One thing we love to do is help men and women transition from prison to a local church upon release. When our Colorado colleague alerted us to a ministry-trained prisoner being released to a far-away state, we were eager to help. One helpful group we’ve recently discovered is called “No Place Left (NPL)” so we immediately contacted them and within a week, we received the happy news of a pastor ready, willing, and experienced to receive this brother into their church.
But this remarkable story only gets better.
Three weeks later we were invited to a Texas prison where we had not previously visited. We were delighted to see the astounding work of Kevin and Neal, two seminary-trained inmates. Modifying specialized evangelism training they received, David and Neal planted several churches in the prison, and are gaining a reputation where their proteges can be sent as missionaries to other Texas prisons across Texas.
When asked how Cathy and I could help them grow their stunning ministry, they said: 1st, our men want help connecting with welcoming churches when they come out; 2nd, some have been told that the evangelism training they are receiving is not from a credible source, so they are afraid they won’t be valued as legitimate ministers on the outside. When I asked who did their evangelism training, they replied, “No Place Left.”
I smiled and told them about the Colorado prisoner who was eagerly welcomed by a No Place Left church. Kevin and Neal nearly jumped out of their seats with joy, and said, ‘Our leaders are coming for a training session in five minutes—please tell them this story.”
You can imagine the happy surprise when these 20 men heard that No Place Left is not only a legitimate evangelism training source but is also a national network of churches ready to use NPL training to advance the Kingdom when they get out.
We can’t wait; to go back and visit these new friends, to tell Texas churches about these effective ministers, to replicate this work in more Texas prisons—to complete the work of the Great Commission.