Psalm 107:14…“He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains.”
December 23, 2019
Dear Friend of Paid in Full Oregon,
When you walk into the Oregon State Correctional Institution (OSCI), you enter into another world. Entry only comes through tight security. And as the solid steel doors clank behind you, you can sense the atmosphere change. You are now in prison.
But inside a classroom, where Paid in Full Oregon, in partnership with Corban University, has launched a bachelor’s degree program for adults in custody (AIC’s), a cohort of 25 students is beginning an academic journey that will transform the culture of the Oregon prison system.
The classroom is open, inviting and a certain freedom prevails within these prison confines. And these men can talk without worry of judgment. They have a safe haven to freely ask questions and to learn.
And what have they been learning during their first academic class? How to study the Bible. YES!!!
Here are some of their questions: How was the Bible written? How can we know if it’s authentic? How were the writers inspired? How can we know if it’s true? What is this passage really saying? And how can I get more study materials so I can learn more?
We can already see changes happening in the students. I think it has a lot to do with purpose. Where they once felt like they had none, they now do. These men are receiving a first-rate biblical education. They are deep in the Word everyday. It’s their focus, and it’s becoming their passion. God is at work in the classroom, and He isn’t letting prison bars lock Him out.
God has done amazing things in and through Paid in Full Oregon in 2019:
- The Department of Corrections agreed to partner with Paid in Full Oregon and Corban University to launch a four year bachelor’s degree program at OSCI. This has never happened in the Oregon prison system, let alone the Northwest! We weren’t locked out!
- Miraculously, God has provided over $900,000 to fund this program; to begin the remodel of the prison facility and to provide scholarships for nearly every student. The chains are being broken!
- We have 25 incredible students, whom I believe, God has specifically chosen to be in this first cohort. They will eventually become mentors and counselors to other AIC’s. The bars won’t hold them back!
- God brought Dr. Amit Bhatia, with all of his experience having worked in a similar program in Wisconsin, to lead this program. What a perfect fit!
God can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. We wouldn’t be where we are today if you hadn’t been faithful to God’s call to support this program. I am so thankful for you. And I am so thankful for what’s to come!
2020 will bring the completion of our official classroom. It will mark the transition of our freshman class into sophomores. And it will bring 25 more men into our program as freshman students. That’s 25 more lives changed within the walls of a prison. What a blessing!
I am grateful that you have invested prayerfully and financially to make this happen. When you think about your year-end giving opportunities, I pray that you will consider giving a gift to Paid in Full Oregon. We still need some funding for this year’s class. And we will have 25 more men wanting to change their names from “Adult in Custody” to “Student” next year. For that to happen, we need scholarship money.
The average four-year cost for one student to attend our program for one year is $5,500 and by September of 2020, we will have 50 men in need of scholarships. Our goal is to raise the tuition for 5 students by the end of this year. Only $27,500!
Perhaps you can donate a full year’s tuition, or a half year tuition at $2,750 or a quarter year tuition at $1,325. Or maybe you can give $25, $50 or $100 per month. Whatever the amount, we are so grateful for your support in transforming AIC’s into spiritual and moral leaders.
The chains of incarceration are real. There is freedom in a Christ-centered, transformative education. Let’s continue to break these chains together!