Tags: Diaspora Ministry, Discipleship, SEND North, Story

Any reasonable man would be afraid of him. His presence is aggressive; he gets what he wants. Years of gang life show on his hardened face and tattoos. What he has seen and what he has done may define him forever. This is the way of those in jail.

But not Eric*. Here, in Alpha 2, he is not seen by his exterior condition, nor the gangster he once was, but as the man, he is now. Eric is a new believer housed in the Anchorage Jail, living in the new Faith Mod called Alpha 2. A Faith Mod is a designated living area for inmates who are serious about Christianity and seek a better life after their time served.

In Alpha 2, SEND North team members, who serve in the Diaspora Ministries**, lead Bible studies and facilitate a mentoring program for the inmates. Along with our primary member working within the jail, three mentor inmates also live in Alpha 2. These stronger Christians help the newer believers to keep them focused on the lord as well as answer their questions.

This mentorship program and Alpha 2 reflects two core objectives for SEND North. Foremost, it represents our vision statement to make northern disciple-makers. Our presence can strengthen those who are seeking with Truth and then share it with other inmates.

Second, we know that making disciples comes from integration and understanding of the people we seek to love.  Our member serving in the Anchorage Jail has spent years building this trust. Further, the mentors within Alpha 2 come from the same background as the other inmates, and they know what battles the young believers may be facing.

As for Eric, he is passionately digging into the Word for more and more understanding. He admits he is ready, ready for the dying of the old self so he can don the new self-created by Christ. Eric is not the only who has received healing and new life through Alpha 2. Join me in praying for the growth of Alpha 2, currently housing 26 inmates, and for Eric, that he continues to pursue the Lord.

*Not his real name

**Next week’s article answers the questions, “What is Diaspora and why is it a Ministry?”