Kairos Prison Ministry

Kairos Prison Ministry

“…I was in prison and you visited me.” Matthew 25:36

The purpose of Kairos is to bring Christ’s love to the incarcerated and their families. Kairos is the Greek word for “God’s Special Time.” There are three Kairos programs: Kairos Inside (for incarcerated men and women), Kairos Outside (for female relatives of incarcerated men), and Kairos Torch (for children of incarcerated parents).

Kairos, founded in 1976, is now active in 35 states and Australia, Canada, UK, Costa Rica, Peru, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic and South Africa. The ministry is active in over 400 penal institutions. Kairos has 36,000 volunteers who serve on 640+ weekends each year. Volunteers donate more than three million hours annually. Recidivism studies in Florida and SC found that the Kairos experience reduced recidivism by about one-third. Kairos brings the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ into a prison through the Christian volunteers who go into the prison and others who provide support from the outside.

There are two 3 ½ day weekends each year at McCormick Correctional Institution located near McCormick, SC: one mid-March and one mid-September. Charlotte and Jim Holly serve at those. The weekend is a short course on the Christian faith. There are similar weekends at Perry Correctional near Greenville, SC and Tyger River Correctional near Spartanburg, SC. There are also monthly reunions and other regular events with inmates who complete a Kairos weekend.

Ways in which volunteers can participate:

1. Prayer

2. Bake cookies for weekends (Request information on baking guideline.)

3. Provide agape (e.g., letters, notes, artwork. Must follow strict guidelines.)

4. Volunteer on an inside or outside team.

Contact for more information:

Jim and Charlotte Holly (803) 221.4276 and (803) 215.2678

Juvenile Detention Center-Jonesville, SC

AMIkids White Pines

AMIkids White Pines was founded in 1997 in Jonesville, SC as a private, non-profit, staff-secure residential facility that serves a large surrounding area. It operates 24 hours 7 days a week serving youth who have committed a variety of non-violent offenses and are involved with the SC Dept of Juvenile Justice. There are 2 “camps” in a remote location providing a structured environment to help the residents work through their issues and become “society-ready”. Google “AMIkids White Pines” and visit their website.

Residents get there only by being assigned by a judge. White Pines can accommodate 56 residents and generally operates at or near capacity. They can get jobs outside of the facility, and they can take supervised field trips for relevant activities.

I became aware of White Pines through an acquaintance who serves there in their “mentor” program. After going through the approval process, I am now also serving as a mentor. I hope to influence them in a positive way through guidance with faith, music/guitar, personal finance, and any other ways I can. On my first visit, there was a lot of excitement over the prospect of learning the guitar.The camp has no musical equipment, so one of my first objectives is to provide them with some guitars and accessories enabling them to routinely spend some time learning to play if they desire.

Another major need is dress clothes for job interviews. Currently, they have a few suits and ties on hand that can be borrowed for an off-site interview. Donations are appreciated and tax-deductible.

Steve Collie