It was an incredible experience. Striking actually.
Even as I sit here to write about the experience, I am left without adequate words. Over 700 men that we visited today at Athi River Prison in Nairobi had a contagious unmistakable hope in their eyes. Through Celebrate Recovery, these men have come to realize that they are not the sum total of their mistakes, that there is grace and hope found in Jesus.
I met men who have been given second chances, who are pursuing a brighter future by receiving the hope that only Jesus can bring, and who are applying themselves to become the men that they were created to be. They are becoming skilled artisans in art and trade. They are discovering that they need not return to their failures but can rise above their past through freedom that Christ brings.
What struck me was the hope that I saw in the eyes of these men. It was not a false hope, or a ill-grounded hope. It was hope in Jesus Christ alone.
While my words fail miserably to articulate the fullness of the experience, these photographs might help. I was reminded of the words of Jesus in Matthew 25 today:
34 “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. 35 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, 36 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.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’