~ an article by Stewart Humphrey
~ article from the November 2013 Kairos Weekend
Finding Christ in the Most Unusual Places


Finding Christ In The Most Unusual Places          November 2013 Kairos weekend

Peter and they that were with him,…saw his glory,…… (Luke 9:32 KJV)

It was on the mount of transfiguration that Peter and the others witnessed Christ in all His glory. Little did they expect what they would experience when they reached the top of that hill. And so it was when we enter the gates of Marion Correctional Institution. “This is the toughest crowd we have ever dared bring to Kairos”, the prison staff told us, as if to say, ”don’t  expect too much this weekend”.

We the Kairos volunteers, chose however to claim the promise of our Lord .”   My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”: (John 10:27).  And follow Him they did. One after the other we witnessed these the world had given up  on “turn their eyes upon Jesus”, and like Peter and the others, their faces seemed to take on a glow that could only have originated from having been with Jesus in a mountain top experience. Others struggled, some  perhaps could not see clearly but the image of the risen Christ is and will be forever etched on their minds.

The most haunting part of the entire experience is the “cookie run” as we call it. Every day the 800 prisoners and the staff of the prison receive a bag with 12 home baked cookies. Yes, we even go into segregation. It is there you stare into the hollow eyes of men who are spending their entire lives behind bars or are deemed too dangerous to be in the general population in the prison. They have heard Kairos is in town so almost all of them are standing at the portal in their door waiting for a bag of cookies, but they get more. A Kairos volunteer looks them straight in the eye and proclaims ” Jesus loves you friend, have a blessed day”.  Some only stare,  back others say “thank you”, while others whisper “Gods loves you too”. There for 3 days the glory of God, through Christ Jesus our Lord permeates the darkest of hearts.  Not one beam of His glory is lost.  Staff tell Kairos volunteers over and over again that when Kairos comes there is significant change in the atmosphere of the entire facility.

“And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold (the prisoners themselves): them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd”. (John 10:16 KJV) Our primary mission was to the men in the prison. However I couldn’t help but notice as we were leaving the prison on Sunday afternoon, one of the prison staff singing Kairos praise songs out loud as he ushered us out of the prison. There are many wonderful Christian men and women serving as staff in the prison system. They work in one of the darkest places on earth. Brings to mind the story of Paul and Silas singing praises in that old jail a long time ago and how the guards fell down and worshipped in the presence of God and were baptized along with their whole families. 

No matter whether it is a prisoner or a staff member, hundreds of lives both inside and outside the prison are impacted by the Kairos experience. Each of you who baked cookies, gave a meal, prayed or just thought about the volunteers and their mission on the Kairos weekend contributed to yet another “mountain top experience” for many who met Christ during Kairos. On behalf of all of us who were blessed to be on the weekend team and on behalf of the inmates, THANK YOU.

Your Central Kairos Volunteers.


Last Published: May 16, 2016 3:38 PM