=Over the last year I have written a number of emails about how we have a tendency as humans to build false outer shells to hide our internal hurts and struggles from others. Most people at some time in their lives have experienced a self imposed personal imprisonment caused by their sins. During these periods of self imprisonment, even as we strive to overcome our sins, we canfeel lost or abandoned. Of course Jesus Christ is the one to turn to.
Now if we are honest with ourselves and acknowledge that at some point in our lives we have experienced the grip of sin and loss of freedom that comes from sin, then you can imagine how much worse it must feel to lose your freedom from some wrong doing and actually be in prison. God fearing, good Christian people do make mistakes, and sometimes these mistakes are serious enough to land these people in prison. Some of the crimes committed by these people leave them imprisoned for several months or even a few years, other more serious crimes leave these individuals in prison for the rest of their lives with no hope for release or freedom. Can you imagine the pain and loneliness that must come from hearing that sentence handed down? Can you imagine the deep sense of overwhelming sadness to be either temporarily or permanently separated from those you love on the outside of the prison walls?
Some people in prison had a relationship with God before they strayed and committed the acts which landed them in prison while others never knew or had a relationship with Jesus. In either case, we must recognize that Jesus came to save the lost. And He calls us to bring His message of forgiveness and eternal salvation to all of mankind, including those who are in prison.
“When I was in prison did you come to visit me? “Mt. 25: 31-46. That is the question Jesus asks us. Have you ever even entertained the thought of taking the message of Christ to a prisoner? Sure we might think of helping someone in need in our community, or visiting the sick in the hospital, but what about taking the extra step to visit those who are themost lost, the most afraid, the most isolated, and perhaps the most in need of God’s love.
Kairos is a movement that was born out of the Cursillo movement. It is now a worldwide non-denominational prison ministry. Men and woman form teams to go into the prison and offer the same type of three day experience inside the prison as Cursillo, Walk to Emmaus or Via de Christo do on the outside of prisons. Like these other movements, Kairos works to help these prisoners have a deep and personal encounter with Christ. They strive to help these prisoners truly experience God’s forgiveness. And finally, they strive to help these prisoners foster small groups of men or woman inside of the prison, that meet weekly to share their piety, study and action whichhelps these men and woman, sustain their walk with their Lord.
Take the time today to pray and ask God if He is calling you in some way to touch someone who is in prison. Ask Him if He is calling you to help with the Kairos ministry or any other similar prison ministry. And of course, we all need to pray daily for those who have forfeited their freedoms and are now behind bars for their mistakes.
I have been told by my many friends involved in Kairos that they are in serious need of new volunteers to help with this vital ministry. Please click on this link www.kairosprisonministry.organd find a Kairos program near you and then pray to see if God is tugging at your heart to touch the life of someone so lost and alone. Like so many other ministries, those whogo into the prisons to help these prisoners report that they come away from the experience deeply blessed and moved. So often when we take the time to give we seem to get more than what we gave away.
Jesus, you call us to visit those in prison. This calling seems hard and scary for us. Send forth your Holy Spirit to help me discern if this ministry is one you are calling me to. I know Lord that you give different abilities to each of us and I know Lord you call us to different tasks. If Lord you are calling me to this ministry, help me to hear your voice and to act on your call. Finally Lord, please be with all of those in prison, and touch their hearts with your healing power of forgiveness. Amen