9a.m. at St. John’s Anglican Church Highton (Geelong) and still more biscuits arriving!
The task ahead seemed beyond us – containers of home-made biscuits covering the tables, 1,260 empty bags ready to be filled, and 30 boxes requiring labels with the set number of filled bags of biscuits for each of the units/neighbourhoods in the 3 Geelong prisons.
After giving thanks to God for the privilege of serving Him, 12 pairs of hands (gloved, of course) set to work. All started off very quietly as counting AND talking are the not the best combination, especially when it is important that all bags are equal!
Tea break was called and what a special time that was for all of us! One of the volunteers shared that they had been on the receiving end of the gift of biscuits, and what a special gift it was. Knowing that people cared enough about inmates – to make biscuits and distribute them and to include an Easter message, made such an impact on our friend and many other inmates. Did we ever stop to think that something so ordinary can become something extra-ordinary to those on the receiving end?
By 12.30 all containers were empty. Bags were filled and boxes labelled and ready to go, BUT 12 hearts were filled with gratitude for the opportunity we had been given by our Loving God to serve Him in this way.
– Robin Burns, Prison Fellowship volunteer & Geelong Volunteer Team Leader
Letter from an inmate:
30th March 2018
Prison Fellowship Australia PO Box 280, Doncaster Heights, VIC, 3109
Dear Prison Fellowship Volunteers,
I wanted to write this letter to thank you all for the lovely Easter gift of hand-baked cookies. They were absolutely delicious.
Beyond this, I would like to give my heartfelt appreciation for your selfless generosity and compassion that not only goes into each and every cookie at Easter time, but is also so evident throughout the other services and programs that you provide.
I am a 44 year old man who has spent nearly 3 years in prison and luckily I will be going home to my family very soon. Throughout my time in prison, I have enjoyed the cookies at Easter, my daughter has received gifts from the Angel Tree, and I have been fortunate enough to have been part of the ‘Change on the Inside’ program while I was in prison.
The difference that these things have made for me cannot be explained in words.
On behalf of my family and myself, I thank you all again so very much.