Daylight Newsletter July 2020

 We continue to be encouraged by the responses to weekly written messages, correspondence courses and other literature which are being sent into and given out in prisons, with both prisoners and chaplains expressing their gratitude for these resources. 

 It was lovely to receive a letter from one prisoner letting us know how much he has appreciated this contact during the time of lockdown. He writes, “Firstly, may I send the love of God to you and your team. You do such a wonderful job by lifting the spirits of prisoners like myself. I have started the Big Picture Course that you sent; there is a lot in it and it certainly opens your eyes to all those chapters and verses. Despite being in custody, Jesus can still speak to us. This lockdown I guess is the best chance for us to do more praying and seeking God. I have my health, and my faith, although that is getting challenged a lot at this time. I keep thinking of Philippians 4:6, all about giving our anxieties to Christ.”

 It was also encouraging to receive a message from a chaplain thanking us for Bible Text Postcards, saying that he knew the men took a lot of hope and comfort from them and had missed being able to collect them from Sunday services. 

 Those Daylight people carrying out chaplaincy work continue to have many meaningful conversations with individual prisoners. A number are asking thoughtful questions about the pandemic and have been given copies of John Lennox’s book, Where Is God In a Coronavirus World?

 While we look forward to services and Bible studies resuming in the future, we give thanks that during this time of lockdown, the Gospel continues to be spread in our prisons and believing prisoners continue to grow in grace.

July Prayer Points

Arlo – Please pray for Arlo, a prisoner who enjoys reading testimonies and recently borrowed a book called The Leopard That Changed Its Spots because he wants to change and his girlfriend had told him that a leopard can’t change its spots. He has also borrowed John Lennox’s book, Where Is God In A Coronavirus World?

Chaplains – Christian chaplains and volunteers often have the opportunity to share the Gospel with chaplains of other faiths. There is a genuine interest, particularly from some Muslim chaplains to know what Christians believe and how that works out in practice. Sharing her testimony, a student from overseas once wrote of her Christian friend, “She built a bridge of friendship over which Jesus Christ walked”. May this be the case with chaplaincy colleagues of other faiths. 

Patrick – Give thanks that Patrick seems to be settling back into prison life reasonably well. Please pray that this time would be used to make him consider where he stands spiritually, for his hearing in mid-July and for the church that continues to offer him support.

HMP Portland (Dorset) – Give thanks that the weekly messages written by Nigel are being distributed and appreciated by the prisoners here. Please pray that they would be used to speak to the hearts of those who read them. 

Prison Inspections – Sometimes an HMIP (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons) Inspection and the report which follows can be a very testing and demoralising time. Please pray for inspectors and also for prison governors as they seek to implement the recommendations that are made. 

Prison Officers – Give thanks that a growing number of prison officers are asking faith-related questions. Some are in very complicated or fragile relationships. Please pray that Daylight chaplains will be given pastoral wisdom, insight and understanding in such situations. 

Scotland – Give thanks that the fact that there are no services or coursework taking place at the present has in some ways been more profitable. The chaplain is able to have more time for one to one discussions with the lads which has led to quite a number of good, meaningful conversations. There are more requests for Bibles and spiritual literature than ever before and some are obviously making good use of them by their questions. Please pray that most, if not all the seed that is being sown will fall in good ground and bear fruit.

 Please pray for J who was released recently, that he will find someone to guide him and watch out for him on the outside. He has mental health problems but has a good interest in the things of God. 

 Pray too for S who was released recently. He has a drink problem and has been in and out of prison several times over the years. He professes to have accepted Jesus, shows by his conversation and conduct that he is following Him and is a good example to other prisoners, but when he is released keeps falling out of the way through drink. Please pray that he would be given the will and power to resist temptation.

HMP Usk (South Wales) – While our volunteer is not able to go into the prison at the moment, he has sent Emmaus Correspondence courses which have been offered to the men and there has been a good take up of these. Please pray that these courses will be an encouragement to those who are Christians and a challenge to others. 

HMP Wayland (Norfolk) – Please pray for God’s blessing on Sunday morning services which are streamed on the internal TV system and for blessing on letter and email a prisoner contact with individuals.

 Pray too for J, a Christian prisoner who will be released during the first week in July and is receiving help from Daylight to get to his Approved Premises. Pray that we will be able to put him in touch with Christians in the area who can support him. 

 Please also pray for our Daylight representative in Wayland who is hoping to be able to resume his weekly volunteering in mid-July. 

West Yorkshire Prayer & Support Group – Give thanks that the group have been able to continue to send resources into the five prisons in the area each week and for positive responses from the chaplains. One emailed saying, “the lads much appreciate these resources” and it was heartening to hear from another that the team’s visit to the prison are missed. 

Will – Give thanks that Will had accommodation to go to on his release. Please continue to pray for him, that he will make contact with a church who can support him and that he will be kept on the right path.