I was in prison and you visited Me

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mar09

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2014
4,794
1,137
113
#1
Another thread had me thinking abt those in prison. I knew there was a thread or two where someone has shared on some prison ministry, but let me ask now: Have you been to visit prisons? A few wks ago, I managed to be at the church where our former Chief Justice gave a message on injustice on the personal, and national level. Said in truth, only 20% of those who wait in jail are really convicted, as justice moves so slowly, even here in my country. Thats after they (mostly from poor families) have been separated from their families for yrs, only to be found not guilty. That is why we cannot sit pretty, but must be about our Father's business.

Matthew 25. 36 I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you visited Me.’
 

Bingo

Well-known member
Feb 9, 2019
3,727
2,775
113
#2
"Make no mistake, within the walls of DOC and mental wards, lies a world of
untold anguish...believe it! There are no words available, to personally witness
what takes place within these closed and locked confinements. I leave it at that."
'God have mercy'



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WingsOfLight

Well-known member
Dec 10, 2019
198
265
63
#3
Good perspective! It takes some deep thinking to understand this kind of stuff.
This topic is not often looked upon.
 

Bingo

Well-known member
Feb 9, 2019
3,727
2,775
113
#4
Good perspective! It takes some deep thinking to understand this kind of stuff.
This topic is not often looked upon.
Good perspective! It takes some deep thinking to understand this kind of stuff.
This topic is not often looked upon.
"Thank you for your comment. Not a pleasant topic, but one of grave 'needs'...
and the greatest 'need' is love!
Friendly.png
 

Rosemaryx

Senior Member
May 3, 2017
3,070
3,474
113
59
#6
My son got life here in UK...

Life means he got minimum 16 yrs , but when he gets out , if he gets into trouble , he will have to go back in prison and do 16 yrs again without parole , he has done 14 yrs...

I have gone to all the prisons he has been in , even crossed the waters , I am drained , but he is my son , and I am very thankful for the LORDS word where He mentions those in prison , He has given me strength these past four yrs since I been saved...

It has and is a battle , but God holds me up...
...xox...
 

WingsOfLight

Well-known member
Dec 10, 2019
198
265
63
#7
My son got life here in UK...

Life means he got minimum 16 yrs , but when he gets out , if he gets into trouble , he will have to go back in prison and do 16 yrs again without parole , he has done 14 yrs...

I have gone to all the prisons he has been in , even crossed the waters , I am drained , but he is my son , and I am very thankful for the LORDS word where He mentions those in prison , He has given me strength these past four yrs since I been saved...

It has and is a battle , but God holds me up...
...xox...
You are a very true and dedicated mother and Christian.
Even during this difficult time, you understand that God is reaching out to you and helping you and your son through a challenge that will only make you stronger.
It's nice to see that commitment in attitude and faith.
 

Bingo

Well-known member
Feb 9, 2019
3,727
2,775
113
#8
My son got life here in UK...

Life means he got minimum 16 yrs , but when he gets out , if he gets into trouble , he will have to go back in prison and do 16 yrs again without parole , he has done 14 yrs...

I have gone to all the prisons he has been in , even crossed the waters , I am drained , but he is my son , and I am very thankful for the LORDS word where He mentions those in prison , He has given me strength these past four yrs since I been saved...

It has and is a battle , but God holds me up...
...xox...
"Thank you for sharing, and thank you for your love of God, and of being thankful
of God in your life."
'Praise God'
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seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
12,704
2,974
113
#9
Another thread had me thinking abt those in prison. I knew there was a thread or two where someone has shared on some prison ministry, but let me ask now: Have you been to visit prisons? A few wks ago, I managed to be at the church where our former Chief Justice gave a message on injustice on the personal, and national level. Said in truth, only 20% of those who wait in jail are really convicted, as justice moves so slowly, even here in my country. Thats after they (mostly from poor families) have been separated from their families for yrs, only to be found not guilty. That is why we cannot sit pretty, but must be about our Father's business.

Matthew 25. 36 I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you visited Me.’
Hi Mar,

Thanks very much for bringing up this topic.

Several years ago, I was involved in a ministry that wrote to inmates. I spent almost 10 years doing this, and during that time, went to 5 maximum security prisons to visit a few of the inmates I wrote.

Being someone who was always called a "goody two-shoes" all my life (and not in a complimentary way), it was one of the most shocking, eye-opening, and yet rewarding experiences of my life. I was trying to think of some of them I could share about that time but this post would wind up being several pages (and probably chapters) long.

