Friday, November 20, 2009
September 16, 2009 Roy's sharing
I just wanted to add to Patsy's sharing.
In my small group discussion, it was clear that what the prisoners needed was a reassurance that somebody still cared for them, no matter what crimes they may have committed (actually, the prisoners have not yet been convicted and their cases are still being heard, many of them delayed for several years already, probably because they did not have the means or the
influence to speed up their trials).
I think a lot of them are attending these prayer meetings because they feel that only God can forgive them for what they have done, and that only God can provide them the salvation they are looking for. Indeed, it will be difficult for them to receive forgiveness and understanding from their victims or from their own friends and relatives who may have already given
up on them.
So those who volunteer for the prison ministry and spend time with them give a human face to the God they are praying to, that the God they are yearning for to show them mercy and understanding is actually answering their prayers through the volunteers. And this, I guess, is where their true conversion starts.
In my small group were two suspected thieves, one suspect for frustrated murder, one for murder, one for rape-kidnapping-murder and one for rape of her apo. Yes, these are indeed difficult people to minister to. The message I gave them was for them not to lose hope, that God is a merciful God and that they should never stop praying no matter how hopeless the
situation may look like. And that there are people who continue to pray for their welfare and will provide them some measure of comfort by spending time with them and to listen to their stories. And the only way this message will get through to them is by continuing this ministry with
It was indeed a touching experience for me, and a truly memorable birthday. I do encourage everyone to consider celebrating their birthdays with the inmates or other less fortunate brothers and sisters as well.
Many thanks for all the brothers and sisters, especially the Alejandro sisters, for their example of selflessness and love for the inmates and for giving me an opportunity to have a very meaningful birthday celebration.