A Trip I Will Never Forget

by Neal Lozano on December 14, 2023

A trip I will never forget! What a privilege to meet and minister to men in prison with long-term sentences who have become disciples of Jesus.

Matt, Deacon Joe Cooley from MA, Dan Gahagan from MD, and Pastor Jakob Kerlin from PA, and I spent two days bringing Unbound into a maximum security prison in middle Pennsylvania. I am so proud of our team.

One of the Chaplains had prepared hand-picked leaders from among the prisoners. They watched the Unbound Freedom in Christ videos over eight weeks and studied using the workbooks and reading Unbound. They were more than ready, anticipating getting rid of their bondages when we came. Over twenty more came the next day when we taught the Five Keys and spent several hours in ministry. 

This morning, my heart is full of thankfulness but also an awareness of the evil present in this fallen world that Jesus came to drive out. These men and their stories are very close to me as I write.  

We hope that Unbound Ministry will continue in this prison through the men who received it and the Chaplain who invited us. We left them with more resources to foster growth in Unbound. Our prayer is that these men will be the ones to lead others through the Five Keys as they watch the video series again and further study the book. 

I also hope that as we share about this event, many will be inspired to be trained in Unbound ministry and bring it into local prisons. 

A brief snapshot:

An inmate who had been well-trained and widely read as a family therapist said: “This is better than any therapy I have ever seen,” and he plans to send his family to our conference.

Several said: “I got my identity back” or “Now I know who I am.”

One who believed he was unfairly sentenced said: “I am supposed to be here for this moment; it makes sense to me now.”

I saw several faces visibly changed after ministry. One man said that he understood the meaning of his name for the first time.

One man told me that as he read Unbound, God showed Him that Jesus died for him. He knew Jesus died for sin but never received it in a personal way.  

Another man told me of a childhood trauma so deeply buried in shame that he had never spoken to anyone about it in his life. It was much harder to share than the crime that he committed.

In the end, there was joy and a deeper vulnerability among the men.

As I am writing this, the Chaplain emailed: “There is a buzz all around the prison of all the Lord did this weekend through the Unbound team. It is so cool!”

The videos, the workbooks, the books, and our trip were only possible because of folks who generously donated. Thank you!

Tags: freedom in christ, prison ministry


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