Adullam House Fellowship is at a crossroads. We have seen God move wonderfully in the past and we have faith that we will again see His miraculous provision and guidance. Our current difficulty however is a compound problem. Firstly our support has dwindled. The flow of donations has all but dried up. This may have been in part due to the indecisiveness of the Taxation department in delaying confirmation of our tax deductible status until after the financial year. This may have caused several of our supporters to hold back end of year donations. Or perhaps it is just a lack of finance. The second difficulty has been a lack of people being released from prison who have applied to come to Adullam House or Eliashib House. Both houses are rented. Residents pay a set amount for their accommodation, and when the number of residents drops, the difference has to be made up from funds in hand. With the need for a careful selection process, we have approved a number of people, only to find that their parole applications have been refused, or their court appearances have resulted in longer than expected sentences. This, together with the occasional person who uses our program as a convenient excuse for an address, to manipulate the system more than half our applicants fit this category, then leave within a few days of arrival. They usually leave owing money, due to the limited finances offered to inmates when they leave prison. I have taken this issue up with Centrelink without any response and have also approached the current State Minister and Shadow Minister for Corrections. As yet there has been no positive response. The result of these two issues is that due to a lack of funds, the Director of Adullam House has now had to re-apply for unemployment benefits and we are struggling to meet our monthly rental commitments. Please pray for a release of finance, an increase in our public profile, and perhaps some corporate sponsorship which will provide a long term solution. Also for the release of those inmates who have applied for Adullam House and Eliashib House. The parole Board seems to be unable to distinguish between a genuine Christian who has put his sin and past life behind him, and a person who is unrepentant and refusing to address his offending behavior. The latter seems to be the constant accusation against born again Christians who face the board. Merv is a prime example. He is facing the board again soon. Please pray that he will succeed this time. Another delay with release has been the introduction of a new act through the Queensland Government which came into effect on the first of July. This has effectively increased most inmates time, before eligibility to apply for parole. The new program Soft Landing has not begun as yet, also because of a lack of support. We have not yet had any enquiries from volunteers to assist with this program. As a result, we have not been able to offer it to the prison population. Even the churches seem to have lost interest. Our requests for deputations have also almost dried up. The scriptures are clear about God?s heart for those in Prison. We all have an obligation to be concerned for their welfare. Many people are scared and live in a virtual prison with their self imposed security systems. Why not consider helping these people to change and give them a chance. The Challenge is - to become involved
I am currently on remand. At 35 years of age, this is my first time in prison. The worst day of my life was when I was arrested on armed robbery charges. I had committed several crimes that day to finance a gambling and drinking binge. I have been a compulsive gambler since 1988.
Going back to my childhood years, I had very loving parents, who brought me up in the church. It was not until I reached 21 that I decided to turn away from church and God much like the prodigal son. I squandered everything I had until December 1993 when I realised I needed God in my life. Looking back, this was a huge turning point. Anyway, since then I have had many struggles, but God has always been on my case.
Some people may find it hard to believe that a Christian could end up in prison, guilty as charged. However the truth is that there is a very real enemy wanting to bring me down and I am a weak vessel without God. I turned my back on God with disastrous results. I believe God is using this time to bring me to a point of greater dependence on Him. He has blessed me in many ways in this last seven months. I also know that I have a very bright future even though things are a bit uncertain at the moment. I am trusting God to make a way for me when I am eventually released from prison. I am looking forward to living at Adullam House and being a fruitful member of the Body of Christ. I would also like to thank John Garrott for his great ministry to us in prison.
Peter has now been sentenced and is due for parole next year
I have been a Christian for six years now and cannot believe the power of God sometimes. I would never have thought that I would end up in prison in Queensland, but there I was.
Looking back over my life is both sad and interesting. At twenty eight years of age, most would have hoped to have achieved at least satisfaction with their efforts, but all I could see was mud.
Realising that half of my life had been spent behind bars, or in the wonderful system created by man to deal with the uncontrollable youth which our parents and government seem to call us, I thought STUFF LIFE AND EVERYONE AROUND ME.
In 1993 however, my girlfriend and I received the precious gift of life in the form of a daughter named Tegan Maree. This changed my whole outlook on life and gave me a reason to live. I stopped drinking, and smoking dope. I found work with good Christian people on a 700 acre dairy farm.
I had heard of Jesus through school and others, but as a self proclaimed Satanist, heavy metal, booze and fighting were all I wanted. Little did I know that Jesus was already looking after me and was about to do it again.
