The Kairos team at the Polunsky Unit in Texas had the issue many places are having, trying to minister to inmates without being able to hold a Kairos Weekend due to volunteer access limitations. The Kairos team thought of what could be done and approached the chaplain (who is a former Kairos volunteer) and the warden and the idea of a Kairos Weekend for the death row inmates was born. These inmates were not able to leave their cells, which made for some logistical issues such as each inmate being at his own Kairos table.
This creative solution was fully supported by the warden and chaplain so much that they both attended the Weekend. The 14 men who participated were overjoyed that people cared for and loved them. By having the Weekend in the middle of three pods, and with the audio equipment being used, the other 28 men on death row were also able to hear the Weekend. The Kairos team provided all 42 men on death row with lunch both days, so the Kairos team also made a difference to them. The volunteers described the Weekend as a celebration with inmates singing and dancing to the music and enjoying the presence of God. The warden even got a standing ovation from the inmates, an act that is practically unheard of in prisons! One of the inmates even asked the warden to pray over them, which he did.
When the chaplain returned the morning after the Weekend, he discovered that the inmates had already arranged for a Bible study! The Kairos team will be able to conduct Continuing Ministry with the death row inmates, both Prayer and Share and Reunions. The Weekend was so well received that the Polunsky team has been asked to do a Kairos Weekend for the inmates in administrative segregation and are looking into the possibility of doing another death row Weekend with another 14-man pod of inmates. This is all in addition to the Kairos Weekend being planned in the spring with the general population!