Hope behind prison bars

written by Cristina Amato

Arbër is a 30-year-old man who came to faith while in prison, seven years ago. As soon as he was released, he joined a local church and, three years later, he started as a prison chaplain in a high security prison.

He visits the prison twice a week to meet inmates, do Bible studies and play games. Male crewmembers now had the opportunity to join Arbër visiting the prison and even played football matches with inmates. The crew also donated blankets and pillows as well as football shirts and balls.

Crewmember Luke Baard (South Africa) says, “At first we were nervous being in a high security prison, but the welcoming hearts of the inmates helped us connect with them. The hospitality and generosity these inmates showed the team was unforgettable.”

The prison chaplain says, “Today was a special day as a team from Logos Hope came! We [talked] a lot with inmates I never met before as [normally] they don't join us. But today we had a wonderful time. We had a lot of good discussions and they had joy today, they smiled, they laughed with us and they also offered us drinks and chocolates. They also asked me to invite them to the next meeting when I come again!”

“In this prison only very few people come to visit… and there are no activities, and so I think that our visit made an impact today… Sometimes inmates ask me ‘Why are you wasting time to visit us?’ in the beginning they are suspicious, but in the end they eventually figure out that we don't want anything, we just want to bring hope.

Baxwell Bwembya (Zambia) also had a great time with the prisoners. He says, “They really cheered for us as we played soccer. Then I talked with one of the guys and at the end of the conversation he gave me a gift so I would not forget him. They showed us love and hospitality, seeking nothing in return.”