I first met John Haeffele in July 2014, at a Prison Ministry Workshop in Pekin Illinois.
I’m part of the Disciple Bible Outreach Ministries of IL team that facilitates the “Disciple” Bible study series in the prisons of Illinois, and the workshop was intended to identify new people that might be willing to assist us in that ministry.
John openly shared with us the importance of having Faith Building experiences available for people behind bars. He reminded us that you either spend your time on the inside Getting Better, or you’ll spend it Getting Bitter.
He shared his own personal experience and how important God was to helping him and his family get through the two years they were separated. John helped our team better understand the experiences and perspectives of the typical person we are trying to reach in the State’s many prison chapels.
John eventually became a DBOM of IL Board Member and has provided inspirational messages based on his personal witness at numerous churches throughout the state.
John is a business man, and a Christian servant. He made some mistakes in his past ( haven’t we all ? ), but now he is devoting his energy to helping others understand :
1. The importance of having positive, faith-based programs available to those behind bars.
2. The importance of “the church” providing volunteers to fund & facilitate those programs.
3. That when a person is released from prison, their punishment isn’t over. Finding a job, providing for their family, rebuilding their reputation, and continuing to grow in your own faith are all very challenging and often frustrating. Having a strong Faith Foundation is not only important on the “inside”, but is also an absolute requirement on the “outside”.
John took the time to document all this in his book, “Therefore I Have Hope”.
The book is a quick read and highly recommended for anyone wondering if Prison Ministries make a difference. The book also helps assure inmates that there really is Light at the end of the tunnel.
Peace in Christ,
DBOM of IL – Pekin FCI team