just have probably thousands of stories, but I will give you, I'll give you one, and then I'll give you another perspective. So, a couple of years ago, I was in Zambia, and I met a man called Bernard. When I met him in his home, his home is a mud hut. He has a garden that he is cultivating now on behalf of his family. Because while he was inside prison, he learned how to grow his own food. And his family of five children live with him in this mud hut. We had supported that family while Bernard was inside prison. So through our child's journey program, which is a child sponsorship program, we had kept the family together. So that after Bernard had finished his five-year prison sentence, he came out to a family that was still intact, and a family that still wanted him with a skill that enabled him to provide for his family.
AC: But what had happened to Bernard while he was in prison was that he had graduated all three programs that we ran in Ndola which was the city in which he lived. He graduated the Prisoner’s Journey. He'd done The Sycamore Tree Project. He'd gone on to further discipleship. And as I said, before, he had also, his family had also been the recipient of our children's programs. He could not wait to show me his graduation certificates. But what was wonderful was that now he was volunteering, going back into the prison that he had left as a volunteer to deliver those programs. His life had been transformed by Jesus while he had been on the inside. When I met him, he was, I think he'd been out a couple of years. His family was in great shape, his eldest boy, he was so proud of his eldest boy, because his eldest boy was playing youth-level, national football for Zambia, he was a goalkeeper. He proudly showed, I mean, they were dirt poor, but they were together, his life was different. He was staying out of prison, he got a purpose in his life. And he was now going back into prison to share the good news of what he had discovered while on the inside.
AC: Got so many of those, then, you know, I, that's just one that I personally experienced. The second would just be to say, we have at least five national ministry leaders now who have spent time in prison, where God has grabbed ahold of them, turn their lives around, and now they're running organizations that are serving their whole country. Indeed, as many of your listeners will know, that was the start of how Prison Fellowship came into being through Chuck Colson spending time in prison as a result of his, what happened with Watergate. Our whole story, in so many respects, is one of God breathing new life into individuals whilst they're in prison, bringing reconciliation, healing, and restoration in a way that profoundly impacts them, but then brings healing restoration to their families and communities as well. We have so many stories of that I couldn't tell you. But that's just a couple of examples to enable us all to see that this really is a missional passion, I think, God, he leads the prisoner to prosperity is real in our experience.
DW: Yeah, I think that's really powerful to hear those stories, because it really, it makes it real. You know, it's really neat to hear the globalization of it, or the global reach of it, but also to hear the one on one relationship and how that's been transformed. So that yeah, I think that was very helpful.
So I wanted to ask you, looking forward, what is the vision for Prison Fellowship International? Where are you guys going? What's the next step?
AC: So, our mission, what we do every day, what we wake up in the morning and apply all the energy that we can do around transformation, to transform the lives of prisoners, their families, and victims through a global network of ministry partners. So we're looking for outcomes in individuals' lives. That's the thing that really motivates us here at the end of all of our statistics, all of our programs are people, human beings created in the image of God, who are, you know, a ways away from him relationally. But as we all are at work at any point in our lives, we can all find ourselves relationally separated from God the Father. But that is the outcome that we seek that they find a renewed relationship with the Heavenly Father in a way that affects their life for the rest of their lives.
AC: That's what we do every day, but our vision is much bigger. Our vision is to break the cycle of crime and restore lives worldwide through Jesus's love. Now breaking the cycle of crime is really complex, and it's met very multi-layered. We are not going to be able to achieve that on our own. We do believe that we've got some very significant jigsaw pieces to deploy in that whole area. We're upping our game a lot on the gathering of empirical data around our programs inside prison and outside prison working. We definitely know that early stage, empirical data, the first time that this has been done with Baylor University in Texas around the impact of faith-based programming in Colombia and South Africa, has revealed that culture change in the prisons is something that is it's it's occurring as a result of what is happening in individual lives.
AC: So, let me just take you on that continuum. When men and women engage in faith-based programming, they experience a crystallization of discontent. I don't like my life, I want it to change. We know that is a critical factor in any decision to engage in a new narrative and a repositioning of your former behavior, not being what you want to be engaging in the future is always really important for anybody who is currently in prison. That leads to identity transformation which is where the good news has some, I mean, imagine, all you've ever been taught is that you have no future, that your last act defines the rest of your life, that you are a monster, some kind of monster that doesn't deserve a second chance. Into that comes the light of the good news of Jesus. It's like a light bulb going on. Because God says, I love you, I forgive you. I give you a hope and a future. And I'm going to give you the power to change.
