Touched by Six Million Angels

Christmas is anything but wonderful for the children of prisoners. Instead, it's often filled with poverty, shame, and loneliness. And statistics show that, without intervention, as many as 80 percent of these children will follow in their parents' footsteps -- choosing a life of crime. It's a vicious cycle, but one that, by God's grace, we are seeing broken everyday through the ministry of Angel Tree. Since 1982, Angel Tree has reached over six million children of prisoners with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At Christmas, Angel Tree volunteers provide gifts, given on behalf of the incarcerated parent. These simple gifts open the door for God to work -- reconciling families to each other and to Him. In the summer, there's Angel Tree camping -- offering these children discipleship through Christian camping. Over the years I've had a chance to meet many of these children and their families, and I've seen first-hand how the Gospel changes lives. Now you can meet them too in Six Million Angels, a new book I've co-authored with Prison Fellowship President Mark Earley. It is filled with inspiring testimonies to the power of God. And you'll be challenged to live out your own faith with the courage displayed by some of these remarkable children. It includes stories about children like Marquis, a young man who received Christ at an Angel Tree camp and came back to the violent streets of Camden, New Jersey, burdened for other kids. Marquis fearlessly preached the Gospel to friends, neighbors, and even gang members out on the streets. When he was offered a scholarship to a private school, away from the rough streets of Camden, he turned it down, believing instead that God wanted to use him where he was. He was right, but not in a way he could have imagined. Marquis was tragically shot and killed on the very streets he sought to serve. But today, because of his witness, many, many young people are following Christ -- and it all started when Marquis met the Wonderful Counselor, Jesus, at a summer camp. You'll meet a teenager who wanted only one thing for Christmas -- a picture of the mother he hadn't seen in three years. And you'll meet Sage, a little boy who simply wanted, and got, a father for Christmas. There are volunteers, also, whose lives have been changed through working with Angel Tree. Chris Blake was a prosperous tax attorney who decided to follow Christ wherever that took him. It took him to Camp Hope and a man named Dave MacAllister. Dave had a vision -- to build a camp that would reach prisoners' kids. Chris, whose own father had served time, was deeply moved. He remembered the shame he felt as a child when his father was imprisoned. Convinced that God was leading them, Chris and his family left their prosperous life to direct Camp Hope, where inner-city children, many of whom have parents in prison, can escape the grim realities of their lives for a while. Swimming, playing games, and eating s'mores around a campfire don't seem like very spiritual things. Yet it is through these small graces that a larger grace can be shared -- the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ. Call us here at BreakPoint today (1-877-322-5527) to order a copy of this book. And I hope you'll read it. I promise that you will not only be touched by "an angel," but by six million angels. For further reading and information: Charles Colson and Mark Earley, Six Million Angels (Servant, 2003). Learn more about Angel Tree. About 600,000 children of prisoners are signed up for Angel Tree this Christmas, and we still need churches to pitch in and help! Call 1-800-55-ANGEL. Jeff Peck, "The Guardian," Prison Fellowship, March 2003. Learn more about Camp Hope. See BreakPoint Commentaries "The Difference Faith Makes," "From Crack to Christmas," and "It Started with a Kick." (Archived commentaries; free registration required.)


Chuck Colson



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