KAIROS 96 is now history. First of all I want to give all praise and glory to our great God and King, The Lord Jesus Christ. The eternal impact during the four days on the hearts of all those present, both candidates and volunteers was only possible by the grace and mercy of God.I want to also thank you all who gave sacrificially with your time and resources. It was your genuine demonstration of the love of Christ in the form of prayers, cookies (4 to 5 thousand dozen), and personal letters that The Holy Spirit used to open hardened and hurting hearts to receive His love and grace.
Predictably, the chapel was filled with excitement and a sense of expectancy as the thirty-six candidates entered the chapel Thursday Oct. 24, 2013, greeted by over thirty volunteers and eleven of the inside team (former KAIROS candidates). They were given a name tag and assigned to one of the volunteers who spent the next hour making them feel welcomed. Their huge consumption of cookies began at this time and continued throughout the weekend.
The candidates brought to the chapel their nervous smiles, and suspicious grins. Most of them are not chapel attendees and many of them had never been to church. They came for the cookies and not necessarily for spiritual enlightenment, although some commented that they felt that they needed a change in their life and just wanted to see what KAIROS was all about.
Despite all of the attempts of the enemy to wreck and ruin the program we persevered through all of the opposition and set backs, undoubtedly because of your fervent prayers for us.
On Friday the candidates were not released from their cells until 3:15 pm, when the program was scheduled to begin at 8:00 am, that morning. We waited in the chapel from 6:30 am, praying and worshiping God and when they finally arrived they were completely astonished that we had waited all day just for them. We greeted them with hugs and smiles.
It’s ironic that in a place like Donovan prison, a place where you would not expect to find God, He is there in all of His glory. His love permeated that chapel every minute of those four days. We all laughed and cried as the Spirit of the living God ministered to both inmates and outmates. Lives were impacted and changed forever. One candidate commented, “I got more letters in my Agape Bag than I have gotten in over 18 years of incarceration.” During our open mic session at the closing ceremony the men shared how they had come strictly for the cookies but found Christ. They arrived in a state of spiritual darkness, confusion, hopelessness and despair. They admitted that they had come with feelings of fear, suspicion, and distrust. They entered the chapel Thursday morning with their masks snugly in place and the walls around their hearts were impregnable and impenetrable, at least in their minds. As Thursday turned into Friday and Friday into Saturday many of the masks had been removed and the walls that they had built around their hearts, brick by brick, stone by stone over a lifetime had been demolished by God’s compassionate love.
Men were set free and stony hearts were replaced with hearts of flesh. Scales fell from their eyes as they were translated from darkness into the light. Hope replaced decades of hopelessness and despair. Fear was exchanged with the Shalom of God. And the joy of the Lord became their strength.
All but two of the candidates received the cross during the cross ceremony making the declartion “I am counting on Christ.” One inmate, a practicing Odinist for many years gave up his Thor hammer and publicly received Jesus.
And the amazing thing is—ALL THIS HAPPENED IN FOUR DAYS!We truly serve a God worthy of our praise and adoration. To God be all the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
A servant of Christ Jesus,
Pastor, RJ Donovan