|Notes from Kairos #15 at Pender Correctional Institute
By John Lew, Team Member
Good Morning Brothers,
I would like to share with you some notes from the weekend that I'm passing on to my church family:
I just arrived home from attending the Kairos number 15 weekend retreat at Pender Correctional Institute, Burgaw, NC, which was held on March 6 -9, 2008.
All of our hearts were especially touched by a resident named Johnny who although in the advanced stages of an inoperable brain tumor, was seeking a closer relationship with God. The Chaplain worried that Johnny would not be able to take the stress of the long 12-hour session on Saturday told him to stay in the dorm on that morning and then after checking on his condition allowed him to return in the afternoon. Johnny was the first up to the microphone that evening to tell us that he had prayed to God all morning to allow him to return and this was granted to him. And although he may be in the last stages of his life he has found that closer relationship with God and he has found a very
Large and loving church family to support and comfort him in his final days. Praise God!
All of the testimonies were powerful and moving and I would like to share a few phrases I was able to write down: I didn't know what to expect when I arrived on Thursday evening.....you have shown me so much love I don't know how to describe it; This is the greatest experience of my life and I want to thank God for letting me be here; I always wondered why all my decisions ended with the same results....! learned that they were based on my "wants" instead of on what was best for me; I'm 50 years old and this is the first time I've experienced real love; When I came in here Thursday I felt the power....I'm so happy I want to jump up and down; The Million-Man March was nothing compared to this Kairos; For so long I've been chained up on the inside....today I'm free; I've been struggling with some issues....I’ve learned how to deal with them.....the answer is Jesus; I've never felt so important as when I come in here and when I get back to the dorm I feel good about myself; This has been a very enlightening experience.......gang members talking with Christians......Blacks talking with Whites this is a beautiful thing here.....I'll never forget this experience you are all my brothers; I've been trying to get to Kairos for eight years .1 thank God (he will be getting out shortly -must be God's timing); It's hard to admit when you are wrong.....keep praying for me; The way I grew up I never knew people loved each other like this; For a long time I thought I was a Christian.....after this weekend I'm rededicating my life to Christ; How can you express being with the Lord for three days.....! feel like I was on the mountain with Moses.....1 hope that when I leave here I'll have a glow on my face like he did; I have found what each of us searches for all of our lives; This has been the best weekend of my life; One of my friends told me that when I go to Kairos to keep an open mind and everything would be revealed to me; I just want to thank God for the Kairos family that showed me what love is all about; When I walk out of here I'm going to make it my number one quest to start winning souls for Christ; I was so ashamed when I arrived here......this weekend has been so special..... .1 want to be a Christian again; I want God to come into my heart right now; Miracles still happen......if it wasn't for Kairos these men here would still be lost; Last night at the Forgiveness Ceremony I left a lot of baggage I have been carrying around for a long time; I've never been much of a Christian but today I accepted Jesus as my savior.
When asked why I keep coming to these Kairos weekends I answer that when I come on a weekend I know three things will happen: (1) I will feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, (2) I will see some miracles and (3) I will cry. I was not disappointed this weekend.