One visit with an incarcerated friend in 2013 opened Kristi’s eyes to the hopelessness of life behind bars. It also birthed in her a desire to minister to the hearts of incarcerated men and women. With a surrendered heart, Kristi told God she would go to prison. He responded to her commitment by opening doors for her Victorious Living magazine to be distributed in the prison system, and then He brought Kristi onto prison yards to share His message of hope. Kristi can often be found behind prison walls sharing the hope of Jesus Christ and encouraging men and women to say “hit it!” to the only Power Source that will never fail.
For thousands of inmates, our Victorious Living Magazine, monthly devotionals, and personal correspondence are their only source of encouragement. Hear how our Victorious LivingPrison Outreach is touching the lives of inmates…
Dear Kristi, Thank you. Your monthly devotions have made 2016 one of my best years in prison.What you are doing is no small thing. You are a world changer. Your prayers and generous devotions make a real difference. Know that God is using your ministry mightily to help those in need. Continue to be faithful to Him, stay encouraged, and let’s reach heights once thought unimaginable.
~ Devon N. (Sumter Correctional Institution)
Dear Victorious LivingCorrespondence Team, Last week, I was feeling a little bit down and out, when the mailman opened my flap and handed me a copy of your exceptional publication. I must tell you, it brought me unspeakable joy!I can’t say enough about your publication, from the high quality material used to assemble it to the warm and inspiring stories shared within. When I opened the first page, the photo on the Nautique advertisement took me back to my childhood and my first ski lessons. Thank you for blessing me with your wonderful publication and all the inspiration within it. May God continue to empower you in all that you do, for you are His shining light of hope and motivation. Pray for us all as we await the coming of our Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
~ Angel P.
Dear Victorious Living Correspondence Team, Thank you for writing me back. I received my introductory letter and first devotion this week. I want you to know that the simple but compelling bookmark you sent led me to give my life to Christ, today, May 22, 2016. Thank you so much for loving me enough to share God’s Word and His message. I look forward to writing your correspondence team and being a part of your ministry by helping others come to know Christ through the materials you send.
~Jonathan H. (Florida State Prison)
Dear Kristi, Thank you so much for sending me your powerful thoughts, wisdom, and love. Of course, my gratitude is for your entire team—everyone has picked me up when I was feeling blue. Your wisdom and knowledge have given me hope to conquer the obstacles in front of me. Truly, most days I feel like I am climbing Mount Everest in blizzard conditions!
I don’t receive very much mail, so when your godly inspired magazine, letters, and monthly devotions show up, I feel peace come over me.The entire team’s dedication, splashed with love, certainly has affected the needs of incarcerated individuals everywhere.
If your team were major league baseball players, the entire crowd would be on their feet, cheering until you took a curtain call. May God bless all of you involved for providing a perfect model of Christ, which is as obvious as light shining in darkness. Your courageous team is truly a class act.
~ Kyle C. (Apalachee Correctional)
Dear Victorious LivingPrison Outreach Team, Thank you so much for corresponding with me and sharing the love of Jesus. I received a beautiful and much needed inspiration from you that I confess brought joy to my spirit and tears to my dry eyes! Recently I was moved from one prison to another and am being housed in close management. When I got into my tiny one-man cell I was devastated and severely wounded. I have been very depressed lately. While there, I began reminiscing on some good times that my mother and I had shared when all of a sudden I was hit with a ferocious sadness. I couldn’t help but feel hurt and lost. Just then, the correctional officer passed out mail and stopped at my cell.He called me and I came to my door. The officer noticed my red and puffy eyes. He gave me your letter and smiled as he walked away. My hands were shaky and sweaty and when I saw it was from KOJM, my heart was filled with so much joy. I read your beautiful inspiration and Bible verses. I am still going through them! I was just so overwhelmed with love and peace and so many good things.
Kristi, I appreciate all of your help and love that you and your team give. But most importantly I give thanks to God for bringing you into my life. God is so amazing and wonderful, not to mention full of surprises! I know that God is going to bless this ministry. Please continue what you are doing. Your outreach is really amazing.
Even while I am in prison and at the lowest level of hurt, you visited me and shared the best thing in the world…Jesus and His love.I am proud to say Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I am just so happy to know that there are great people out there who have love in their hearts.
~William E. (Florida State Prison)
Dear Victorious LivingCorrespondence Team,Thank you for answering my letter and for your genuine prayers on my behalf and my eighty-four-year-old mother. I also want to thank you for sharing your sincere love of Christ. I can see it comes from your heart.
Please tell Kristi that a couple of days ago, I took her wonderful devotional dated January 14, 2016, to the yard and translated it from English to Spanish for a group of sixty-four men.These men were not saved, and they didn’t speak English. I also shared my personal testimony of who I used to be and who I am now with Christ as my only Lord. About forty-five minutes later, the entire group asked me if I could lead them all to Christ. Now we have a group of 489 Christians here at Hardee Correctional Institution!
Please know that I pray for this ministry daily—for you, for the writing team, and for Kristi. Please give them all my sincere greetings and love.
Dear Victorious LivingCorrespondence Team,Thank you for always showing up on time!Last night was a particularly difficult night for me. I started looking through my saved mail and found one of your postcards. Even though it was a month old, the scripture and prayer sent to me by one of your team members served as a timely reminder that someone indeed cares.The words on your card reminded me of the power of praise. As a child of God, my spirit needs to be in a constant state of praise, regardless of the despair I go through. Praise should permeate my life every day in every situation.Thank you for this reminder. Thank you also for the reminder of Romans 8:37, printed on your ministry postcard. I am indeed more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus. I have that portion of your postcard taped to my footlocker as a constant source of encouragement and a reminder for me to pray for this ministry.
~ Robert B.
Dear Victorious LivingCorrespondence Team,As an inmate, at Wakulla Correctional Institution in Crawfordville, FL, I have been very blessed by your magazine Victorious Living. I read every issue cover to cover and even keep them in my footlocker rather than disposing of them when I’m finished. I’ve read each issue multiple times. Recently, you came to Wakulla Correctional Institution. It was awesome to hear your story. Your coming to the prison was the best thing to happen to a lot of us.
It can be very difficult being a Christian in prison. It can be a hard road witnessing, but some can in fact be reached. Your Victorious LivingMagazine does in fact make a great witnessing tool to the lost. I would like to sign up for your monthly teaching/devotional mailing as I hope it will also help me reach out to other inmates here. Some of these men here will never go home-- ever-- except when they either pass on to God’s glorious salvation through our Lord Christ Jesus or on to eternal damnation. I pray all will come to give their lives to the Lord.
Well thanks again for coming to Wakulla Correctional Institution with your testimony. I pray, my sister in Christ that you will return again soon. God Bless You KOJ!
Dear Victorious LivingCorrespondence Team,Wow! We serve an awesome God in and through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Your magazine has truly been a blessing from God Almighty. I’ve been reading Victorious Living since last year and every time I get encouragement and rejuvenated! Victorious Livingcomes alongside other ministries and provides a tool that assists them in reaching people for Christ. I love Victorious Livingmagazine. When individuals are incarcerated, their heart's cry is to find hope and encouragement. These precious people are seeking answers, and at times, the Bible is not available. Or for many, maybe the Word of God isn't an option, but a magazine is. Victorious Livingis a valuable tool to reach the hopeless with hope, and make the unreachable reachable. This magazine is filled with faith-filled, encouraging, and inspiring stories that lead the prisoners to freedom, and a victorious life!
~Teresa Kemp, Breaking Chains International
I want to thank everyone who is connected and supportive with the vision that Victorious LivingMagazine accomplishes. Because of the many powerful testimonies and hope these magazines provide behind prison doors and recovery centers I am able to not only have the opportunity to bring them a word of encouragement and restoration, but able to put within their hand something that continues to minister to them and not leave them empty handed. I've heard several testimonies of how they have been able to write letters to the ministry that mentors and discipleships those who are incarcerated and has made a tangible difference. Thank you Kristi, Victorious Living, Linda and all the team for making your magazines possible and available. Thank you for serving the Kingdom.
~Pastor and Evangelist Donna Day
As a pastor, I am encouraged by the Kingdom impact Victorious Living is making in the lives of many.In Matthew 25:34-46, Jesus clearly instructs us to “come to those in prison.” While our church members may not all physically enter prison facilities to share the love, grace, and forgiveness of God, we are grateful to know that the Gospel is making its way in through Victorious Living, a publication of KOJ Ministries. First Baptist Starke considers it an honor to support this outreach financially and by helping to write inmates letters of encouragement, and covering each letter in prayer. We praise the Lord for the lives that have been changed for His glory! I encourage other churches to follow Jesus’ teachings and join us in ministering to “the least of these” by supporting KOJM’s Victorious Living Prison Outreach.
Supporting KOJ Ministries’ Victorious Living Outreach provides our partners an opportunity to touch thousands of lives! Here are some testimonies from our partners sharing why they have joined the Victorious Living Family…
I support the Victorious LivingPrison Outreach because Victorious Livingchanges lives, and that’s the most important thing any of us can do. I minister to male inmates in jails and prisons, and I give them this impactful and encouraging magazine. I see firsthand how God is using this magazine to help inmates. Through testimonies of faith and the Word of God, Victorious Living helps men realize that even though they are incarcerated, there are people who do love them. Even greater, they realize that Jesus loves them too. He loves them just as much now that they are incarcerated as He did before. It’s a simple truth: Jesus loves prisoners. In fact, the last person Jesus talked to while on this earth was a prisoner. Jesus is in the life-changing business. He doesn’t care about past mistakes and failures; He only cares about a person’s future. Through Victorious Living, God is helping incarcerated men and women have a new future in Christ Jesus.There’s nothing greater.
