But Crossroad Bible Institute has a big vision for this tiny island with seven hundred inmates in its prison system. Guam is the site of CBI’s recently launched twenty-first satellite campus, the prison ministry announced Wednesday.
With an incarceration rate of about 438 per 100,000 people, Guam has struggled with an overcrowded prison system in recent years. Rose Van Engen, the CBI campus director in Guam, said there is great need for discipleship and reentry support in Guam’s prison system.
“The fields are ripe for ministry here,” Van Engen said. “Many prisoners are excited for the opportunity to participate with CBI.”
Van Engen, whose husband, Tom, is pastor of Faith Presbyterian Reformed Church, will be working closely with the Prison Fellowship Board, the Guam Ministerial Association and the associate pastor of Van Engen’s church, who will serve as the official Guam prison chaplain.
Some imprisoned people in Guam have already been taking CBI lessons through the United States office, but now they will be able to have their lessons processed through the local office, allowing participants to move through the program more quickly.
Rick Harris, a CBI Instructor in Guam, has been involved in prison ministry for over forty years and said working with CBI has been particularly fulfilling.
“CBI lessons encourage the inmates to study more and get deeper into God’s Word. It is a worthwhile ministry, easy to do and rewarding in many ways,” Harris said.
Martin V., a CBI student in Guam, said he is thankful for what he has learned. “I am praying that Crossroad Bible Institute will continue God’s wonderful and helpful work for us, the rejected of the world,” he said.
Van Engen said she is excited to see CBI impact the prison system in Guam.
“Our program is still very small, but the prisoners involved have expressed thanks for CBI, and the Instructors are enthusiastic supporters,” Van Engen said. “Our vision is to have CBI available to all prisoners who have a desire to know more about our God who takes us as we are and makes us new.”