Kathryn is involved with an outreach ministry to the foreign inmates of Chang Mai Prison and local police stations. Kathryn heads up a team of 3-4 members of the local English speaking church.
The ministry started over 40 years ago when they realized that the foreign inmates in the Thai prisons generally had no access to outside help or friendship with their families and friends far away. Currently, the ministry team is working with 24 men and 2 women – all from various non-Thai countries. The main thrust of the Ministry team has been in offering “practical help” and “spiritual hope”. With visits happening on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for a one hour period, Kathryn with her volunteer team, who generally have fulltime jobs, has their hands full. Kathryn is very much involved with translation, contact with Embassies, and accompanying inmates to hospital visits, contacting families and so on.
From my own experience in being involved in Prison Ministry, this is a hard call. You are there as the hands and feet of Christ – not to condemn or judge, but to show love – sometimes in very difficult circumstances. From Prison records from the USA, UK, and South Africa, 80% of the prisoners that are released are back in prison within one year. However, where inmates are part of a Christian Ministry programme, 80% never go back.
What a goal – it’s like giving the Lord Gold medals every year.