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”

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.