The Kairos Advisory Council for Lee Arrendale State Prison in Georgia, was seeking a way to show a simple act of kindness to the prison staff. The prison approved the request to bake and bring in cookies for 380 people. A goal of 190 dozen cookies was set, 6 per employee, but God provided an abundance of over 350 dozen cookies! God is good!
Each bag of cookies had a scripture attached to uplift the staff with the word of God. Deb, a volunteer, created a beautiful “Heroes Work Here” poster to put at the table with the cookies. It was a sweet way of saying, thank you for all you do to each and every employee. The cookies were delivered by hand and it was a huge blessing!
Some of the responses to the cookies were:
- “I was blessed by the best chocolate chip cookie I ever had, baked by a 12-year-old”
- “Most days we feel beat up & beat down, here a cookie makes all the difference”
- “We love the scriptures”
- “The scriptures remind us to keep the faith”
- One officer retreated to the bathroom to gather strength earlier. The scripture she received reminded her that GOD is her strength
- “I hid my bag of cookies in my work drawer to take home. I am so relieved to go home but about 10 at night the weariness overcomes me thinking about the next day. These cookies will bless my soul at 10 pm”
- “They look so good. How much are they? Free? Free? I can’t believe it. Can I take two bags?”
- “I can’t believe Kairos cares for me”
- “Imagine kitchens all over town sending us home made love!”
- “I haven’t had the words ‘I love you’ written down to just me in years.”
- One staff member was told that God loved them. Their response was, “I was beginning to wonder”
The staff at Lee Arrendale State Prison is understaffed by 60 officers so everyone is working overtime. Weary is the word used to describe the attitude of the staff. While delivering the cookies, the Kairos team witnessed their exhaustion first hand. One officer described it as “Holding on to a sinking Titanic.” Chaplain Bishop stated “We’re just trying to keep each other on staff from being weary.”
As many of us on the outside are not able to return to work during the pandemic, the staff at Lee Arrendale continues to report in. Please keep chaplaincy and the prison staff in prayer for strength, travel mercies, energy and good health. Pray for God to remove the heaviness in the prison, and officer positions to be filled. Also pray for peace for the men and ladies inside, who have yet to see their families and are delayed in being able to see chaplaincy for help or prayer, and for the families of the incarcerated.