Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

My KAIROS Experience – Part 5

Matthew 25:39

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

Life Change(The opening may 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 social groups. 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 – with only a few guards giving us space.

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.

This will be the last post in a series of 5 posts on my KAIROS experience – at least for now. I hope the posts have not revealed too much – yet enough to get others interested in supporting this ministry. I have had KAIROS veterans read these posts and make suggestions along the way.

Today I want to talk about a young person (probably early 20’s) – I’ll call him Mark. Mark seemed to be new to the prison system – I never found out just how long he had been in – but he was so very young. Mark presented himself as very meek. It is hard in prison to be meek. People will take advantage of a meek person in prison. He has probably had to go outside his comfort zone at times while in prison. It was even surprising to see him rise to speak during the open mic session (not everyone spoke – maybe like a third or less spoke).

Mark introduced himself at the open mic time by saying he arrived at this event as an atheist. He didn’t believe in God. He wasn’t sure why ha came – other than the cookies. But – something happened to him at this four day event. He found Jesus – or better stated – since Jesus wasn’t lost – Jesus found Mark. He stood before a group of his fellow inmates and told them that he was now a Christian.

One thing I think about is what happens to these men as they return to the compound? As they get back to the everyday grind of prison life – how will their faith sustain itself? To answer that I share with you that weekly – outside folks go into the prion on Tuesday nights for Share and Prayer time. This is a time – in small groups – where the inside guests are allowed to share their feelings and struggles and folks are there – from within the prion and from outside the prison – to help them walk through the issues they face. They also have plenty of alumni around during the week to help out. The chaplain is very supportive of the KAIROS program and there are other ways in which KAIROS impacts their lives after the weekend.

If you would like to help these young persons grow in their faith – you can do a number of things. You can pray for them and join the prayer vigil for the next inside event. You can financially support the ministry of KAIROS – we have info in the Narthex of our church for this purpose. You can apply to join an inside event – men only for the men’s prison. There are other ways to. Ask a KAIROS representative from our church or message me and I will find one close to you.

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.”

I hope these devotional thoughts have helped give a glimpse of KAIROS. These stories were meant to share with others 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.

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May 3, 2019 - Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Vision | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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