Prison in Papua New Guinea where CBI's prison ministry operatesThis spring, CBI Australia extended its ministry to the women at Buimo Jail in Lae, Papua New Guinea. The response from prisoners there marked a historic first for CBI. Fieldworker Terry West reported that one hundred percent of women who qualified for the program (which requires basic English literacy) chose to enroll.

With the support of a delegation of corrective service officers and the assistant commissioner of corrective services, West also established the CBI program in the juvenile, remand and men’s facilities at Buimo. In each of these facilities, West witnessed the same astounding response: one hundred percent of qualifying students chose to enroll.

Prisoners were not the only ones to show an enthusiastic response. Five officers also enrolled in CBI’s Bible study program. In all, a total of 150 Papua New Guineans became CBI students.

Papua New Guinean correctional facilities have encouraged the CBI program in the past because of its positive effect on incarcerated men and women. Director Ray Hoekzema expects that enrollment numbers will continue to grow. “Other inmates who have seen what is going on with the students doing their lessons also want to start the program,” he said.