As you read this, I am currently spending the week at San Sebastian Prison in San Jose, Costa Rica as part of a Kairos ministry team. It has been almost exactly ten years since I was involved in my first and only Kairos team in Costa Rica. Our mission partner, Carlos Cunningham has established a phenomenal ministry in several of the prisons in Costa Rica. God is transforming individual lives and the prison culture.
I am quite certain that I will come back with stories of the work of our Lord Jesus amongst those who are incarcerated. The following is what I wrote ten years ago:
With each passing year I become more resolved to use what time I have left here on earth wisely. Not because I am middle-aged man moving toward the “mature” years; not even because I am a pastor/preacher; but because I have experienced the incredible grace of our Lord Jesus, I choose to align my life with His purposes. When I do, there is an incredible satisfaction about how my days are spent; when I don’t, I always regret it.
What could possibly cause the leader of the largest gang in San Sebastian Prison in Costa Rica to spend three days washing dishes for a bunch of inmates at a Kairos Christian Retreat? Yet, that is exactly what Chico Franc did. How is the transformation of mind and heart possible? Two years ago a light clicked on for Chico Franc. It was the light of Jesus that showed him a way to be alive, not just exist; a way of hope, forgiveness, freedom and a new creation. Formerly, Chico exerted fearful authority over men bent on intimidation and violence. He was wasting his life.
Last week, Chico Franc washed dishes and waited tables, demonstrating the love of Jesus. No fanfare in the cellblocks. But I did hear the angels rejoicing.