I wanted to share with you about an incredible weekend of ministry of which I was recently blessed to be a part. KAIROS is a ministry to residents of Autry State Prison in Pelham, GA. A group of 28 men from area churches prepared for months to enter the prison to share the love and Good News of Jesus Christ with a select group of residents. Forty-two men from Autry State Prison either applied or were selected to be a part of the weekend.
It’s a little nerve-racking as you go through security and come face to face with the fact that you are willingly walking into a state prison. But from the first entry gate and security checkpoint, through each locked door, we were met with friendly staff and guards. Even as we entered the Gym, where we would be for the weekend, it felt less like a prison and more like a place of potential – a place which God had ordained. The residents entered one by one and were warmly welcomed and introduced to their host for the weekend. After a time of introduction and initial instructions, we placed 6 residents along with a table leader and a table clergy at each table. Our table became our small group for the weekend. We would hear many talks on a variety of different topics, all designed to help us discover truth about God – His character and His love for His prize creation, truth about ourselves – our sin and inability to fix ourselves, and truth about the power of forgiveness and redemption and restoration that are found in Christ.
I cannot describe what God did in the hearts and lives of these men, but I know for certain that many came to know Christ for the first time, many renewed their commitment to live for Christ, many received complete forgiveness for the first time, and all experienced what it meant to be unconditionally loved and accepted. Jesus came to set the captives free. We were all at some point a prisoner to our sin nature, a slave to our flesh. But thanks be to God, we have been set free and forgiven through faith in Christ, in his redemptive work on the Cross and His Resurrection. We now have a new life and the potential to be in relationship worth our Heavenly Father. We know that we are unconditionally loved and accepted, not because of anything we’ve done but because He first loved us and gave Himself for us. We have the incredible privilege of being disciples of Christ, putting the disciplines of Christ into practice in our lives. Whose life can you touch today by simply loving them unconditionally and accepting them as Jesus would? Let God use you to draw others to His love and the Good News of Jesus Christ.