“…I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Matthew 25:36)
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Who is Impacted by Prison Ministry?
by Steve Hamm
The best way to illustrate how people are impacted by prison ministry is to let these individuals tell their own stories. Here are just a few examples…
Kairos Inside Testimonies
Kairos Outside Testimony (courtesy of www.kairosprisonministry.org)
“I have given up so much anger this weekend. I know God is in control, and that my daughter WILL come home and she will be okay.
I’ve had kids who were in and out of prison since they were juveniles, and I thought it was all my fault. I hated myself and I thought God hated me for making them like they are. This weekend has freed me from every ounce of guilt.
I always assume people are going to judge me when they find out I had someone in prison; but it was humbling to find out these women not only liked me, but they loved me.
I thank God for sending His beautiful daughters to deliver the message to me about Him.
It’s been hard for me to get close to women, it’s been a long time since I could look people in the eye. This has been the most wonderful weekend I have ever spent in my life.”
Kairos Torch Testimony (courtesy of www.kairosprisonministry.org)
“I went to Kairos and I thought I’d check it out for at least ’one day.’ Well, turned out the weekend went fast and led me to follow Jesus instead of running away from Him! Still going strong!
I can no longer deny the God that I’ve met.
I’m just a gambler who’s lost the last bet.
The things I praised were not of the Lord.
The things I did He would not have adored.
But now God, I only want to follow you
And do only the things you ask me to do.
This is the fourth time I have been locked up in a juvenile facility. Treatment in those other places didn’t seem to help me but what I have experienced here in the Torch and this facility really took…
WHAT ONE WORD WOULD YOU USE TO DESCRIBE THE WEEKEND?
Life-changing • Outstanding • Challenging • Holy • Inspirational • Exciting • Unique • Great • Amazing (3 youths) • Fun • Exhausting (in a good way) • Fantastic • Amusing • Tremendous ? Empowering • Inspiring (2 youths) • Touching • Blessed • Great • Awesomeness
Just wish that the weekend would not end… also did not know of all the people in the world that were praying for us this weekend. As I read them they brought tears to my eyes, made me cry. I felt that I was loved again.”
Prison Official Testimonies (courtesy of www.kairosprisonministry.org)
Kairos exemplifies helping the lives of others. Choosing to serve God and others often places limits on our present way of living. But it opens us up to a limitless future—an eternal future in God’s eternal dwelling place. Kairos volunteers steadily invest the time, and talents, and treasures that God entrusts to us to help build up his Kingdom. It’s through these actions that Kairos volunteers witness to being prudent, trustworthy children of the light!
— Chaplain Jim Daly, New Hampshire State Prison for Men
After a Kairos event takes place, it changes the whole prison. Attitudes are better and infractions decline. The prison becomes a safer place. By the end of each Kairos event, many of these formerly hardened men and women give testimonies at the closing ceremony about how they have experienced Jesus Christ and the love of God in a way they had never known or dreamed of (often with tears of joy and gratitude streaming down their faces).
— Rev. J. Randy Myers, President, Chaplain Service Prison Ministry of Virginia
In 1996, I was assigned to be the Warden at the Marion Correctional Institution. It was a dark place and Kairos brought the light of love and hope. Over the next ten years the miracles mounted, peace replaced violence, hope replaced despair, broken relationships were restored and incarcerated men lived their faith unapologetically. The culture of the prison changed dramatically.
— Christine M. Money, Former Warden, Marion Correctional Institution, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
To the incarcerated in Georgia’s prison, Kairos Prison Ministry is a stepping stone to changed lives. The influence of Kairos is evident in the attitude, improved behavior, and accountability of the graduates. There is evident change in those who have attended. They now have tools to make better decisions and choices in their lives.
— Brian Owens, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Corrections
The advantages the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has with the Kairos programs available is a magnificent testimony. The encouragement and guidance of the volunteers with the program is a blessing. The Kairos has an endearing touch for the experience and the testimonies which are shared for the offenders and staff. The Kairos program is all about our “future.”
— C. Smith, Senior Warden, Richard P. LeBlanc Unit, Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Research proves the most effective ministries to offenders combine evangelism, discipleship and mentoring. Kairos has figured out these interventions are important not only inside but outside the prison walls.”
— Dr. Byron Johnson Author of More God, Less Crime; Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences; Director, Institute for Studies of Religion; Director, Program on Prosocial Behavior, Baylor University
Through Kairos Prison Ministry, I’ve been a witness to modern-day miracles. I’ve watched firsthand on KI Weekends as sworn gang rivals have come together in the name of Jesus. I’ve listened as broken men have given their lives to Christ. I’ve felt the presence of the Holy Spirit during Weekend forgiveness ceremonies. Love is shining a brilliant light in the darkness of prison. Kairos Prison Ministry: Changing Hearts. Transforming Lives. Impacting the World.
Mini-Blog 6 of 6
How Do YOU Get Involved with Kairos Prison Ministry?