I was at work when the phone rang, and a friend told me She has run off with Darren and taken the baby with her. Apparently this affair had been going on for a while, only as usual, I was the last to know. This news did not hit home until I arrived home to find the babys clothing, and her clothes gone.
For weeks I could not find them, till one day the police delivered a restraining order so she and he could move into our house. This left me with no choice but to move in with the Christian family on the farm. I now know that God was calling me to Himself, but not me. The court said I could see my daughter, but my ex would not be in that, so time after time, court after court did I try to see my little girl, but no way would my ex allow it.
One day I decided that the system had failed me. I had prayed and Jesus had failed me, so if I couldn?t have my daughter through the court, I would have her in death. So off to the Family Court I went, armed not with hope of a fair go, but something else. I now believe and know that God stopped me because that very day he directed me to the A.O.G. church in Kerang Victoria. The next thing I knew I was getting up off the floor wiping tears from my eyes. Later I found out that God had told the Pastor that there was a man coming to him with a heart full of troubles and a gun in a bag and that he was to hold him. Not speak, but hold. I then found that I had given my heart to God and asked Him to be the Lord of my life. Back then, that seemed crazy, but now I see it as the best thing that ever happened to me. I have followed God ever since. Sometimes hot, sometimes cold, but always in my heart.
I found myself in the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre through disobedience to the commands of God. I got uncontrollably drunk after stuffing up my so called happy little life, that I smashed some poor fellow. Once again I found myself hung over in a prison cell. Remembering the grace of God, but stuff all about what had happened the night before, I started praying, ?Father forgive me for I have sinned?. Immediately the line to God was open and I was in business.
Four months later, after witnessing of the Glory of God to several inmates, I was accidentally released from court after being refused bail. With nowhere to go, I knew that the Police would soon realise their mistake and come to get me. I handed myself in to my lawyer. Remembering John Garrott, the Prison Chaplain at Arthur Gorrie, we rang him. Sad to say, he had no beds at Adullam House, so back to prison was where I was headed. Then my lawyer?s phone rang and Mr Garrott said he had found a bed for me at Eliashib House. I was given bail and was free, with hope.
Living in a Christian home again after being thrown around like garbage by the system, has given me the stability needed to face my current situation. It has also allowed me to further study God?s word and to worship God in a safe Christian environment. When I was new in Christ, I considered living in this sort of a home was a bonus, but I now know that it is a necessity for all Christians, no matter how mature we think we are. I see how Christ has helped me, even after I had back slidden through disobedience, and I realise that we all deserve the best in life no matter who we are. Jesus has been with me all through life and I know He won?t bail out now.
NOTE TO PASTORS.
Adullam House Fellowship is not a church. We receive no government funding. We are fully dependant upon the Body of Christ for our continued ministry.
Please consider us in your Mission Program. Contact us for further information or to arrange for us to speak to your congregation, home groups, youth, men or other groups.
Matthew 25:36 gives us a direct command from our Lord to become involved in Prison Ministry, along with other welfare activities.
Please consider Adullam House in your future ministry planning.
WHY WE CHOSE THE NAME.
Adullam UH-DULL-um; refuge or sealed off place.
1 Samuel 22:1-2 David left there and escaped to the cave of Adullam; when his brothers and all his father's house heard of it, they went down there to him. Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him; and he became captain over them. Those who were with him numbered about four hundred.
There David collected an army from the lower class and outcasts of society. There he assembled an army against the Philistines 2 Sam. 23:13. It was from there that his mighty men did their great exploits, including the gathering of water from the well of Bethlehem where the Philistine army was encamped.
This name suggests a place to hide and gather strength for the conquest. A fitting name for a refuge for those fleeing from the disasters of the past and preparing to conquer a new victorious life in Christ as a positive influence in society.
RATIONALE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF ADULLAM HOUSE.
Many Christian conversions occur within the prison environment. Some of these are ?jailhouse conversions? which are not seen as genuine and often are forgotten upon release from custody. There are however many genuine conversions, as prison inmates take a serious look at their lives and decide that a major change of direction is required. The reason many of these fall away following release may be related to the lack of post release support..
Consider a person who has lived their entire life in a selfish environment, possibly the victim of assault and abuse since childhood. This person has known no other life than crime, based on a survival attitude towards society. If such a person were to encounter and accept Christianity as a new hope for the future, what events are likely to occur on release?
