God’s Special Blessings in a Maximum Security Prison

On June 5, 2014 through June 8, 2014, the Kairos Prison Ministry team at South Bay Prison, a maximum security prison in South Bay, Florida led a 4 day Weekend event where 36 inmates attended the program for the first time. In addition to those inmates, 25 other residents who had previously gone through the program were in attendance to assist with the weekend.

The Kairos team consisted of 22 lay persons and 5 clergymen. Their mission was to bring Christ’s love and forgiveness to the inmates and those who work with them, and to assist the residents in the transition to become productive members of society. “Kairos” is a Greek term that means “God’s Special Time,” and the Weekend was indeed special. There were a series of coordinated talks, followed by discussions about the talks. For some of the talks, posters were drawn by the residents to express how they felt about what was said. In addition, there were chapel meditations for the entire group and chapel visits by each table family to pray together as a family. The table family names were James, Matthew, John, Peter, Paul and Mark. 6 inmates and 3 Kairos team members sat at each table. The balance of the Kairos team performed various functions during the Weekend.

On the second day of the Weekend, as part of a talk given by a clergyman entitled, “You are Not Alone,” many posters made by different churches and individuals, as well as a prayer chain which stretched around the entire room, were brought into the room for the inmates. Their reaction to the messages they received from the outside community of hope, forgiveness, love, redemption and salvation was very blessed and emotional. For many of the residents, the realization that so many people in the outside world were praying for them was earthshaking.

Throughout the course of the Weekend, the music ministry (composed of both residents who had already attended a Kairos Weekend and Kairos team members) helped to stir all those present to a closer relationship with Jesus and each other. Songs such as “Amazing Grace,” “Surely the Presence of The Lord is in this Place,” and “When the Saints Go Marching In,” (which was played each day as the 36 inmates entered the room) caused the flow of the Weekend to move to a higher spiritual dimension.

On Sunday, one of the last acts of the Weekend was for all 36 inmates being invited up to the front of the room table family by table family to receive the Cross of Christ. All 36 accepted, and 36 new Brothers in Christ are now present at South Bay Prison! Praise God for His work in them!!

A closing ceremony was held at the end of the Weekend. Individuals from the outside community attended the ceremony, including the wives of some of the Kairos team members. Those wives sang several songs, accompanied by some of the musicians. Also present were around 150 inmates from the South Bay community who had either gone through the Kairos Weekend previously, or who were interested in hearing more about the Weekend. As part of the closing, each of the table families appointed a resident representative to speak about the spiritual condition the members of each table family had arrived in, what they found at the Weekend, and what they were taking with them when they returned to the compound. Additionally, each of the 36 inmates was invited to speak about what the Weekend had meant to them personally.

There were many inspiring testimonies from the residents who spoke. The spiritual journeys the inmates recounted were a blessing to all those in the room. One of the inmates stated that the “Kairos Weekend was like a party that Jesus Christ would throw.” None of the Kairos team members had ever heard the Weekend described in that manner! The statement, along with the testimonies from other residents, certainly moved the team ministers to return once again to South Bay, and there will be another 4 day weekend in November, 2014. In the meantime, Kairos team members will be returning to South Bay on a monthly basis for Reunions hosted on the 3rd Sunday of each month by the residents who have completed the Kairos program. Those Reunions are truly a blessing for all who attend and help each of us in our earthly struggles and walk to remain close to Jesus Christ.

Thank all of you for your prayers! They were heard and answered. Please continue to pray for all of the Kairos community. God Bless.

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