Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Orientation to prison

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.
  1. Nothing in and nothing out - which means exactly that.
  2. Talk to the leaders if you have questions/concerns.
  3. 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:
  1. 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.
  2. We bring hope. The reason we volunteer is because we believe they can change. God works miracles, he transforms people's lives.
  3. 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.

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