The OCRC has volunteers attending two federal prisons in the Gravenhurst area, Beaver Creek Minimum and Medium Institutes. Volunteers attend chapel services on Sunday evening and then hold Christian studies with inmates one night a week in each facility.
OCRC is also represented, by volunteers, in Kairos Prison Ministry Canada (KPM). This ministry accepts people from 38 denominations who have experienced a “4th Day Movement” weekend.
Volunteers are trained during 5 one day meetings before holding a KPM weekend in BCI Minimum. This is so the volunteers can focus on things that united us as Christians, so that when we enter a prison, we go as representatives of Jesus, not our denominations. In effect, we create a “church” consisting of the volunteers.
Following the training time, we facilitate a 3 day retreat with residents of the facility. These are highly planned weekends utilizing material that is used in 350 prisons around the world. Following the weekend, KPM volunteers return one Saturday per month to encourage the men to meet in small “share & prayer” groups. Statistics show that 90% of the weekend participants will begin to attend chapel regularly, their changed behaviours contribute to their early release and the rate of repeat offenders is reduced by 50%.
To those who question why we would interact with “those people” we reply, “These men will be released one day back into our society. Would you rather have them come out as more proficient criminals or as productive citizens? The choice is yours.”
“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:16-17)
Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. (Hebrews 13:3)