Correctional Industrial Facility
February 12, 2016 (Pendleton, IN) - The Correctional Industrial Facility (CIF) in Pendleton recently hosted “Christmas Behind Bars” Lemuel Vega’s program which is about sharing love to those behind bars not just on Christmas, but 365 days a year. Lemuel Vega, a former offender himself, began the group 20 years ago after being released from prison and becoming a Christian. Before the program Superintendent Wendy Knight presented Mr. Vega with a $1250 check on behalf of CIF’s American Legion Post 503. Superintendent Knight commented “Lemuel’s dedication to this prison ministry is unmatched in anything I have ever seen. He works tirelessly to bring his message to these men and this program is a multi-state success because of his commitment to Christ.”
An offender that was deeply touched by Lemuel’s program wrote this” There just aren’t enough words to express all the appreciation we hold in our hearts for you and the volunteers who came into our world and brought us the best Christmas that so many of us have ever had in so many years. Thank you sincerely for your love, your presents and your words.”
Christmas Behind Bars is a Christ-centered ministry focused on bringing the gospel to inmates. The program promotes hope so inmates can learn that there is a different way than turning to crime to cope with their problems. Approximately 1300 offenders from the Correctional Industrial Facility attended the program. Gift bags were distributed to the offenders at the conclusion of event.
Christmas Behind Bars is in its 20th year of service to those who are behind bars. Since Christmas Behind Bars is a not for profit program, they rely on donations to keep this ministry going. If you are interested in donating bibles, hygiene items, snacks or a tax deductable financial gift that will help them in purchasing much needed equipment such as a semi and refrigerated trailer and/or a forklift their contact information is below.
Pictured from left to right: Assistant Superintendent Delana Ritchie, Superintendent Wendy Knight, Lemuel Vega of Christmas Behind Bars, CIF American Legion Coordinator Ofc. David Tesdal, Chaplain Jeff Hinshaw
I received your information packet. I can't say enough how much I thank you and for also sending information to my brother and nephew who are both incarcerated here in Louisiana. God bless your prison ministry. You are helping so many men and women behind bars and also their families just by caring about their loved ones. I will send a donation to your ministry to help purchase bibles . Once again THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR MINISTRY IS DOING FOR THE MEN AND WOMEN BEHIND BARS! God bless you!
I pray God will bless you every day of your life. My grandson did receive his Bible and your letter. I haven’t been able to go see him but his mother, my daughter saw him last weekend, and he asked her to have me let me know how great it was to hear from you. He can’t afford to write a lot because stamps are so high up there and he has three children to write to. They still haven’t gave him his winter clothes yet, so please pray he gets them soon. God Bless you for the work you are doing.
Just wanted to send a small donation. Use however you can reach the most souls. “Be ye strong therefore and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded,” 2 Chronicles 15:7.
Sandy (Dec 29, 2013)
We were able to collect almost a large tote full of Bibles for your group from our children and their families. I am currently working on transporting them the 200 miles to you, but it most likely will be the middle of the month until I can get them your direction.
It was very touching the last morning of school before Christmas break, as 35 students and 6 adults gathered in a large circle and prayed individually over these Bibles. Our prayers are for soft hearts, and that God would get the Bibles to those who are in desperate need of His Word. The sincere young hearts, and innocent prayers from these students ages 6-14, surely touched the Heavenly Father's heart!! as it did mine. We talked about the fact that they, as children, at this point cannot fulfill the Word to visit those who are in prison directly. But indirectly, they can visit by supporting your ministry with Bibles and prayers.
May God continue to richly bless your work!
Eva (Dec 21, 2013)
Dear Mr. Vega,
The last email I sent was October 30 of this year and it was to get your approval of the brochure I had made.
Last night at 5:00 in the lobby of the Siskiyou County jail my husband and I waited for the pastor and his wife from the
Assemble of God church, a couple from there church they had invited and two people from the Seventh Day Adventist church, they were the volunteers for our Christmas Carolers for the program. On Thursday my husband and I had delivered 100 gift bags that we had put together in our home for the inmates. We had Steps to Christ, book markers that children from the local church school had made, chocolate bars donated from the Dollar Store, two mandarin oranges per bag donated by a church member, hot chocolate mix, donated by church members, peanut butter and crackers packs, and two homemade cookies that my husband and I had made.
The carolers all showed up right on time and the program coordinator came and lead us in to check IDs and talk to us about going into the pods with the inmates. The Chaplin of the jail showed up with his wife to join us for the caroling. I had know idea how the whole thing was going to happen because this was the first time any of these people had met. The group just took over they had song books and each person had good input on how we should do the singing. The program coordinator told us that this was the first time anything like this had ever gone on in Siskiyou County and thanked each of us for coming. We were taken to 8 different pods and in each one we sang Christmas Carols and the program coordinator handed out the gift bags. As we sang the inmates joined in the singing and we could see them wiping tears from there eyes which caused us to wipe the tears from our eyes. As we left each pod they thanked us and wished us Merry Christmas. The whole experience has been amazing. I had know idea how to go about making this program happen but God lead us through the whole thing. Not long after I sent that last email to you I had to have surgery and was diagnosed with cancer. I wanted to give the program up but my husband encouraged me to continue. I go to radiation treatments each week day and the out look for recovery is very good. Thank you so much for sending the information on Christmas Behind Bars and your encouragement. Everyone involved last night agrees we will do it again next year.