Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

My KAIROS Experience – Part 2

Matthew 25:39

When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

Life Change(The opening will be repeated – but it is a new devotional thought each day.) This week – I will be relating some of my experiences working with KAIROS over the last weekend in prison ministry at MCI-J. It was a life transforming experience for the men in the prison and for the men who went into the prison to take Jesus to those inside. I was hesitant when I went – some of these men have murdered – have raped – have done armed robbery – have been drug dealers – and some of them are in prison gangs. When I enter a room – especially when I enter a possible troubled room – I always make an exit plan – looking for the fastest way out. There were no escape routes when we were behind bars and barbed wire and such.

This week – I will write about some of the men I met and their story. I will not use their names – but believe me – these men are for real. I realize that I met these men in a very limited way – during our 4-day visit – albeit an intense 4-day visit – and I understand through 40+ years of ministry that people can learn what to say at the right time to fool people. Having said that – I believe I have a pretty good fake antenna – I have pretty good discernment. I also realize that what is said at KAIROS should stay at KARIOS – so I will not reveal any personal information – just generalizations that will help others to know the power of this ministry. This ministry – KAIROS – is very Biblical and essential. It is one of the things Jesus called us to do (visit those in prison) and something we will be examined on when Jesus comes in His glory.

Today I want to talk about a young person (probably late 20’s or early 30’s) – I’ll call him Rob. Rob has been in prison since his youth (a common theme sadly). Rob had attended an earlier KAIROS at MCI-J. He is now a strong Christian and a person who works very closely with the Chaplain and with KAIROS (there are a number of these inmates because of KAIROS). He was a person I know I would appreciate in my church (as was Bill – from yesterday – and many others I met). He has a great testimony – a testimony that could impact young people’s choices now that would help to keep them out of prison in the future.

Rob was full of energy (several of the KAIROS alumni who served as servants for the weekend seemed to have a high level of faith and energy). He helped lead the songs – he was all over the 4 days we worked inside the prison. He was a well-built (lots of time in the gym) young man. He was respected and listened to because of his charisma – his physical size – and probably most importantly in our environment – his faith. His faith was displayed at all times while we were together (not sure how it is in the general population). He and I struck up a relationship – but I’m sure he had one with many other outsiders. They appreciated the outsiders taking time out of our lives to visit with them. Rob said – other than KAIROS – there were few who came to visit with them – even their families seldom come to the prison.

Rob also worked hard – like Bill – to keep things under control. The inside leaders know if there is trouble – KAIROS might not be able to return. My initial concern with my safety was partially relieved after I met Rob and knowing that he was there if something went down. I wasn’t able to talk with Rob as much as some other men – so I’m not sure of his story – but he has served a lot of time and I can’t remember him saying that he was up for parole any time soon. If I had met Rob on the outside – I would have thought that he was simply someone with a colorful story. He didn’t seem bitter about his situation. He knew it was choices he had made. He stressed this a number of times to the inside residents during the weekend.

This week’s passage can be found here in partial context. Matthew 25:31–46 – 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Tomorrow – I will share the story of Chuck – an inmate who was a member of an inside gang. His story will be very interesting – as they all are for sure. He is either really good at presenting himself (probably a truth for many of the inmates) or he has had a revelation while in prison (I tend to lean this way). These stories are meant to share with you my experience and how my eyes were opened to the men incarcerated to whom we presented Jesus. It is to encourage others to attend – to financially support – and to pray for this ministry. If you’re looking for something to invest in that makes a difference – this is one area.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

April 30, 2019 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Thank you for posting this post. God bless you in the KAIROS ministry and God bless “Rob.” Keep sharing these posts!

    Like

    Comment by Favorite Son | April 30, 2019 | Reply


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