AC: That's really dynamic in a prison environment. And what we were getting tons of anecdotal evidence about was that when all of that came together, through faith-based programming, it was altering, it was changing the environment of the prison, and that there were increases in some very important pro-social behaviors. And this was now becoming a really important factor in prisons for prison authorities, because hey, they wanted to work in prisons that were less violent. They wanted to work in prisons, where men had hope and felt that there was a future because they know that this is an important piece of what it's going to take for a prisoner to emerge from prison in a different state than what they went in and stay out. So it's anecdotal evidence around the culture-changing, prison changing, becoming different was really important for us to study. So, that is part of where we're headed, in answer to your question.
AC: Our vision is to break the cycle of crime. There's a lot more work to do, we're not going to achieve that, it's not an overnight kind of thing that we can point to. I think there are a number of other interventions that we're either going to have to partner with others around, or we're going to have to adopt them into our kind of daily strategy. But we are definitely seeing early-stage results that our vision, we believe our vision is achievable. And that breaking the cycle of crime, there is no reason why a child needs to end up in prison. That's just a scandal. It should not be happening. There is no reason why a man or a woman if we have the right interventions for them in prisons, because there's the problem. It's true to say and
I'm not sugarcoating the hideous effects of crime here, by the way. There may be people on the call whose families have been affected by crime. I'm not sugarcoating at all, at all. There needs to be accountability, there needs to be responsibility taken.
AC: But the plain fact of the matter is that 90% if not more, of prisoners globally, come back into our communities. It's in the community's interest to ensure that what happens while they're in prison is beneficial to ensure that they don't go back in. And I think it also is something that is really important for us as a society to have a grace-filled attitude that says, this is important. It is important that we don't lock people up and throw away the key. It is important that our society is based on principles of forgiveness and a second chance. It says something about us as a civilization or as civilization, that is really important when we have a no man or woman left behind kind of policy. Everybody created in the image of God, everybody being released to be fully human. And we got some big messaging around that and the prisoner kind of those in prison, they exempt and their families they exemplify that and articulated in the right kind of way. I think we are convinced that breaking the cycle of crime is not something that we should be giving up on quite the opposite, we should be working to realize it.
DW: What do you wish that people knew about prison ministry?
AC: That if I was able to take you into prison with me tomorrow, you would meet men and women who are just like us. There but for the grace of God, go I. I think the first time I ever went into a prison, I think that was what grabbed me the most, was that I felt like I was interacting with men who I knew as a rugby player, if that makes sense, just the character type. And again, not sugarcoating the fact that crime had been committed, others harmed, often very deeply, hideous things can occur. But often, they are in prison, because of circumstances that have not been of their own making. They make poor choices, really spectacularly bad choices. But sometimes, the environment that they were brought up in, has landed them there. And when it all gets stripped away inside the prison, and you're able to encounter the humanity of the other. I recognize them as people that I knew and liked.
AC: And so I think that's the one thing is to humanize the people who are incarcerated. And I had a great phrase this morning which is that, there are no monsters in prison, there are only people who've done monstrous things. That's a that's pretty much been my kind of experience. And it's why whenever I go into prison, if there is a football or soccer yard, in the prison, I don a soccer shirt, and try to play soccer with the guys to kind of humanize in some. I mean, it's a small thing, I get it. And I'm probably getting too old for it now. But, it just humanizes the other person in a way that I think is really good for us as a society to want to engage and not to place people away, who has just, you know, for different kinds of reasons ended up in prison.
AC: Worth remembering that as well, Daniel, God forbid, but, you know, I drove out of our car park last night, here in the office, narrowly missed hitting somebody on a motorbike, who had no lights on. If I had, and it was really close, one of those scary moments, which I'm sure everybody identifies with the way you kind of stop the car and you breathe, go, thank God that could have been so different. But you know, if I hit that person, and I had been deemed to be responsible, I could be in prison as a result of that act.
AC: And our prisons are full of people who have made spectacularly bad decisions, but they're also full of people who are sad. And because our prisons have also become the place where everything that has gone on many of the deepest problems of our society, end up daylighting a very big proportion of them are also what I recall, in the mad category. They have profound mental health issues and prisons have become a place where society has failed, and we have failed the men and women inside prison. That's where they end up. And we're called to those people. We're called to those people. They're the people that Jesus did not give up on.
AC: If you want the story of it. It's right there in Luke 8 where Jesus is absolutely determined to get to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. There's a massive storm preventing him to get there. He's getting there, his disciples are panicking. But he said, we're going over to the other side. But on the other side is a person who we call him the gathering demon-possessed man. But he's a prisoner. He's in chains. And I think that gives you, you know, a flavor of the passion that God has for those that are incarcerated, and those that are really hurting. For whatever reason, for whatever reason, we just haven't an obligation to care for them. When I was in prison, you came to me, the Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he's anointed me to preach good news to the oppressed, the captive. We've got a responsibility to do it. And if we can move prison ministry from the kind of, along with many others, by the way, this is not I'm not saying we're the only show in town. But if we can move prison ministry, from the fringes of missional activity for the church, into the center of this is God's mission, then that will be that'll be a good thing for us to do.
