An Appeal from Doug
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth where they can erode away or may be stolen. Store them in heaven where they will never lose their value and are safe from thieves. If your profits are in heaven, your heart will be there too." Matthew 6:19-21, TLB
Greetings to You Today.
About ten months ago, The Lord began to bring me out of both a spiritual and ministerial slump. With a genuine refreshing and revived desire to serve The Lord and NBF, I began to step out in faith to enlarge our borders. The Lord has been doing wonderful things since then, and I would like to take a minute to testify of this to you, the supporters of the ministry of New Brothers Fellowship.
This is some of what has transpired:
- Two New Brothers have recently stepped into ministerial leadership. This makes four men who have come up through the ministry and made a long-term commitment to serve NBF.
- Through the Mentored Ministry Program at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, a pastoral candidate has been serving with us. He has a heart for prison and aftercare ministry. Additionally, we have two other students actively participating and serving.
- The prison ministry now includes six prisons, three counties, and two states.
- We are about to test (and prove) our three-stage aftercare model at the Middlesex County Correctional Facility in Billerica. I will share more in an upcoming newsletter. Briefly, it is a ministry model composed of the prison team, a pre-release facilitator, and our network of Discipleship Groups and churches.
- We have a new Discipleship Group leader and prison volunteer in Middlesex County. This has enabled us to launch our first Discipleship Group in Lowell. That's a big answer to prayer.
- We have launched HopeMail, a gospel-centered mail ministry that encourages men inside and makes it possible for family members to get the Gospel to their incarcerated loved ones.
- We have a committed volunteer base of eighteen men and women. Some of these have been serving for close to ten years.
- The Prison Ministry Prayer Campaign has engaged the Body of Christ in the prison and aftercare mission-field in an unprecedented way. Next year I am convinced it will be statewide and beyond.
- In the past 18 months, four new churches have taken on NBF in monthly missions giving.
- Through the prison and aftercare ministries, we are serving over 200 men and women on a regular basis.
These points are all a testimony to the Spirit of God working in the hearts of His people through this ministry. I am truly amazed when I consider what He is doing, and where He is taking us.
However, I need help. I need your help. From the beginning, the Lord made it clear to us that we were meant to be dependent upon the Body of Christ for our support. He said this was a ministry to, for, and by the Body of Christ, and that we needed to share our needs with the Body so that they would have the opportunity to give.
God doesn’t need anyone’s money. Did the children of Israel really have to give a portion of the sacrifice to the priests? Was God really going to let them starve to death? No. God could have provided for them in any number of ways, and the same is true for us.
However, God has called His people to be givers. And, when we give to anything from our hard-earned income, we care more about it. We are not only financially invested, but we become personally invested. Most importantly, though we become spiritually invested. We pray more, we pay attention more, and we benefit from the work that is accomplished! We really will be rewarded in Heaven. These are all reasons the Word of God tells us it is more blessed to give than to receive.
I know God is able to come up with any sum of money we may need, but God isn’t interested in just meeting the needs of this ministry. He is interested in giving His people an opportunity to meet those needs. So, I have a two pronged appeal to you today, but neither one is asking you to give.
First, I am asking that you pray for God to replicate you. I think it’s accurate for me to say that everyone who reads this newsletter supports (or has supported) this work in some measure, either by praying, giving, or serving. If we could double the number of people who just praying for this ministry, it would take us a long way!
My second request is that you share this ministry. If you do believe this ministry is the Lord’s work, share it with people you know. If you think prison and aftercare ministry is a worthy investment in the Kingdom of God, invite people you know to support us. Word of mouth is the best advertising there is, so why not let your friends and family know about us? Most of the people who give to NBF heard about this work from someone else.
Saints, this is the third year in a row that giving to the ministry has been less than the year before, and that puts us in a very serious place. Because my salary is the last bill we pay, this financial downturn has been very challenging for Caroline and I personally. It really is unsustainable at this point. We need the Body of Christ, like never before, to stand with us in faith.
Truly, I am so thankful for each of you. Thank you very much for reading and praying. I know that we are doing the will of God, and I believe and trust that The Lord will provide for His work to continue. Believe me, if I didn't believe this was God's work, I would not be here. And, I know it is a privilege to serve Him. That is why I am taking this step of faith, and reaching out to you today.
Please contact me with any input, comments, or questions. We pray God's richest blessing over each of you and your families.
In Christ alone,