One of our goals is to establish the “Prison to People-group pipeline,” a nationwide strategy to engage the remaining unengaged-unreached people groups so they can join the family of Christ. This starts by reaching the people groups who have moved to America (the diaspora), who have connections to people groups in their homeland. To do this, we need good field training, which is being offered by several groups like No Place Left and IMB. At the other end, we know about hundreds of prisoners receiving ministry training through TUMI and Global Prison Seminaries Foundation, and we’re encouraged that Serving USA wants to establish TUMI in all 50 states. But to complete the pipeline, we need thousands of local churches who will help former prisoners make the transition from prison culture to civilian culture. We have found that even the most mature Christians who have been truly transformed while in prison still need 12-18 months of guidance to learn the ropes of culture on the outside. This should come as no surprise since we send overseas missionaries to language and culture school for 1-2 years before dropping them into a new culture to engage in cross-cultural mission. Our Onesimus Workshop is specifically designed for churches to take this cultural re-entry role. Because prisoners can be trained in one state and released to a state across the country, this needs to be a NATIONAL pipeline, with churches involved in every city in America.
In order to get this pipeline flowing, we want help create what No Place Left calls “City Coalitions,” loose affiliations of churches and parachurch ministries ready to integrate their activities around reaching the diaspora in their communities. A coalition offers several ways for people to get involved in world mission without leaving home including strategic prayer, prison and re-entry ministry, ESL, or administration and information sharing. This pipeline gives us specific objectives to pursue: First, we will work with Serving USA to get TUMI into all 50 states; second we will encourage the distribution of 500 Onesimus Workshops nationally, and third, we will help organize 50 city coalitions, using a list that E3 Partners has assembled. Please pray for us as we pursue these three objectives by the year 2025—50/500/50!