Thanks to your generous support, our Kairos weekend was a big success! Your prayers and monetary donations played a vital role in that happening through God’s Grace.
A total of 42 inmates were assigned to 7 tables for the weekend where they participated, 6 at each table, so the reference to families are the 6 men at each table. Each table is named for a Saint from the New Testament. The following are brief snippets of their comments. There are two sections to the comments; those that are made by the individual families, and those made by individual inmates at open mic.
A representative spokesperson from each family made the following group comments:
1) Arrived- Scared, doubtful
2) Found- Caring People, Gods Love, How to love
3) Taking back- Willingness to help others
1) Arrived- Not knowing what to expect, lacking of Agape love
2) Found- We are not alone as evident from the 1300 links on prayer chains, its easy to talk to others but hard to bring them to Christ.
3) Taking back- We will knock on doors, taking back Jesus, strength, better understanding.
1) Arrived- All of us were spiritually alive but at different levels
2) Found- Love, unity, tools
3) Taking back- Tools to evangelize
1) Arrived- Unfamiliar with true Christianity, skeptical, insecure
2) Found- The role and meaning of Christianity, forgiveness, peace, Church family
3) Taking back- Love, knowledge, opportunity. A comment from the one Moslem participant- I found the ability for building bridges and working together with people of other faiths.
1) Arrived- Hurting, broken, desperate, in need of God
2) Found- Wonderful unconditional love
3) Taking back-Amazing Love, friendship with God and others, the start of a new life journey with Christ
1) Arrived- Broken, hurt, doubtful, self-pity
2) Found- Agape love, presence of love, security, confidence
3) Taking back- J-O-Y: Jesus, Others, You also G-O-D: Good orderly intentions.
1) Arrived- Curious, nervous, intimidated, at a crossroads struggling, tired
2) Found- Group of individuals that love us, guidance, how to forgive and a reassurance that we are forgiven if we open the door and let God in, found laughter and some really bad jokes
3) Taking back- An understanding of our own true identity and fellowship
The following were other open mic individual comments:
- I’ve witnessed authentic, true Christians this weekend and that’s what I want to be like.
- I’ve come to dozens of non-denominational Christian services and felt and seen a lot of disunity. At Kairos instead of seeing differences I’ve seen nothing but love and similarities. Everyone was working as one team and showed true love.
- With regard to the rice paper used for forgiveness: Who knew such a small piece of paper would weigh as heavy as a large stone. I felt this burden lifted the moment I dropped the paper in the forgiveness water bowl. I was tested, someone made a rude and derogatory remark when I got back to my dorm. They tried to steal my peace and blessing. Normally I would have reacted differently and perhaps got in trouble for it. The forgiveness ceremony changed my attitude and I was able to deal with correctly.
- The food was great but that’s not why I came. I came for you.
- When I came up to the forgiveness water bowl I felt my neck stiff and my muscles were tense and hurting. I put the paper in and every hurt went away.
- This retreat was an emotional roller coaster.
- Since you won’t let me thank you the team, I want to thank 3 people; God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
- Salvation is open to anyone who wishes to participate.
- Our job is to be fishers of men.
- Love those who hate us.
- Kairos is God’s perfect timing and God’s perfect love.
Open Mic comments and personal witness:
- I was just transferred from a Death Row prison. I was able to speak to an inmate that was one hour from being executed. He told me that he was okay because “I’m with Jesus now.” I was so moved by his faith and courage that I converted and was baptized immediately upon arrival to CFRC.
- Recently something happened in my life, It opened the ears to my heart. My mom abused me. I haven’t seen her in 20 years and never wanted to forgive her. She is dying from terminal illness and I had no intentions of seeing her. But after today I know what I have to do now.
- I now realize how interdependent we are.
- (Holding back tears) This prayer chain and then the letters. It’s all about relationships, you’re all my family now. That’s why I came to get to know more Christians.
- A lot of times I’ve been used and I’ve used others. Now I realize that as tools for God the tool doesn’t decide what we are meant to be used for.
- This weekend has inspired me to understand more about what my purpose in life is.
- I am worthy. I wasn’t supposed to be here because of my EOS time. I thank God because he choose me.
- This is the longest, in a long time, that I’ve been treated like a real human being.
- All I want to say is that, it doesn’t get better than this.
- I’ve been living with hate for 25 years. I’m finally ready to let it go and forgive.
- It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed the fellowship, but then you have to examine yourself and the choices you make and have made. We need to embrace God in the capacity we’re ready to. Embrace God at your own level.
- I always liked to get free things. My motto is “If it’s free it’s for me.” You know what else is free, salvation!