Singing Praises in Prison
September’s Today devotionals were written in part with a special audience in mind— approximately 13,500 prisoners who read the devotional every month.
That’s because the devotionals, which are produced by the English ministry team of ReFrame Ministries, were written by Bob Arbogast, pastor of Celebration Fellowship CRC in Ionia, Mich. Celebration Fellowship is a multi-site prison church.
ReFrame Ministries, formerly Back to God Ministries International, is the media ministry of the CRC.
Jesus in the Psalms
September’s devotionals focus on the Psalms through the unique lens of Jesus.
“If we listen to the psalm with Jesus in mind, we may hear the psalm telling his story or raising his voice or conveying his message,” said Kurt Selles, director of ReFrame Ministries and executive editor of Today.
Devouring the Materials
Before the pandemic, Bob gathered each week with 175 of these church members for Bible study and worship. Today, he can only minister to his friends remotely through written materials.
“The Christian community in prison devours the material and is so eager to learn and absorb more,” said Arborgast, who still regularly sends in material for his small groups to engage with.
Arbogast says that most of the small group resources he finds in stores don’t take into account the cultural landscape of prison, so he often creates or adapts his own materials. He’s currently working on adapting September’s Today devotions for his small groups to use.
“Please keep Bob, his ministry, and their fellow Today devotional readers in your prayers,” said Jeff Bulthuis, managing editor of Today.“Pray that God will continue to transform lives in prison, and pray that Bob can worship with his church in person again soon.”