One of the things I'll never forget is the fact that no matter what we do, God still has a purpose for our lives. An inmate I wrote had told me he had AIDS (and this was at a time when people were much more frightened of HIV than they seem to be now) and believed it was his calling to care for other HIV positive inmates, because they had been quarantined and shunned by both fellow inmates and the prison staff.

Another time, I went to visit someone and noticed an inmate in the room who was in a wheelchair. The person I was visiting told me that some of the other inmates bathed, dressed, and took care of this disabled inmate, and it got me thinking about how it doesn't matter what our situation is, God is always calling us to find a purpose in serving others. No matter what had landed these inmates in prison or for how long, if they were willing, God still had meaningful work for them to do.

My own personal rule (just for myself) was that I never asked them about their cases unless they brought it up. This was because I figured they were used to being seen as a case number instead of as a person, and most times, they were more than willing to talk about their lives.

I greatly miss this type of ministry work and have longed to go back to it for years, but have felt God has kept me from it for many years due to personal safety. I've looked into other local prison ministries but they all seem to consist of just preaching to the inmates, which is wonderful in its own right, but I'm always someone who needs something more interactive. I need to be able to learn about the people I'm trying to be there for.

In the meantime, I have been blessed to still keep in touch with one person from that time. I used to visit him regularly for many years while he was in, and he now that he is out, God has blessed him enormously. I told him he's doing 10 times better than most people who've never been to prison, and that includes me! But he was always different from the very start, even when I first met him. Even though he was in prison, he always had a job and was always taking classes or in programs to prepare him for life beyond the walls. Every time he finished something, he would send me copies of his paperwork and certificates (that included logos, current dates, and signatures of authority) as proof, even though I didn't ask him to. If I sent him money to help him buy something (such as work shoes, seeing as one of his jobs was maintenance), he sent me receipts to prove that this was what he spent the money on (and again, I never asked him to prove anything to me.) He even asked me to give some of the money I had set aside to help him to my church so that he could tithe.

Last year I was able to visit him in the midst of his new life. Prior to that, I had never spent any time with him outside a prison visiting room. I joked about how strange it seemed to be having food in a real dining room that was made in a real kitchen and didn't come from a vending machine!

I wish I still had every letter we ever exchanged, but unfortunately, I only have our correspondence from the past 5 years or so. One of these old letters states that we first started corresponding nearly 20 years ago, and it's hard to believe that much time has gone by. During the time I was visiting, I got to meet his family, see where he grew up, meet the people and see the organizations who had helped him with his education and career, and talk to the woman he was currently dating. It was an amazing experience and I felt that God had now brought everything about our friendship to a full circle.

His family had already known about me, but he would tell everyone else we went to meet, "This is (Seoul), and she used to come see me almost all those years I was in..." His family, teachers, and mentor who helped him get his current jobs kept saying, "Thank you for believing in him." He himself had told me many times that having contact with those who care from the outside world is what keeps an inmate human.

The funny thing is, people like us (on the outside) might be thinking we're trying to help someone, but in the end, it's amazing how much God will help you through that other person. Because so much time went by, I had a few major life crises of my own, and this person would always tell me, "This is what we do: we get out our Bibles and we FIGHT," even though I thought I had given up a long time ago.

However, I also want to stress that it's definitely not all rainbows and miracles or for the faint of heart (which I'm often guilty of myself.) Most of the other inmates I wrote had no interest in changing or bettering their lives, and clung on to all the wrong things because it was more exciting or it was all they knew. Nothing stretches your faith like having someone write you in coded language that they stabbed someone a few days ago (in prison), and you know in your heart that they don't feel any remorse. It also makes you take a good hard look in the mirror because you wonder what you would do in the same situation (for instance, what if it was self-defense?) I broke contact with every other person I wrote during that time except for the one I've been talking about. I wish and pray for the best for the others but he stood out because he was earnestly working to better his situation from the day I met him.

I truly wish I could go back to this kind of work but as I said, I don't feel I have "clearance" from God at this time. Towards the end, a young woman who was doing similar ministry work was murdered by an inmate who had escaped and gone looking for her. When I read this story in the paper (it occurred in another part of the state), I knew God was telling me that my time had come to a close.

I have to admit that I often wish I could go back to doing this kind of work, but if that never happens, I am ever grateful for what God taught me during that time. I am especially grateful for the friendship I made because without seeing it for myself, I would not have known that people can truly change (although I have to be realistic in that it seems very rare.)

