Friday, February 5, 2010
Inmates: The Real Survivors on Vanuatu
VANUATU, Feb. 3 /Christian Newswire/ -- Crossroad Bible Institute is expanding its outreach in the islands of the South Pacific through its Australian Distribution Center. Field workers are providing CBI's program in two new island nations: Vanuatu and Tonga. In the islands of Vanuatu prisoners have been in a spiritual black hole for two years while the Tongan islands are embroiled in a race war.
Vanuatu became famous in 2004 when the reality show Survivor filmed contestants trying to survive in the wild, but right now people who are behind bars are the ones struggling to survive spiritually. The island prisons do not have any Bible study programs, church visits or chaplains. The inmates have been starved of religious instruction for the past two years. CBI will be the first to offer a solid curriculum for people yearning for salvation.
"The corrections officials are thrilled to be able to offer CBI's program to the prisoners," CBI president Dr. David Schuringa explained. "They have tried to set up religious services with little success in recent years, but they understand how vitally important a faith-based program is in an inmate's life and how it can increase their chances for success when released."
The Tongan islands have their own challenges: a race war is brewing between indigenous Tongans and Chinese businessmen relocating to the area. Many of the people behind bars are serving time for taking part in a violent riot that occured in recent years. Corrections officials hope a strong Bible study program can help promote forgiveness and tolerance so the two races can live together in peace.
CBI continues to be active on the Fiji and Solomon islands in the South Pacific as well. Field workers visited with students on Fiji and found that God is present and constantly promoted through song and discussion. Many of the prisons also display Bible verses on large banners outside the prison walls as a constant reminder that God is a vital part of the inmates' lives.
Crossroad Bible Institute is a prison ministry in its 26th year of operation. With over 40,000 students, Crossroad has ten international distribution sites with two more openings pending. CBI also offers a Bible study program for the children of prisoners. Go to www.cbi.fm for enrollment forms or more information. CBI's programs are provided at no cost to prisoners and their families