DW: So, what brings you the greatest hope when thinking about that?
AC: The stories, without a doubt. The transformational stories that we are so privileged to sit on top of. We just have them by the bucket load. And then when you go into prison and see what is actually happening, like I said, I wish I could take everybody into prison. Because it's just not what you generally expect. And that does something in us which is really healthy. That's what I get most inspired by. I also get really inspired by our volunteers. We've got 50,000 of them globally, our national ministry leaders, the passion that they bring to this, the joy that they undertake their work with. I think the people are involved in prison are some of the happiest, fun, if I say so against myself, slightly fringe people but they're just great to hang around with. All of that plus a profound encounter that always occurs when you go into prison, which I encapsulate by saying, we never take Jesus into the prisons, we just follow him in there. And all of those build up to just an immense feeling, of immense privilege and real hope that God is doing some amazing things in people's lives.
DW: So, for listeners who feel like God has put it on their heart to get involved, how can they do that?
AC: Yeah, so given that our audience is in the United States, so it falls into the usual three categories, I think, Daniel. Pray, go, or give or maybe do a combination of all three. So, there is a remarkable prison ministry here, Prison Fellowship, which is focused on the United States. They do great work, your listeners will, no doubt have heard of Angel Tree and The Academy and interventions like that. So, go on to the Prison Fellowships websites. If you've got an international perspective, pfi.org or RestorativeJustice.org which is another one of our websites that is more on that kind of empirical, best practice with a restorative justice lens, RestorativeJustice.org would be the right place to go.
AC: We have really big plans to reach a tipping point of the world's prisoners. That takes resources. If people want to give we have multiple opportunities for them to do that. I'm really confident that whether you are passionate about evangelism or discipleship or scripture engagement, or passionate about practical interventions with the core and those that really need help, when you have the major breadwinner ripped out of your family, all that other kind of problems that come with that, there will be something that Prison Fellowship is doing because like I said before breaking the cycle of crime is very complex. There is likely to be something that will resonate with your leaders, with the leaders that are gathered online here. So, we're always very grateful for additional financial support, or volunteer. You know, that's, that's another massive piece of what we do is we take people into prisons, they become part of the volunteer force that is so vital to the ministry that we undertake. There are just so many ways. I think it just takes the first step and finding out a little bit more and praying about it, and God will do the rest but I couldn't recommend it more.
DW: And how can we specifically be praying for you?
AC: Well, I think the, what I've just said, is, as a growing family, we have growing needs. And that's not just financial resources. So, many organizations have growing financial needs, particularly at this time, I mean, it's a tough time for everybody. So, I don't want to specifically focus on that but clearly, it will be an issue for us at the moment. I think that the thing that I would ask, probably more than anything, is just that some of the passion that we have for this, let's call them, for want of the better term, an unreached people group, that this gets firmly anchored in the character of God. And that we see the prisoner, we discovered the, what I think is a kind of amazing truth that, that the prisoner is one of the disguises that Jesus takes in our world. And, you know, when I was in prison, you came to me, those words are quite staggering, actually, when you begin to read them slowly, "when I was in prison, you came to me". So I think that's the thing that I would ask you to pray about is that for all of us, that we have such a strong sense of who God is, who the passion of God, as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ for the prisoner and their families. And answering the question of why I think takes all of us into a greater appreciation of just how amazing God is. And then the rest works its way out. And that, you know, we all at that point, we all grow in that process, we grow in the knowledge of God, but we end up leading lives that are pleasing to Him and called according to His purpose. And that kind of works its way out as a result of having our eyes open to who God is and what his passions are in this world that he has created and what our role is in that.
DW: Well, can I pray for you now?
AC: You certainly can. Thank you.
DW: Let's pray. God, I thank you for Andy and for Prison Fellowship international. Lord, I pray that you would be guiding them, and that you would bless the ministry, that you'd provide for the ministry, that you would provide the volunteers and the finances and the access and the ability to connect with these people. Lord, I pray that you would help us to see clearly that you care for and love these prisoners and that we're called to serve and love and bring life to them. Lord, I pray that You would bless the ministry and that you would bless Andy. In Christ's name, I pray. Amen.
AC: Amen. Yeah, thank you for having me on Daniel, and just as a word of encouragement for everybody that has joined. Thank you for the work that you do in the marketplace which has probably had more impact than you could ever imagine. Salt and light is hugely needed. And I just want to, having come into a ministry kind of situation, affirm you all in what you are doing. It's really, really important.
DW: Yeah, thank you for that. That is really encouraging. All right. Thank you guys for listening to this episode and we'll catch you next time for another episode of The Kingdom Investor Podcast.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
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