Sunday, September 16, 2007

Prison Outreach

Our campus-wide outreach began this week. Every year at ABC, the missionaries serving here lead students in an outreach into the community as part of their course of study. The students are always most eager to participate and usually find ideas for service to the Church from this outreach after they leave ABC. This year I am leading a group of four students to Kachere Prison, a small jail for juvenile males accused of felonies. Kachere looks like a medieval prison – stone walls in an open courtyard, heavy wooden doors, and giant locks that close behind you as you walk in. Once in the courtyard, we step to the center of the square to begin sharing. The boys begin to gather around. Some know a little English like “Hi” and shout it toward me. A time of greeting and song is followed by a sermon. A couple of the boys who have been there for a couple of years begin taking notes. One of them has a Bible and thumbs through it. There are a few who do not attend the meeting cooking in huge cauldrons for the evening meal. Two more decide now is the time to bathe from a water bucket – in the open and all that goes with that. The smell is pungent, a mixture of smoke, dust, and, well, urine. Kachere is listed on Amnesty International’s list of worst prisons. Pray for this outreach and as I lead these men in discerning how to best reach this young men who have completely given up hope!

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