Prison. Just the sound of it makes me nervous. "those people who have done bad things", I think to myself when I hear the word. What does it make you think of? While in Guatemala we spent a day at a Women\'s prison. Women from the ages of 19-90 were living within this gated community. A good majority of the women were sentenced for drug trafficking and money laundering. Others were incarcerated for murder, theft or extortion. There are also those who are innocent of the crimes brought against them.
On this day we would be visiting with the women and listening to their stories. One by one they shared with us candidly about their sentencing, their crimes and their innocence. I was moved by their painful plea's that we pray for their families. Most had left children behind. It was a sad and sobering time. I had a question;
"Lord how do I share about your hope, joy and peace in what seems as a "hopeless place"? The joy came as we prayed for each woman that we met. Only Jesus can give us hope, joy and peace! It was an honor to share with many of the women that "El Roi" the God who sees me, sees them and knows their name.
A group of woman invited us to have coffee and pan dulce (sweet breads) with them. It was a wonderful time of sitting around a table, laughing and talking with friends.
If it wasn't for the security gates, the bars and the prison guards, this coffee klatch could have been happening in any town in America. Those precious moments with sisters made me forget that I was locked inside a prison.
Sharing the love of Jesus in this instance, was providing the normalcy of laughing, talking, having coffee with sisters and feeling accepted. I think that this is what Jesus did when he ate with sinners. He brought the good news to them and sat in their midst.
The answer to my question was answered in coffee and pan dulce.
Who can you share the good news of Christ with? Who needs to know that they are accepted and loved?
Father, forgive me for prejudging these women in prison. Thank you for opening my eyes to their cries for understanding a deep desire for love and acceptance. Thank you for modelling this for us in how you have lavished your grace and love on us.
I have been married to my husband for 28 years and loving doing alongside ministry for all of them.. We have 2 daughters Jeni and Lissa. I love teaching the truth of God\'s word and get to do so at the Journey, Women's bible study.
You can read more at http://thereflectionofhim.blogspot.com