Back in Prison
After a long period of lockdowns due to COVID-19, the team in Darwin have been allowed to re-begin chapel services at Darwin Correctional Centre! The services have been a source of great joy for both prisoners and volunteers alike.
Entry went smoothly at all three points; the main entry, the education centre to get the materials needed and finally the sector itself. The warden was busy but accommodating to us and with just the right amount of time to set up and conduct a short prayer, we had 17 inmates arrive and all seemed to be in good spirits.
Many were familiar faces that we had missed but one new face belonged to a youngish man who promptly introduced himself as Trevor* and seemed very sure about himself with a solid handshake!
The sermon topic was the story of the prodigal son. It wasn’t long before Trevor chimed in, obviously showing great enthusiasm in the parable!
After the service, Trevor, who had already received his own bible from the chaplain, shared more about his situation. After several months in prison, Trevor was still awaiting trial. He became a believer inside prison and says that reading the Bible now makes sense to him whereas when he was on the outside, it was all ‘gibberish’ to him! He said prison had been the best thing for him and he is not worried about the outcome of his trial. All he wants is to mature as a Christian by having quiet time reading the Word, so that when he does leave prison, he can be a good role model for his young son – something which he did not receive from his own father.
In the second group of inmates, about 22 men in all, everyone was enthusiastic. One young man started clapping to the beat and next thing we were mostly all clapping and foot tapping. An older man had his eyes closed with hands slightly raised throughout. The young self-appointed worship leader of them all even stood up with arms raised for a song.
After this service, another young man of only 25 years told a volunteer that he was being released in a few months after spending five years behind bars, away from his partner and their two children. He intended to take his Bible with him and continue reading it and learning about Jesus! Praise God for his work in prison!!
*Names have been changed.