In Matthew 25:34-36, Jesus commanded us to visit and help the prisoners: "I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger and you received me, naked and you clothed me;I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me."
That prisoners will hear and receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior, beginning a new way of life; that the verses from John 8:36 would be our guide: "If the Son sets you free, then you will be free indeed".
The situation of the Malagasy prisoner is catastrophic. All prisons are very old, with inadequate space or property, thus having crowded conditions. With the admission of more prisoners, the space allocated to one person lessens! The prisoners do not have sufficient food at meal times, with some prisoners receiving one ration of manioc (cassava) per day. Many prisoners have insufficient funds for buying additional food or other items which are considered necessities. Some families rarely or ever visit to provide the extra food needs.
Weekly visits are made to 17 prisons by the Prison Ministry Teams. There are seven prison sites near Antananarivo, within a 100-kilometer radius of Antananarivo; the ten other prisons are located around the country. The purpose of visiting these prisons is to provide them with worship services, laying on of hands and prayer, confirmation and baptismal instruction, Holy Communion, sharing the Good News, and distribution of Bibles.
Provision of rice: Rice is the staple food in Madagascar. The Prison Ministry Teams bring rice to each prison during their weekly visits. The amount of rice depends upon how much financial support Friends of Madagascar Mission has provided and the team is able to purchase.
Provision of essential medications such as antibiotics, antacids, analgesics, etc., and at times clothing.
In 2017 FOMM provided funds to 1) Record the choirs within each of the prisons. That recording is now available, and everyone who gives a gift to this particular ministry will receive a recording of the choirs named, "The Freedom Singers". 2) begin a Prison Vocational Program. If you go to the 2017 Annual Report on this web site you will see photos of items made in this program. Items made by prisoners may be purchased by contacting FOMM either by phone or email. These items are well received when we show them, and $2,115.00 was received in sales of these handicrafts in 2019. All receipts go towards support for this prison ministry.
TOTAL amount of support that we need to raise this year to fund the Prison Ministry project: $53,000.00
In closing, for approximately $1,500.00 per year a new prison can be the site of a weekly ministry visit. We are searching for individuals, families and congregations to adopt a new prison ministry. Please prayerfully consider if you can be part of this.