Firstly there may be no other Christians within this person?s field of acquaintances. The only accommodation available to them may be with other people living the lifestyle from which they are trying to break free. A church building is a formidable place where a possible hostile reception awaits because of dress, mannerisms or appearance. If this person has been isolated from society for any length of time, the culture shock would also have a devastating effect on their ability to form relationships of anything but a fleeting nature. The chances of such a person being able to settle into a church and develop a stable Christian lifestyle according to society?s accepted standard are minimal. When these people fall, and because of the odds stacked against them they often do, they are condemned as being a ?jail conversion? who didn?t really mean it. This destroys any self esteem they may have had and prevents them from trying again. A safe Christian environment would break this cycle.
The concept began while I was attending Bible college. I was doing volunteer work as a Prison Chaplain at the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre in Brisbane Australia. As I ministered faithfully to the inmates each Friday, I saw much fruit and many lives changed by the power of God as they came to a saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
As the months passed I watched men who were ?on fire for God? move on through the prison system to release, only to return, sometimes within weeks. Follow up discussions showed the huge gap that an inmate needs to cross, firstly to even fit in with the outside world, but then to build up the confidence to approach a church. This is a real fear for these men and often before they can manage it their old life sneaks back in and rips them off. Two weeks before graduation from college while I was busy planning my future ministry, God intervened and called me to open a post release program for these men. This was not what I had in mind, but He won.
Adullam House Fellowship began life with a meeting of a few friends in a park in January 1998. We agreed to form an association and seek to become incorporated to make us a legal entity. Having lived in Christian Community and having some experience of rehabilitation work, I knew that unless God built both the program and the house, we were wasting our time.
Fifteen months and much prayer later, in April 1999, God provided our first residence. We moved in by faith, with one resident and a lease that required $400 per week rent in advance.
That amount was greater than our total income. It was a major step of faith and God met us through the membership fees and donations of our Members and Covenant Partners. As many of you already know, we are still operating. God has provided for our needs. The program has provided pastoral care, accommodation, Christian support and fellowship for twenty eight people over the past two years. All of those who stayed longer than three months have remained out of prison, with the exception of some intervention by the Immigration Department and a few previous warrants that have surfaced.
The original premises was sold in November 2000 and we have moved to a smaller place to continue the work. The last year in the new premises has been a difficult one and recently we have amalgamated with Eliashib House and Peter?s Place, both similar ministries which were also struggling financially. We currently have around ten inmates on the waiting list to come to Adullam House. For various reasons, they have not yet been released from prison.
Apart from a one off grant from the Taxation department to assist with setting up an office and some other equipment, Adullam House Fellowship Inc. receives no Government or other funding. We are totally dependant upon donations from our supporters.
ADULLAM HOUSE VISION
* To establish a Christ centered training program accessible to people who have made a demonstrated commitment to changing their ways whilst in prison.
* To enable those persons to live in a positive environment and have unrestricted access to training, self help programs and work as required for their full rehabilitation.
* To encourage relationship with other people, within the program and the local community.
* To provide ongoing support as required, after leaving the program, with resources and guidance in such issues as housing, work, social integration and general life skills.
THE OBJECTIVES OF ADULLAM HOUSE FELLOWSHIP INC.
1. To provide Christ centered accommodation for selected people leaving the prison system, enabling rehabilitation into society.
2. To provide suitable programming to facilitate their rehabilitation into society.
3. To provide bible based training to prisoners before and following release from prison, including the use of correspondence, in areas such as life skills and character development.
4. To conduct public seminars promoting an understanding of Adullam House and its relevance in prison rehabilitation.
5. To train and equip people to work with prisoners through their involvement in the program.
6. To establish a strong working ethic, self discipline and training in life skills effective within the lives of all participants.
7. To provide an ongoing support network for all ex-prisoners, especially those who have been involved in the Adullam House program.
8. To present the work of Adullam House to the community, informing them of the special needs of prisoners.
9. To develop and implement programs within the correctional environment as such opportunity arises.
10. To establish an appropriate network of referrals to support agencies and other service providers whose activities are complimentary with those of Adullam House.
CAN YOU HELP?
There are five ways you can.
1. If you are single, and willing to live in at Adullam House, to provide relationship to the residents.
2. By being available to visit inmates who are wanting to come to Adullam House and interviewing them for selection.
3. By speaking to your pastor about the possibility of us coming to your church, home group or bible study to explain the Adullam House ministry. You do not know unless you ask.
4. By writing or phoning to arrange further copies of this newsletter for selective distribution in your church.
5. By giving financially. Yes, you can help, so why not give it a try.
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