By Kirk Blackard
Victims of brutal crimes?murder, rape, assault, severe spousal abuse?go each week into Texas prisons to meet with inmates who perpetrated such crimes against others. These unlikely communicants share their stories with one another and work through a biblical healing process.
After twelve weeks, the victims have gained a measure of healing, and the inmates change, some to a modestly different view of life but many into new and different human beings who are much less likely to return to prison than other inmates. Amazingly, people in both groups go beyond their mistrust and fear to establish a bond of peace and love. These victims and inmates are brought together by the Bridges to Life restorative justice ministry, founded in 1998 in an effort to reduce recidivism and effect a consequent reduction in crime.
'Bridges to Life' ministry generates lessons that will bring peace to people who have hurt one another and need to make amends. 'Restoring Peace: Using Lessons from Prison to Mend Broken Relationships' shares this healing message. It uses stories from the Bible, victims, and inmates to present a faith based journey of peace involving responsibility accountability, confession, repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, and restitution.
All proceeds from sales of Restoring Peace go directly to 'Bridges To Life' to help fund additional prison outreach. Paperback, 205 pages