Last night I went to a benefit dinner of the Good News Jail and Prison Ministry of Hilo,
The Ministry provides discipleship and pastoral care in jails and prisons all over the world. In Hawaii , the Ministry at times
provides a heifer to an ex-offender so that there would be milk for his
starving family. In some countries, the Ministry gives food and clothing to
imprisoned mothers who keep their babies with them in their cell. Uganda
Wherever the Ministry goes in the world, its volunteers help inmates and ex-offenders find forgiveness, acceptance, compassion and hope. A criminal who participates in the Ministry no longer feels abandoned and forgotten; instead, he experiences love and care. He learns how to battle his "demons" and be reconciled with himself.
Philip, an inmate for a drug-related offense who spoke during the dinner said that the Ministry has helped him regain self-respect and faith in humanity and in his God.
"My bad choices in life stripped me of everything, including my family," Philip said.
He began to use ice and other drugs not long after he started selling them. Fearing who he had become, his wife had left him.
After four years of being in the Ministry, Philip mustered the courage to ask his wife if they can "work it out."
Wiping tears from his eyes and with a broken voice, Philip shared how his wife said "yes."
Philip has been in prison for eight years now and has two more years to serve his sentence.
But already he is a free man.
For more information about the Good News Jail and Prison Ministry, please click on the links below:
- Ariel Murphy