Tuesday, November 27, 2007

An Afternoon locked up

Yesterday I went Birmingham Gaol, HMP Winson Green, I went with a friend from Church to see the last session of a programme he is part of called, The Sycamore Tree Project. This is an amazing project and I was genuinely moved by what this project has done and is doing in prisons.
On the way to the chapel one of the Chaplains took us through a wing, this really is a scary place and I was shaking as I walked through, it was very oppressive and I had a feeling of depression and loss of will. We set up the Chapel for this afternoon meeting and waited for the man to brought to us. My friend who was leading the programme explained what would happen. the group of men would be split into 4 groups, I would be with one group. They would look at some work they had previously done (our group were to look at the story of Zac the tax collector) and then explain it from a criminals point of view another group from the victims point of view, and so on. This was done really well. Then there was a time of sharing, if anyone wanted to share what the course had meant to them or what they had got out of it. I was genuinely moved by this time, it was a real privilege to hear this, we had a tea break, then the guys had to fill in their work books, and off back to their cells. It doesn’t sound much written down here, but it was an afternoon I will never forget.

God is working in there with Sycamore Tree, and I thank God for that and for the people who are being obedient and serving him there.