Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Please Don't Send Me Back to Jail

Repost from February 2017 and is a continuation of the story in "Out on Bail" that you'll find later in this line of blogs.  Sorry for the jumble.

Part 2

Anyway, we finally go to the prison and I was a little nervous, but not too bad.  I'd briefed my girls on what to expect, we had all of the bags ready, the lesson was ready, I'd sent in papers on my girls and my sweet sister who I had roped into helping me with the lesson for the little serial killers in training (big grin here, I really do love the little rascals) and we were on our way.  We get there and worse thing of all things, I've "gotta go."  We started trying to figure out a way to take care of that on the free side of the fence.  I can do most things, but prison toilets, ummm NO!  Fortunately we sweet talked the police officers that camp outside of the prison to allow us to use there's.  Phew!  One averted disaster!  While we were taking care of that little need, the rest of the lady's showed up and we rolled on up to the prison gate.  This place is a massive compound surrounded by a huge concrete wall topped in razor wire.  After that wall and gate there are other fences and more razor wire and more walls.  
The first obstacle is the gate and I had to enter without the support of my African friends that I usually keep within reaching distance.  To add to the stress of the moment, upon pulling up to the gate one of the guards pointed out my VERY flat front tire.  Great, I'm headed into the prison and don't have the wheels I need to get away should things go wrong.  Sadly, only drivers were allowed in with the vehicles.  I had been psyching myself up for the VERY THOROUGH pat down which in any other circumstance would be considered a sexual assault, but frighteningly enough, they don't do that for drivers.  So I waited and waited and waited for my friends.  They came through over the next hour one by one all except for the precious face that I was looking for, my African sister.  I was concerned but problems with unloading the goods and whiny hired drivers was taking my full attention, so I wasn't as worried as I would normally have been.  Finally we were all unloaded, the tire was changed and I was headed back out to park the truck outside of the walls.  I nearly got myself thrown in the tank for wearing my visitor badge out of the gates.  You get screamed at for all sorts of rules that nobody knows except for those doing all of the screaming around here.  Now my main focus returned to my sister.  There was some ridiculous problem with the scan of her ID card, when I scanned all of ours at the same time and sent them all in together.  She was in good company of another 5-10 ladies that hadn't sent in the proper ID.  She just happened to be the only one that had sent their's in but wasn't being admitted.  I got pretty serious about getting her in at that point.  I'm sorry, after all if you are sending me into the lion's den of baby federal offenders, SHE's GOING TOO!
After much tense deliberating, she made it in and we all headed off to our assigned work.  The game was very stressful and I got that frisking that I missed at the entrance, but the kids had a good time. They listened very well to the story of the Prodigal Son and pulled out really great lessons from the story on their own.  Many chose to pray to give their life to Christ, but that usually happens with a large group here.  I pray that the seed of the gospel produces fruit in their life now or in the future.
We had some difficulties with some of the kits that we had prepared to be handed out.  I won't go into great detail here but there is a bit of corruption and disorder around here from time to time.  A load or two of the kits went off and disappeared.  The rest were used as best as possible to meet real needs.  Another team met with a group of men that gathers at the chapel.  They reported having a good devotional time with those.  Another team went to the women's building.  It was a little unclear whether or not the gospel was shared there, but each kit contained a tract.  
The director of the prison has changed recently and everything was much more difficult than it has been before.  One of the good things that we were able to learn on our side is that the minors have a different director that is open to groups coming to share the gospel with their "kids" whenever.

It was a long hard project.  Lots of things went wrong.  Despite all, the minors heard that no matter how far they had strayed from God, He's willing to accept and forgive them when they turn to Him in repentance and faith.

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