Dear Supporters of PiFO,
I want to share a note from Dr. Amit Bhatia, the Program Director for the Corban extension in the Oregon State Correctional Institution (OSCI). Under Dr. Bhatia’s leadership the program is excelling beyond what was ever expected! Here is an excerpt from a report Dr. Bhatia recently gave to the Salem Leadership Foundation:
“On August 31, 2020 we will finish our summer semester, which means that we will have finished the first academic year. When our first cohort begins class on Sept. 1, they will be sophomores. This is exciting, Friends! We have finished the first year of school. Our students are excited and encouraged, as are we. I am thankful for the professors who taught courses this year: Dr. Hills, Dr. Patterson, Dr. Hedlund, and Dr. Squires. We’ve run the race for the first year and we have finished. What a challenge COVID brought to us, but, Jesus is greater! He helped us adapt and keep going. Thank you, professors, for your commitment to our program.
I will be writing a note to our students to congratulate them on finishing their first year in college. Can you believe that Jesus would give them an opportunity to go to college in prison? What Grace! Thank you, Judge Tom Kohl, for bringing this program into Oregon.
This Fall we have three new professors beginning courses for our sophomore class. Prof. Gina Ochsner will teach College Writing II; Prof. Sam Pearson will teach American History Survey I; and Prof. Dan Christensen will teach Worldview Seminar. I want to welcome these professors into our teaching team. Please pray for them as they face the challenge of developing our students by teaching courses in a distance-ed, correspondence format.
Our second cohort will begin classes on Oct 15, 2020. I will be teaching their introductory courses: College Orientation Seminar; and Bible Study Methods. I am certain that it will be an exhilarating experience, just as it was last year when I taught these courses (when we began our program with the first cohort). I look forward to meeting our new students and to the transformation which we will see in their lives as a result of this program.
Please pray for us. I am thankful, as you are, to join in with what Jesus is doing in the prison systems in Oregon. Thank you for serving Him. ~Amit”
PiFO has so much to be thankful for; the generosity and prayers of our supporters, our partnership with Corban and the Oregon Department of Corrections, the leadership of Dr. Amit Bhatia, our students and most importantly God’s blessing on implanting the first ever biblically-based accredited college degree program in the Northwest.
The Corban extension in OSCI has begun to change the culture of the Oregon prison system. It is giving hope to our students, their families, other adults in custody and the staff of the prison system.
With the COVID pandemic, fundraising has been a challenge. Although there are funds to get us through the next couple of semesters, we need more financial resources to meet our budget of $300,000 for this fiscal year (July 1, 2020—June 30, 2021).
PLEASE prayerfully consider how you can help us meet our financial goals.
PiFO ON RADIO: PiFO has been selected as the featured nonprofit of the month for August on WAY-FM at 96.3. Tune your stations there!
FUNDRAISER UPDATE: Our fundraiser for September 26 has been postponed until November. We are in the process of going over the details of preparing for this special event. There is much to do. Our budget for July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021 is $300,000. In these challenging times, our Board of Directors wants to make sure this event is as successful as possible. We covet your prayers as we prepare for November.
Grateful as always,