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Inside Kairos Prison Ministry

It was a Sunday afternoon in October 2011. I was sitting in a prison meeting room at Northeast Correctional Complex (NECX) in Mountain City. There were many outside guests and 42 inmates gathered for a time of testimony and singing at the close of a 4-day Kairos Prison Ministry retreat.

Two of the inmates that had gone through the weekend had been saved, and they declared to the audience that before the retreat, they had been looking for ways to kill the other. By the grace of Jesus, they both turned to the other and gave one another an embrace of love and forgiveness.

I turned to my wife and said, "I have got to be a part of this.”

2 months later In January, I started regularly attending the Kairos Journey service held weekly at NECX. Over time, I accepted more responsibility for these weekly services. I found God growing my love for Him as I shared that love with many that are considered unlovable by others. I knew this is where the living God wanted me to be.

This month, I will be involved in my 5th Kairos weekend retreat at NECX. There will be 42 residents who have never been through this 4-day experience of solid love and teaching from God's word. The theme of each retreat is the same: forgiveness. It is a glorious thing to experience right before my mortal eyes- the Holy Spirit working in the lives of men.

Prison ministry is not for everyone, so I'm told. But those that stretch themselves have the privilege of witnessing firsthand the grace of God transform lives, and that is a glorious and humbling experience. If you don't know where to begin, a great opportunity for getting involved is through Cookies for Kairos, a ministry of GFC that provides cookies for prison inmates who attend the Kairos weekend retreat. These cookies are reminders of God's love for each individual who receives them, and one small but significant way inmates begin to recognize the grace of God.

Keith Halberg

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