As this memorable year draws to a close, each of us is looking back and looking ahead. And many of us want to make a difference with our year-end giving. If we're wise, we look for ways we can invest for eternity and use our funds to make a kingdom difference.
As CEO of Charisma Media, I want to draw your attention to our nonprofit arm, Christian Life Missions. It was founded in 1955 by my late mentor, Robert Walker, who founded Christian Life magazine long before we began publishing Charisma. Through the years, CLM has provided a way to invest in and support ministries that might not be large enough to do their own fundraising, with the idea that we can do more together than separately. As a 501(c)(3), CLM sends 100% of monies received to the designated ministries and supplies donors with a receipt for tax purposes. You can see all the ministries we support at our newly updated website, christianlifemissions.org.
Along with our new website, CLM has a new goal: Getting behind the ministries we support by raising $1 million in 2021.
The best-known ministry CLM has supported through the years is that of missionary Bruce Olson, whose amazing story of his ministry with the Motilone people in Columbia was told in the bestselling book Bruchko. Because Olson has no U.S.-based ministry, people who want to support him do so through CLM.
Earlier this year, I pointed you to the Prison Book Project, which supplies prisoners with wonderful Christian reading material and changes lives across the country.
The ministry's founder, Ray Hall, began his ministry out of the deep need he saw for prisoners to have uplifting reading material. The Lord showed him a vision that led him to begin Prison Book Project, which today provides exclusively Christian books and Bibles to prisoners in more than 2,700 jails and prisons across the country. Hall has worked with many publishers through the years, including Charisma, which provide books at no charge, but the all-volunteer ministry still needs funds to cover shipping and warehouse costs.
Prison Book Project partners with chaplains in the correctional facilities whenever it can. Because of this, he says, "We calculated each book was read by 30 different people. The average reading time is eight hours; that's 240 man-hours of ministry. That's one preacher for a whole week in one book!"
And the ministry makes a difference. Hall says he receives about 15,000 letters a year from grateful prisoners. His wife, Joyce, tells about a female prisoner who wrote Prison Book Project about her planned suicide. When she went to the prison counselor's office and asked about death, the counselor gave her a coloring book.
"And she said, 'I don't want a coloring book,'" Joyce explains. "She said, 'I'm going to die; I don't want to color.' But she said, 'I'll take it anyhow.'"
Joyce says the woman took the book, which was actually a Christian coloring book sent by Prison Book Project, and began coloring. "And in the top corner was a psalm of David crying out to the Lord to help him. And over the day, she kept reading that and coloring. The day that she had planned to commit suicide came and went, and she realized that she no longer wanted to commit suicide.
"And someone asked her one day, 'What was the turning point in your life?'" Joyce says. "And she said, 'The coloring book.'
"And it wasn't the coloring book. It was the Scripture," Joyce says. "She was reading that over and over."
Not only does Charisma Media donate Bibles and books—including coloring books—to the Prison Book Project, but CLM has set a goal of raising $20,000 for this ministry alone. And the $1 million we hope to raise in 2021 supports this and many other worthy ministries such as that of Bruce Olson.
You may send your tax-deductible gift to Christian Life Missions, 600 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary, FL 32746 or give securely online at christianlifemissions.org.
Listen to me describe our work through Christian Life Missions in this episode of the Strang Report. Be sure to subscribe at Apple Podcasts and on the Charisma Podcast Network, and share this article and podcast with others who need a trusted place that will use your funds to make a difference for eternity.
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