Bruce and Karen – Into prison
Tuesday, 20 March 2012 00:00 |
|Once a month, Bruce leaves behind the bustle of the city streets and enters the routines and restrictions of the prison system as part of a local Prison Ministry Team. For a couple of hours he and the team share songs and scripture with the inmates, teaching and encouraging them and praying with the men. These inmates speak English, which helps with the communication, and they appreciate the contact a great deal. It is a lonely and dull existence within those walls, and a break from the routines with some company is a blessing in itself.Led by Tim and Linda, the team has become known and trusted by some of the prison administration. Recently, after one of their usual visits, they got a call asking them to return. A man who had been incarcerated for 10 years was being released, and the decision was somewhat unexpected. Could the team come back and give him a ride? They turned around and soon Bruce was able to talk with him as they made their way away from the prison.He asked to be dropped off at a petrol station, where his son would meet him and take him home. Bruce asked him what he wanted to have for his first meal as a free man."He said he hadn't even thought about it," Bruce recalls. "All he was really concerned about was seeing his family and making up for all the years of pain he had caused them." It is just one instance among many that has reinforced the value of this work for Bruce and Karen, both of whom are involved in ministering to inmates."It continues to challenge me," Bruce says, "to think of these prisoners and to ask the Lord to help me see them through His eyes."