This guest post is by Gene Coe, longtime member of CUMC with his wife, Pat Coe who coordinates the Lamppost Library on our campus. Gene is holding information sessions about Kairos Prison Ministry for those who may be interested on December 22, January 5, 12, and 19. Visit cumcmemphis.org/kairos for more information.

“Why volunteer for a prison ministry?”

Pat and Gene Coe

Pat and Gene Coe

This question crossed my mind several times after I rejected an invitation from a friend to volunteer as a Kairos team volunteer. Later, I kept thinking about this invitation. Then, I read the challenge Jesus presented to me. In Matthew 25:36, He said, “I was in prison and you came to visit me.” This meant I had to do something other than listen and understand. Going into a prison was my challenge to action. I was to help a person to know Jesus, and find a better way to live their life.

Prison is a drab and negative place, especially if you have no choice about your departure date. The big thing missing in prisoners’ lives is HOPE. The idea of forgiveness for all the wrongs they have done in life is difficult for all of us to understand.

They feel that the world is their enemy and they do not have a chance. They feel that no one loves them. Many of them will tell you that their parent(s) has never said, “I love you.” Physical and mental abuse has been part of life for as long as they can remember.

Here is the Kairos message: We are all God’s children. He loves all of us! This is the message we carry. You will better understand what a wonderful message it is as you view it being accepted. By watching the prisoner, you can witness a new person being born from Christ’s love.

At the same time this is happening, your love and understanding of Christ elevates mightily. It is as if you two are now twins being reborn in Christ. These are high moments in new Christian living.

Kairos Teams have opportunities for both men and women. Women can serve, here in Memphis, at the Mark Luttrell State Prison for women. These women will go inside to the prison. Kairos Outside is for women and does not go into the prison. The West Tennessee State Penitentiary is an “inside job” for men.

I hope you’ll join us for one of the information sessions this Sunday or in the month of January.

You can find out more about Kairos Prison Ministry by emailing Gene at gcoe2729@hotmail.com or by phone at 754-5476.

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