the son of man that you think of him?
Man is like a breath;
his days are like a fleeting shadow. – Psalm 144:3-4
Today we visited a girl’s prison. Not a women’s prison, but a prison where girls – ages 12-18 – are sentenced for their crimes. We met with a few girls who have just recently found themselves in prison. I asked one of them if she had a boyfriend. She answered, “No, I killed him.” Yet she seemed to be a sweet and giggly 17-year old girl, talking about her hopes to be a doctor, chatting about her friends, and making jokes. We presented a skit about the fleeting nature of Life and how death will meet us all. We hope to give them a hard look at where their lives are going if they don’t make good decisions now. It was a hard day for us.
In several ways, this was a difficult day for our team as we interacted with young girls who had committed horrible crimes. We presented some hygiene information as well as our skit, then just spent time talking to them – they rarely get visitors here. Becky on our team shared this - “After lunch, I was talking with 3 or 4 of the girls when the conversation turned to their futures and what they wanted to do with their lives. They talked a lot about wanting to leave the prison because they didn’t like being there. They said they were bored and didn’t like the restrictions. I told them that today is the first day on the way to their futures and their choices today will determine how long they stay, which will determine how soon they can start making their dreams come true.
Mostly I would share a thought and my translator, Luis, would take my point and elaborate it in a way the kids could relate to. [He is only 22 but is very mature, smart and has a really caring heart.] I think it made a difference coming from someone with whom they could better relate. I let them know that God has a plan specific for their life but they have to make that conscious choice to follow Him and live to please Him, not themselves. They may not want to at times but earthly pleasures last only a short while, while the joy that God gives lasts forever. Especially, I let them know that they matter and are very important to God and that this was why we came to see them. It was then that I just felt overwhelmed with emotion. I know that I was touched and I could see on their faces that they were too.”
Becky is right. This is why we have traveled 1653 miles and taken a week away from our families, our work, and the comforts of home to come to a foreign country and spend time with people who don’t speak the same language or eat the same food. God cares for them. We have the message of hope. We should...no, we must share it with those who are dying to hear it.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ – Matt. 25:34-36.