We believe that anybody and everybody should be able to experience the love and grace of Jesus and the Church needs to enter into this area and be the solution. People who are incarcerated need support and the hope of Jesus.We've partnered with an organization called God Behind Bars who will help us reach a people group in prison that are often marginalized and forgotten. God Behind Bars partners with churches around the country to launch new campuses inside prisons and connect thousands of inmates and their families to Christ every single weekend.We're already seeing God do more than we ever could have imagined. Thanks to the generosity of the Sun Valley community this past Christmas, we raised $742,765.62 which will go towards launching the new prison campus this year and sustaining it for years to come! If you were a part of that - thank you. Your generosity will impact the lives of thousands of inmates and their families for eternity.
In Scripture, we read...
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” - Matthew 25: 37-40
“My name is Aster, I am originally from Guatemala. When I got into prison, God met me. Usually, when someone meets God, there is a pastor involved, that’s not the case. God met me with a torn-up book. I remember coming into prison and I was so afraid of the prisoners and to even take a shower. After weeks, I remember I decided to take a shower. I walked past this table with a book on it. I remember thinking, I need to read that book. So I told myself, if the book is still there when I get back I’ll read it. So I came back and it was still there and I started reading. It was all about this Jesus guy, I found out it was a Bible. I had never seen a Bible in my whole life. As I was reading in my cell, God lifted the scales from my eyes. And I accepted Jesus into my life. Then God Behind Bars came to this prison and it has changed my life. It’s like a celebration in prison. But then the pandemic hit and for more than a year, we had been without church and community. We had been waiting for the PandoApp and all of us were praying it would come and now it is here. Because of the PandoApp, I can have church every day. Each day, we worship and pray together on the app.” - Aster
99 YEAR PRISON SENTENCE
“I was born in Cuba in 1948, I came to America in 1980 and was arrested in 1981. I was sentenced to 99 years in prison. In my first year in America, I felt alone and had no hope or dreams. It caused me to live a life of crime. During my early incarceration, I escaped prison twice and spent a lot of time in solitary confinement. In 2001, everything changed as I accepted Christ into my life! In 2018, I was introduced to the God Behind Bars ministry and started helping with Worship. In 2019, I was granted parole from my 99-year sentence. That’s a miracle, only God can do that. Also, this past Monday, I finally talked to my sister for the first time after 40 years! People ask me why I walk around happy and why I am never sad. I tell them this, ‘Because after all this time! God has set me free!” - Aurelio
Who is God Behind Bars?
God Behind Bars is the Department of Corrections’ most nationally-recognized prison ministry and serves as a trusted bridge between the DOC (Department of Corrections) and churches that want to make a difference in their community.
Through our partnership with God Behind Bars, we will introduce inmates to Jesus through our weekend experiences, work with them to overcome addictions, prepare them with the necessary skills for a successful life, provide them with resources and ongoing support upon their release, and connect them to life within our church.