“My transformation is still ongoing, but there is progress. I am now a married man, in full time employment and actively serving the Lord in my home church.”
Those were the words of Daniel Ansong, at a Prison Fellowship supporter event last month. Many of our long-term supporters will be familiar with Daniel’s story, but it never fails to inspire us again.
It was while serving his second prison term at HMP Wandsworth in 2008 that Daniel came to a crossroads: “I saw life as it was, as it is, and what it could be. Residing in the confines of a prison environment can make it very challenging to take the right steps. However in my situation there was hope, and that hope came about in a renewed faith in Jesus. Out of my darkness came the light of God.”
These are the stories that we hope and pray for, and then work towards through our volunteer presence and programmes in prisons across England and Wales.
In the 12 months to the end of March 2017, Prison Fellowship volunteers ran Sycamore Tree — our restorative justice course based on the story of Zacchaeus — in 41 prisons, reaching 2,287 graduates! Each month, we publish the courses starting and ending in our Prayer Diary, hoping to cover those participants in prayer, in the belief that they can experience true and lasting transformation there.
“It was on that [Sycamore Tree] course that I witnessed first-hand the impact of crime on the life of an individual,” Daniel shared at our event. “As I listened to the catalogue of effects that this crime had on the family, it was then that I made a conscious decision to myself that I will never again be part of any act that will add to the suffering of another human being.”