Contact: Tom Strub
Meetings: Monthly at Prisons in the area
Kairos Prison Ministry: is a lay-led Christian ministry which conducts a highly-structured program designed for male and female prisoners in penitentiaries. We encourage believers from a variety of Christian traditions to volunteer in this Christ-filled ministry. Kairos programs offer to prison residents, their families, and those who work with them,the opportunity to receive God’s forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ, and to grow in their faith and servant-hood in Christian community.
Ministry Mission Statement: The Kairos program starts with a weekend retreat which allows participants to witness Christ’s love through servitude of the Kairos volunteers. During this event participants are given the opportunity to experience a religious renewal accepting God’s call to a life of Christian witness and service to one another during their stay in the institution, and beyond. After the weekend, we meet with the participants monthly to encourage establishment of small Christian communities within their institution.
Current Ministry Activities: Kairos is active in 11 prisons in South Carolina. In the fall of 2011, St. Francis volunteers were able to continue our work at two prisons – Ridgeland and Allendale. The retreats were held October 20 – 23 at Ridgeland penitentiary and November 3 – 6 at Allendale penitentiary. In total, we ministered to 66 inmates who distributed your cookies to 2700 others in their dormitories each day of the two retreats.
Parishioners’ support with money and cookies is essential to this program that introduces the inmates to Christ’s love. St. Francis parish also contributed $2000 to help us cover expenses. The prisoners had difficulty believing that strangers who have nothing to gain would do this for them. The Holy Spirit did powerful works for and through these men.
Current Volunteer Opportunities: St. Francis Kairos volunteers are understaffed to support the two prisons we currently work with. If you’d like to know more … just ask anyone of us who has served on the Kairos Team – we’ll be glad to share! Any adult over eighteen years old is needed and welcome to join us.
Fall 2011 Prisoners’ Retreats at Allendale and Ridgeland Correctional Institutes
This year we were able to add Ridgeland Correctional Institute to the list of penitentiaries served by Kairos in South Carolina. This was made possible by increased support from area churches including St. Francis.
Sixty-six inmates at the two institutions were introduced to the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ during a four day retreat in each prison. Teaching, prayer, song and fellowship were on the agenda for each day. The transformation among the inmates as well as the fifty volunteers at each institution is amazing both to experience as well as to watch. There were many changed hearts that we were privileged to witness as the Holy Spirit worked to claim souls for Christ.
Part of the retreat includes expressions of Agape love in the form of prayer, personal letters, and cookies. Each night of the retreat, all 1300 inmates at each prison received a bag of home-made cookies, each with a scripture verse. This raises awareness of Kairos beyond those who participate in the retreat. Thanks to all of you who prayed for us, donated money, wrote personal letters and contributed to the Cookie Ministry.