2023 looks like a very fruitful year for Blues Behind Bars!
We are pursuing invitations to go to prisons in Arizona, Wisconsin and Nebraska as well as returning to prisons in Colorado where we have already had significant impact. In addition to the local outreach work at Community Corrections (Halfway House/Work Release Center) it looks like we'll be going on the road!!
There are new team members joining us for the local outreach programs and it is a very cool situation. At the WRC we can bring in food and the residents there dress in street clothes so the whole atmosphere is much more flexible and relaxed than in a jail or prison. This means that we can provide a "Father's House" atmosphere characterized by a welcoming and warm family feeling. That is a powerful non-verbal statement about the kingdom of God.
The Gospel is all about love. We see Jesus demonstrating this over and over in his actions and words. Parables like the story of the prodigal son, which is really about the loving Father, show us what God is like. So rather than approaching broken people with more shame and pressure to measure up, we are reaching out with love, acceptance and forgiveness following the model of how Jesus interacted with the messed up people (like us) of his day!
I (David Boyd, Director of BBB) am experiencing the most rewarding ministry experience of my life these days. On more than one occasion I have had a team member say to me, "THIS is Church!" We are all saying that because we are having first hand encounters where the Holy Spirit is using us to touch someone with his love and mercy. This is doing the stuff that Jesus did!