When Death Row is a Good Option

By   November 19, 2021

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!

10 Comments on “When Death Row is a Good Option

  1. Cooper S

    I just talked with a couple of the Polunsky Unit field ministers.
    They were at the Beto Unit . I had no idea Kairos was inside ministering to men on death row.
    Praise Father

  2. Tom

    There are no limitations with God! What an awesome testimony of lives being changed.
    Heavenly Father we often put barriers on what can and can not be done. Failing to fully trust that everything is possible with You. We thank and praise You for knocking down walls and making it possible for others to bring the gospel message to those in places that seem impossible. We praise and thank You for the loving God You are. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen

  3. Dorothy Ruelas

    God led me to do ministry on Texas Death Row 13 years ago. In those 13 years, I have NEVER seen something like the 2 day retreat Kairos had there! Men are still talking about it. It has been a forever life changing experience for them, and they continue having their “church” every day, waking up to singing the songs they were taught in the retreat, having prayer in the morning and evening and taking turns in sharing a Bible passage and what they understand about that passage (Bible Study). They pray for the officers and have had petitions of prayer from some officers also. They have seen how the Holy Spirit has moved in those answered prayers. The Holy Spirit is greatly moving in that place of darkness. Thank you Kairos, for showing God´s love to these men and show them how important they are to God. I thank the Lord for the wardens and chaplains that are ministering constantly on Death Row, men who truly care for them and to provide them a better life.

  4. Joan

    Amazing! Encouraging! Thank you for sharing this! All praise, glory and honor to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!

  5. Jane Henderson

    What a life changing, heavenly blessing the the men and the Kairos team!! Hope this effort spreads further to reach more.


  6. Pat Wendt

    Kairos is never barriered very long even in a pandemic. The idea of setting up and amplifying is outstanding. Talk about a captive audience. Especially impressive is that death row is able to hear and hopefully participate on paper.
    I have been taking Emmaus Bible Correspondence courses for several years. These courses are solid regarding the deity of Christ and our salvation is the result of His shed blood. I highly recommend these inexpensive courses which can be taken on line or hard copy.
    Praise the Lord for the success of all the efforts to reach prisoners. I was a volunteer in Soldotna Alaska but now live on the Big Island of Hawaii. I am not aware of a prison ministry on this island.
    In the Lord

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