Christ calls us to live the scripture out loud. Those who go to jail are forgotten. If you take a look at statistics prisons will be the new ministry zone.
- From 1980 to 2008, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled-from roughly 500,000 to 2.3 million people
- Today, the US is 5% of the World population and has 25% of world prisoners.
- Combining the number of people in prison and jail with those under parole or probation supervision, 1 in every 31 adults, or 3.2 percent of the population is under some form of correctional control
- African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population
We must keep, create and maintain the capacity to forgive. A person who lacks the ability forgive cannot love. Love is the answer to God’s demand for prisoners.
In the fall of 1976, Union Correctional Institution at Raiford, Florida had a small gathering of men praying for three days. By 1978, six states were presenting s short “cursillo” program. The word cursillo means short christian journey. Nine volunteers, today affectionately referred to as the “nine old men,” redesigned the program and renamed it “Kairos,” which is Greek for Godʼs Special Time. The first” Kairos” weekend was presented in 1979. Following that first weekend, the Cursillo office directed other areas doing Cursillo in Prison to stop using the Cursillo name and join Kairos. This program is now called “Kairos Inside.’ The mission of the Kairos Prison Ministry is to share the transforming love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ to impact the hearts and lives of incarcerated men, women and youth, as well as their families, to become loving and productive citizens of their communities.
Kairos has a simple philosophy. They follow Matthew 25:36:
I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
They teach and reach prisoners by imparting, sharing and teaching from their slogan: Changing Hearts, Transforming Lives, Impacting the World. Volunteers serve as God’s instrument through which His love, grace and mercy are expressed to the participants/guests in a real and profound way. God begins changing hearts. Following their weekend experience, participants/guests are encouraged to take responsibility for their life choices and their relations with God; they are invited to engage in small accountability groups. Incarcerated participants who are released re-enter the outside world with a God centered, perspective and focus on becoming productive citizens. Female family members find support, strength and encouragement. Youthful offenders acquire new God centered values and change their direction in life. Families are reunited with a hope for the future.
Today Kairos Inside, Kairos Outside and Kairos Torch is supported by a staff of 9 and has over 36,000 volunteers donating more than three million hours of service each year. These volunteers serve in over 400 institutions and 55 KO communities in 35 states and 9 countries: Costa Rica, Australia, Canada, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Let’s pray for their efforts!
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