This passed weekend I got another amazing opportunity. I went with a mix group from Australian to a women’s’ prison in Nakuru. It was my first time being inside a prison and having some conversations with prisoners. There were about 200 women there with different cases that went from steeling all the way to murder. We visited them two different days.
Sabbath was a special day. We arrived to prison at about 9:30 am and immediately started our service with some Kiswahili songs. We had three singers from an nearby SDA church who lead song service for everyone. At the end of song service, some of the prisoners got an offer to lead in their own songs; they accepted. Five of them got up and lead us passionately for 3 active songs. We had prayer followed by a beautiful sermon by Joy Batler focused on Romans 8:35-38. At the end, we shook hands with all the prisoners, had small conversations with some of them, and then left.
On Sunday morning, we arrived to prison at about 9:00 am for some medical work. We had one doctor and 5 nurses who looked at the cases of every prisoner. We also had different other stations like face painting, for the little kids. I was the pharmacist for the day. We thought that only those who need to see the nurse would go. Not surprisingly, we were mistaken, all the women lined up with their kids waiting for a free medical check up. We also had some packages for every single woman that had some necessary items they need like: toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper… etc.
|a prisoner's child who is 2 months old|
I never imagined that I could experience the presence of God in prison among all those who hurt (whether deliberately or unintentionally) others. Many times we tend to judge those who are in prison without getting to really know them and the reason behind their stories. I was amazed as I felt the passion that those prisoners had while leading in song service, leading in prayer, and during the private conversations I had with some of them. It was a blessing to meet people who have hope of one day being out of the bondage of prison even though they have 14 more years to go. It was a blessing to see some of them deeply moved by the prayers that we offered while committing themselves to God and asking for a better future. I was blessed to be there.