Training program equips 40 women for prison ministry.
South Africa | SID WM | January 14, 2023 | Margery Herinirina
Attendees learn that serving prison inmates includes ministering to their families.
Forty women assembled at Sedaven High School in Helderburg for a one-day intensive training in prison ministry. The aim was to empower and equip women for ministering to the spiritual needs of women in correctional centers in the territory of the Northern Conference of South Africa.
Women were trained on the prison regulations for volunteers and how to initiate prison ministries in their own congregations. Aftercare of ex-offenders and ministry to the families of offenders are often neglected areas of this unique ministry. However, emphasis on the importance of maintaining relationships with offenders even after their release from prison, as well as on how to minister to the needs (physical and spiritual) of the family members of the offenders were also part of the training.
Participants were encouraged to consider alternate ways of ministering to inmates. These included supplying toiletries and clothing to inmates, as well as visiting inmates in correctional centers who have lost contact with families, particularly on days set aside as “Family Days.”
Attendees listened to the testimony of an ex-offender who served a prison sentence of seven years. God performed a miracle in the life of the young lady, and she now wholeheartedly serves God and continues to share her testimony with young girls in the communities and schools.
Praise God that through the voluntary service of willing church members many inmates are reached with the Good News of Salvation.
May these be the words from our Master on that grand and awesome day:
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40).
Photo credits: South Africa WM
Contributed by Margery Herinirina, director of Women's Ministries for Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division (SID)
Published in Mosaic newsletter, 2023 Q1