Al Bonilla, pictured in the center of this photograph, has enrolled thousands of students into the Crossroads Prison Ministries Bible study program through his ministry to incarcerated individuals at Rikers Island in New York and several other correctional facilities in the city.
He can count on help from his friend Chris, left, who is the fire marshal at Rikers Island and a member of Times Square Church. Also pictured are, from left, Fenelio, Floyd, and Jiaro.
During a recent visit to Rikers Island, this team helped sixty men enroll in the Crossroads program, and twenty-five made the decision to follow Christ.
Al, a retired New York corrections officer, has been providing prison ministry through his organization Vapors of Faith for several years, and he has been connecting incarcerated men and women with Crossroads since at least 2016 (you can read more of Al’s story in this 2019 article).
Al’s major projects each year are delivering blank Mother’s Day cards and Christmas cards to all incarcerated individuals in New York City so they can send cards to their loved ones. He also has a weekly radio ministry called Radiovision Jails for people who have experience with incarceration.
“We have a standing joke,” Al said. “Even the devil has to give the Lord ten percent, so we take our ten percent for the Lord.”
Al retired from corrections in 2000, but he says he can’t stay away from working in correctional facilities because “it is such a rush when someone has a breakthrough.”
We are incredibly grateful for people like Al who partner with us in sharing the hope of Christ with men and women behind bars. If you are interested in partnering with us in ministry, visit: cpministries.org/resources/for-chaplains-and-ministries