Please keep us posted if you get involved in this type of ministry and God bless you for remembering that people in prison are still people who need to see God's love through other people (like us!) :)
 

Bingo

Well-known member
Feb 9, 2019
3,727
2,775
113
#10
Hi Mar,

Thanks very much for bringing up this topic.

Several years ago, I was involved in a ministry that wrote to inmates. I spent almost 10 years doing this, and during that time, went to 5 maximum security prisons to visit a few of the inmates I wrote.

Being someone who was always called a "goody two-shoes" all my life (and not in a complimentary way), it was one of the most shocking, eye-opening, and yet rewarding experiences of my life. I was trying to think of some of them I could share about that time but this post would wind up being several pages (and probably chapters) long.

One of the things I'll never forget is the fact that no matter what we do, God still has a purpose for our lives. An inmate I wrote had told me he had AIDS (and this was at a time when people were much more frightened of HIV than they seem to be now) and believed it was his calling to care for other HIV positive inmates, because they had been quarantined and shunned by both fellow inmates and the prison staff.

Another time, I went to visit someone and noticed an inmate in the room who was in a wheelchair. The person I was visiting told me that some of the other inmates bathed, dressed, and took care of this disabled inmate, and it got me thinking about how it doesn't matter what our situation is, God is always calling us to find a purpose in serving others. No matter what had landed these inmates in prison or for how long, if they were willing, God still had meaningful work for them to do.

My own personal rule (just for myself) was that I never asked them about their cases unless they brought it up. This was because I figured they were used to being seen as a case number instead of as a person, and most times, they were more than willing to talk about their lives.

I greatly miss this type of ministry work and have longed to go back to it for years, but have felt God has kept me from it for many years due to personal safety. I've looked into other local prison ministries but they all seem to consist of just preaching to the inmates, which is wonderful in its own right, but I'm always someone who needs something more interactive. I need to be able to learn about the people I'm trying to be there for.

In the meantime, I have been blessed to still keep in touch with one person from that time. I used to visit him regularly for many years while he was in, and he now that he is out, God has blessed him enormously. I told him he's doing 10 times better than most people who've never been to prison, and that includes me! But he was always different from the very start, even when I first met him. Even though he was in prison, he always had a job and was always taking classes or in programs to prepare him for life beyond the walls. Every time he finished something, he would send me copies of his paperwork and certificates (that included logos, current dates, and signatures of authority) as proof, even though I didn't ask him to. If I sent him money to help him buy something (such as work shoes, seeing as one of his jobs was maintenance), he sent me receipts to prove that this was what he spent the money on (and again, I never asked him to prove anything to me.) He even asked me to give some of the money I had set aside to help him to my church so that he could tithe.

Last year I was able to visit him in the midst of his new life. Prior to that, I had never spent any time with him outside a prison visiting room. I joked about how strange it seemed to be having food in a real dining room that was made in a real kitchen and didn't come from a vending machine!

I wish I still had every letter we ever exchanged, but unfortunately, I only have our correspondence from the past 5 years or so. One of these old letters states that we first started corresponding nearly 20 years ago, and it's hard to believe that much time has gone by. During the time I was visiting, I got to meet his family, see where he grew up, meet the people and see the organizations who had helped him with his education and career, and talk to the woman he was currently dating. It was an amazing experience and I felt that God had now brought everything about our friendship to a full circle.

His family had already known about me, but he would tell everyone else we went to meet, "This is (Seoul), and she used to come see me almost all those years I was in..." His family, teachers, and mentor who helped him get his current jobs kept saying, "Thank you for believing in him." He himself had told me many times that having contact with those who care from the outside world is what keeps an inmate human.

The funny thing is, people like us (on the outside) might be thinking we're trying to help someone, but in the end, it's amazing how much God will help you through that other person. Because so much time went by, I had a few major life crises of my own, and this person would always tell me, "This is what we do: we get out our Bibles and we FIGHT," even though I thought I had given up a long time ago.

However, I also want to stress that it's definitely not all rainbows and miracles or for the faint of heart (which I'm often guilty of myself.) Most of the other inmates I wrote had no interest in changing or bettering their lives, and clung on to all the wrong things because it was more exciting or it was all they knew. Nothing stretches your faith like having someone write you in coded language that they stabbed someone a few days ago (in prison), and you know in your heart that they don't feel any remorse. It also makes you take a good hard look in the mirror because you wonder what you would do in the same situation (for instance, what if it was self-defense?) I broke contact with every other person I wrote during that time except for the one I've been talking about. I wish and pray for the best for the others but he stood out because he was earnestly working to better his situation from the day I met him.

