Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Prison Ministry

On Tuesday, Glenn, Luke and I went to Kabwe--a city/town about 2 hours north of Lusaka.  A couple of weeks ago, Glenn had met the head chaplain over all of the prisons in Zambia.  He setup the meeting because we were hoping to begin taking various churches into prisons to minister to inmates as well as prison guards.

In Zambia, there are 54 prisons housing over 14,000 inmates, but there are only 14 theologically trained chaplains on staff to minister in those prisons to those inmates.  So, it's an understatement to say that they need help.

During the beginning stages of the meeting, none of us could really get a feel for how it was going.  The head chaplain was very hard to read and conversation was slow.  But one thing that I've learned is that, in Zambia, you can't read body language quite like you can in the States.  By the end of the meeting it was clear he was excited about us wanting to assist the chaplains office and discussed the many opportunities that we would have in doing so.  Specifically they expressed a desire for our ministry to begin training their assistant chaplains for the work of ministry.  And also, once we're approved, they will allow us access into any prison in Zambia to work with inmates as well as guards in the areas of evangelism and discipleship.  It was truly an answer to prayer as to how well this meeting went.

Our desire with this ministry opportunity as well as the hospital ministry is to begin to expose some of the churches we are working with to practical ways of ministering God's word to those in tough situations.  In essence, we're trying to mobilize the church here in Zambia to fulfill its calling to minister to, evangelize and disciple those around them.

Will you pray for us?  Please pray that we would keep in step with the Spirit, that God would begin to raise up churches for us to assist in training for ministry.  Pray for the Church in Zambia.  Pray that they would be burdened for the lost and have a heart to serve instead of be served.

No comments: