10 January 2009

Kitale Prison

I've always said that Kitale Prison is the site of one of the best moments of my life.
After yesterday, it will hold two spots.

We have been visiting the women's side of the prison every six weeks or so since we've been here. I have to be honest, though I love these women, these visits have been a source of stress for me; I am never sure how many of us will be there, I am never sure if anyone else will want to teach, I am never sure what song to sing (though I know James always puts me on the spot and says "Allison's going to sing now). I know I love the prison, but I forget how much I love it until I arrive and see their faces and hear their voices in song.

On our last visit, the Matron, Jane, at the women's prison had told me they would love some Bibles...so, we brought 30 to give out yesterday. (Steve left a box of Bibles that he said we are welcome to give out.)

Because we were giving Bibles, I asked our team to choose their favorite Bible verse and share for a few minutes about why they love that verse.

I shared Ephesians 2:10, Daina shared Hebrews 11:1-3, Andrew shared Ephesians 2:14, Umi shared John 3:16, Felix (a friend of James) shared Romans 6:23, James shared Philippians 4:13. Then Matron Jane shared from 1 Peter, and another guard shared Psalm 136.

As we were sharing, I felt like we should offer a chance for the women to accept Christ. It must have been obvious in the moment because Andrew leaned across Daina and said, "I think we should offer them a chance to accept Christ". So, after each person shared, I asked the Matron to lead the women in the prayer. TEN WOMEN came forward to pray to accept Christ. The rest of the prisoners sang a few songs while the women prayed. It was incredible.

I had been planning to sing "Jesus Lead On", but in the moment, began to sing "Lord I Give You My Heart". I sang it through once, then James translated and then I sang it again. I almost didn't make it through because I was a little choked-up...

After singing, I wanted to make sure the prisoners knew that this wasn't something that happened because a few white people came in to visit for an hour...but that these women had come to know Jesus because of the Matrons and other staff of the prison who had worked with them day after day for years...so the prisoners applauded for the staff...

We shook hands with each woman (and baby) in the prison and then said our goodbyes...

As we walked out and waited for our taxi, we could not stop talking about what an amazing moment that was...to be able to give out Bibles (that we did not pay for) and witness 10 women begin to walk with the Lord...It was such a blessing to be a part of that day!


Cathi said...

This is so amazing Allison- I'm totally crying right now. I'll be praying for those women, and for all of you.

DeVonna Drey said...

Awesome Allison...thanks for sharing...I will be praying for the 10 women tonight...

DeVonna Drey