It had rained all week, it was raining the morning of, then just hours before, the rain stopped, the sky opened up, and the sun came out to allow the Kairos team at Craggy Prison in North Carolina to hold an outside the fence retreat. With North Carolina correctional facilities still not allowing volunteers to enter, the Craggy team was anxious to find a way to minister to those on the inside. The warden and prison chaplain also recognized the need for Kairos and invited the Kairos team to participate in this way, as the morale of the prison was extremely low and many inmates felt even more isolated and forgotten than usual. The Craggy volunteers jumped at the opportunity and the warden invited all inmates and staff in both the medium and minimum security camps to attend.
The program included Kairos speakers, praise and worship music, singing, and the reading of letters and agape notes! Each inmate in both the medium and minimum security facilities as well as the prison staff was given a bag of Kairos cookies with a personal agape note of encouragement along that included a scripture quote. To allow the inmates to sing along, the team brought hundreds of song sheets that were passed out and they were even able to broadcast on the prison’s radio system with announcements through the PA system so everyone knew when to tune in! The team held the entire program twice! A group of inmates was brought out to the yard in each facility and the Kairos team held the hour and 45 minute program. Then those inmates were taken inside and a second group was brought out and the program was held again. Some of the Kairos volunteers were lightly sunburned, due to the rain all week and then the sun coming out unexpectedly, but all praise to God, it was surely worth it. The team received multiple letters of thanks from the inmates who appreciated that people outside of the fence still cared about them and were praying.
One of the letters received after the event said “I just wanted to write and tell you how much I enjoyed the concert on Saturday. It truly means a lot knowing you are out there praying for us. I am looking forward to the day when we can join together in God’s House and worship our heavenly father.”
Another said, “Thank you so much for thinking of us here at Craggy. It was really great to hear your Godly music and testimony while we were on the yard. It makes me feel good to know where are people who care enough to serve on their day off at a prison trying to spread the love of Jesus Christ. I look forward to the next one and for when you all are able to come into the prison and have service. We miss you and miss the worship and fellowship services. It was great that you were able to do what you did. Prayer is powerful! Thank God for Kairos and for the Christian communities and for the chaplain and volunteers who give their time.”