I truly wish I could go back to this kind of work but as I said, I don't feel I have "clearance" from God at this time. Towards the end, a young woman who was doing similar ministry work was murdered by an inmate who had escaped and gone looking for her. When I read this story in the paper (it occurred in another part of the state), I knew God was telling me that my time had come to a close.

I have to admit that I often wish I could go back to doing this kind of work, but if that never happens, I am ever grateful for what God taught me during that time. I am especially grateful for the friendship I made because without seeing it for myself, I would not have known that people can truly change (although I have to be realistic in that it seems very rare.)

Please keep us posted if you get involved in this type of ministry and God bless you for remembering that people in prison are still people who need to see God's love through other people (like us!) :)
"Amen"........Thank you for being you, and for sharing!"
'Praise God'
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Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
10,014
3,635
113
#11
I applied to work in a prison as a librarian but didnt get the job, they gave me a tour in a remand facility. They had no library but boxes of books all donated and no budget.

It was pretty sad, it was a mens prison. I just remember it being really grey, and it had lots of security, but Im not a stranger to that kind of thing. The men had done harm and many were there for their own safety. I can imagine a lot of these men probably dont know how to read, or just not had the opportunuty. yes heres a lot of drug use and mental illness, and hardened criminals but these mostly its the young men are broken and done something stupid. a lot of prisoners if they were smart or literate they wouldnt be in prison..think of white collar criminals or serious fraud, do a lot more harm and seem to get away with it cos they are rich and ge bailed out or have high powered lawyers and are not obviously violent. it would seem for the young if they werent in prison they would just be on the streets and homeless.

The church I go to has a prison ministry but they said last week that correction had tightned the bureucracy of it and made it hard for them to be there. so we need to be praying for them as they dont want to be forced to quit. when a prisoner knows Jesus they also need to be learn how to cope with living on the outside one they come out after they done their time.

God has me with the children of many prisoners now at a school library.

theres a program about achieving inner peace or change of heart called thats often held in prisons. I saw a documentary on it, where they took to a prison in Texas, how it changed some of these prisoners lives to be at peace inside of themselves, its non religious, so it could be the way if Corrections object to Christians coming with Bibles.

I dont know of people personally in prison but I have visited a few mental healh units. Im an advocate of occupational therapy, a lot of people just have too much idle time on their hands to get up to mischief. if people have no direction in their lives they do end up lost and confused, and go pn the wrong paths.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
10,014
3,635
113
#12
conviction does need to come from the Holy spirit, if people know they done wrong and want to change thats half the battle.

many spend a lot of time in prison and still dont see they done anything wrong. They just like the thief who stole and sorry they got caught.

The other thing God wants us to do is reach out to His people in prison, the ones jailed who actually are innocent.
 

oldethennew

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2016
11,245
2,913
113
#13
there are different kinds of prisons - some self-inflected, meaning you just decide to break the law -
and then there are those who are not guilty for whatever circumstances -
some are caught, some some are not, but All are guilty before God -
hub and I both have fallen into prison in our youth, but only for a season -
we chose our path and we had to pay, but not in full, for we did continue to play the fool until
God called us OUT -

God visited the both of us - He broke us in two, spoke to us in such a Holy Manner that we never
willingly obeyed our 'old-man's desire again...
Super-Natural??? oh yes, this could only come about or happen in ONE WAY, through His Holy Command/Will.
 

mar09

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2014
4,794
1,137
113
#14
Thank you for all the shares. I wish I could dwell longer on the experiences w/ prisoners. Mine has been very limited, when seoul's post reminded me of penpal days when I did have a local prisoner I wrote to for a time. Of course my mom notices an envelop from the Bilibid Prison and wonder why in the world I would want to write w/ a stranger, who said he was wrongly accused. That wasn't long-lived, and I was in college when he asked I drop by to pick up some handcrafted stuff he wanted to give. I wasn't brave enough to go and could not continue writing.

Thank you so much for finding time to tell abt what you learned from an 'outcast.' Of course the aspect of safety had me hesitating, esp as my hubby is very cautious abt such visits for me to do, as when a churchmate mentioned prison ministry from our old church. But when the Lord allows, i'd like to still have some way of reaching them behind bars. A former classmate has mentioned her spouse being in prison for some reasons, and this had me thinking how else we outside can make a way for them to hear abt Christ, give them hope.. instead of being hardened.

I cannot personally share much on this ministry, but if the Lord is calling you and has put the burden in your hearts, allow us to see and hear the voice of those we could barely see and hear hidden away in jails, often crowded here and forgotten.