Here at the office of HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS, unpleasant messages from prisoners arrive on a regular basis. It can be very discouraging. Perhaps that is why, when a rare ray of sunshine beams into the office, one feels like cheering.
That's the way I felt yesterday after talking with Terry, program coordinator for a prison a mere ten miles away from here.
He introduced himself and told me about a project coming up next month at his facility called ONE DAY WITH GOD. Here's what happens.
He and his associates choose about 25 model prisoners, most of whom are fathers of small children, for a special weekend.
On Friday, there will be a day of prayer and preparation with those 25 prisoners. Preparation means packaging donated gifts for children, which they will be able to present to their kids when they come to visit the next day.
On Saturday, some 50 kids will meet at a local church, and will be bussed to a special prison gate where they can safely enter to see their fathers for ONE DAY WITH GOD. A day of special activities is planned, including the presentation of gifts. A tiny slice of heaven on earth. But it doesn't stop there.
The regular caregivers for those kids, who get a day off thanks to this event, are not forgotten. Activities are scheduled in a local church for that day to make it special for these unsung heroes as well.
Think about it. We have over 2-million people in prison. Terry's project is going to help 25 of them. Insignificant? Not in the least! It's a huge start. Now we need more Terrys. And more Days with God. Kudos to Terry. Prayers for many more program coordinators like him, and for more wardens like his boss who believe that prisoners are real people, created in the image of God.