~Emil Heins, Wisconsin
I support KOJ Ministries’ Victorious Livingmagazine and prison outreach. Having had a family member in prison at one time, I know how desperate prisoners can be for reading material. I also know that an inspiring story can give a prisoner hope, and we all need hope. As a board member, I have witnessed firsthand the heart behind KOJ Ministries’ desire to touch lives for Christ. I am grateful to be a part of what God is doing through this ministry, both as an advisor and a financial supporter. For just $1000.00, I can sponsor a prison for one whole year to receive the magazine and reach thousands of lives! When Victorious Living magazines enter prisons, they stay there and continue to touch lives for years!That’s a lot of continuous impact for my kingdom investment!
~ Bonnie Hagemann, President Executive Development Association, Missouri
Our ministry could not touch the lives of thousands of inmates without the help of our correspondence team! Below are testimonials of the impact Victorious Living Prison Outreach is having on the lives of our team members.
This ministry is so needed. Even though I may never physically meet one of these precious folks that I write to, I am thankful for the opportunity to be in their lives. Most of the inmates have no one, including family, who visit them on a regular basis, if even at all. Having a cousin who is incarcerated in Georgia, I know that mail is a lifeline to the outside world. Through this ministry, I get to send letters to hurting people. Love knows no bounds as God’s love flows through these letters. It seems such a small thing to do, but I know the letters are vital to them.Jesus said, “When you do this to the least of these, you are doing it unto Me.” I am so blessed to be able to be a blessing to others, and the inmates are a blessing to me.
~ Dale, Florida
When I heard about Kristi Overton Johnson’s Victorious LivingPrison Correspondence Outreach, I immediately wanted to get involved. I too desire to touch the lives of people struggling to find hope and God.
I never expected the blessings these wonderful, courageous inmates would bring into my life. Their letters sometimes include the struggles they are going through, but more frequently than not, they share their faith and convictions with me. They pray for me, and my family. I’m learning from them.
Through this prison ministry, I have learned so much about people. Many of these inmates love God and are so humble. They inspire me to be a better Christian and to appreciate all God has given me.I no longer take for granted the life I live—the privilege of being able to go to church, to participate in Bible studies, and simply to have relationships with people who can help me grow as a believer.
These men and women may be behind walls and bars, but they have found true freedom in Christ. It’s a freedom we should all long to have. Thank you, KOJ Ministries for allowing me to be a part of this life-changing ministry.
~ Barbara, South Carolina
While seeking more of Jesus, I discovered prison ministry. God knew my desire to do His work, to do something different that would push me out of my comfort zone. This ministry has given me more time and a greater desire to be in God’s Word as I want to be equipped to respond to the inmates’ letters. Since beginning to correspond with inmates my heart has ached to share what God had given me…freedom and forgiveness through salvation. I am grateful and thankful for this ministry and the opportunity to be included.
~ Cheryl, Florida
Remembering my first trip to jail 30 years ago brings joy to my heart. In response to a mom's request to go and visit her son, I went as a visitor and not an inmate - which makes a big difference. I quickly realized prison ministry was one of God's calls on my life. As the years passed, however, I was more inclined to visit inmates with only my pen and paper. Writing letters that shared my faith journey and my favorite Scriptures has been one of my activities of blessing, but as I have aged into the "youthful eighties," I haven’t been able to write as many letters as I once had. The smaller number of letters I wrote needed a boost. Victorious Livinggave them a boost indeed!
Here’s how I discovered this wonderful magazine. It was one of the greatest surprises of my life! One day I received a large envelope that brought this magazine right to my front door. When I saw the return address of the envelope was from inmate Roy, I could not imagine what it would contain. But I eagerly opened it and saw the cover of the magazine, Victorious Living. One look at the cover and the table of contents and it won my heart immediately.
I wrote to the publisher, Kristi Overton Johnson right away. I was a writer of hymn stories, in a book and in newspapers. Could I be so honored to join the powerful ministry of sharing our Lord Jesus in this awesome magazine? She replied and I wrote my first story last spring. I’ve been a regular contributor ever since! Now my stories are touching thousands of lives!
Since all of life is to be victorious, as we grow in the leading of our Lord, I praise God for His direction toward the magazine, Victorious Living, and the wonderful people who are contributors and the readers. And to think that it all started because an inmate with whom I had exchanged letters for years who took the time to bless me with this magazine. What a sweet miracle. Glory be to our Lord!
~ Lucy, Tennessee
Dear Victorious Living Correspondence Team,
I read your magazine today for the first time and all I can say is WOW! I read it from cover to cover. Every article brought tears to my eyes. Your magazine gave me hope when I didn’t think there was any.
I am currently serving a life sentence and I am in solitary confinement for the next three years. Everything just seemed hopeless …that is… until I read your magazine containing the inspirational articles. After finishing the magazine, I prayed to God asking Him to restore the joy in my life. I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me. Thank you for showing up on time!
Would your team pray for me? Pray that I grow in faith, pray that I will have a spirit of endurance, and pray that I can really experience a true relationship with Jesus. Also please pray God will watch over my family and protect them.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my letter. I look forward to hearing from someone soon.
~Dominic P., Florida State Prison