Prison ministry is something that my church has become passionate about.
A couple of weeks ago I attended a orientation meeting at the prison for the volunteers.
There were three things that they emphasized.
- Nothing in and nothing out - which means exactly that.
- Talk to the leaders if you have questions/concerns.
- Being there makes a difference.
The guys doing the orientation had both spent time in prison and they really stressed the last point. Just showing up makes a difference in the inmates lives.
A few ways it makes a difference:
- The prisoners experience love. They discover that someone actually cares for them. Many of the people in prison have come from terrible homes and/or have been cut off from family once they got in. And society in general does not demonstrate a lot of love toward them. But we come in and care about them.
- We bring hope. The reason we volunteer is because we believe they can change. God works miracles, he transforms people's lives.
- Our relationship with each other models a different world. So many people in prison have come from a broken background. The we relate with the other volunteers (and with them) shows them that there is actually a different way to live.