[From my Kairos Brother Nick Sigur.]
On Thursday, Brandon Scott Lavergne and I will both be at Angola. You know why Lavergne will be there. I will be present as a guest of the warden and the chaplain co-ordinator for Kairos Prison Ministry. Many of you have supported the ministry with prayer, money, and our famous cookies.
The ministry has been serving at Angola for nearly twenty years and we are trusted friends of the prison. I have had coffee and frank discussions with Warden Cain. All he really knows about me is that I'm "with Kairos." That's all it takes. The administration of Angola respects what Jesus has done through Kairos and other prison ministries. On Thursday, members of the Kairos Advisory Board will be looking at expanding our ministry to Camp J. The prison has asked us to do this. We are short of volunteers, but long on Jesus. We currently serve Camps C, D and the main prison. We do retreats in these camps and encourage weekly prayer and share meetings with the residents. We call them "residents" and not inmates, cons, prisoners or whatever. Camp J is a disciplinary camp. It houses those who haven't learned to follow the many rules at Angola. We won't be doing Kairos weekends for those guys. We will be providing Kairos to the trustees who work at Camp J. The five thousand or so inmates at Angola often wait for years before being invited to a Kairos Weekend. Those in detention or in disciplinary status are not candidates for Kairos. Learn more here.
Brandon Scott Lavergne will not be served by Kairos for years. He will be in isolation for a very long time. Especially in cases of such publicity as his, the institution separates these men for their safety and for the smoother running of the institution. Brandon has been incarcerated before. His incarceration didn't reform him and didn't prevent him committing even more heinous crimes upon his release. That doesn't mean that other men in other situations shouldn't be given second changes. All those convicted of crimes are different, just as all men are different.
At Angola, most of the residents are lifers. In Louisiana life is life. Barring a miracle, Brandon Scott Lavergne will be at Angola until he dies. A few years ago that might not have been very long. Angola was one of the bloodiest prisons in America. But Jesus has changed all that. Angola is now a model for other prisons. It may be the world's largest gated Christian community. No not everyone there is a Christian. But the number who are might surprise you and the most prominent landmarks are no longer the guard towers, but the steeples of chapels in each camp. When I am there I am greeted by smiles from bible toting inmates and often hugs from those I have met over the years. I feel safer there than on many of the streets in Lafayette, even with Brandon off those streets now.
I have spent weekends sharing Jesus with killers. One in particular was my guest and a movie has been made of his crime. You don't need to know more. He's not the same guy. They haven't made a movie yet about Brandon; but they probably will. Just remember the end isn't written yet.
Brandon Scott Lavergne, No Cookies for You Today. But maybe a few years from now you will walk into a room filled with loving volunteers who Jesus will use to change your life. Or maybe not. For now the friends and families of the victims, and the entire Lafayette, Louisiana community will breathe easier and that's a good and right thing. Thank you Jesus.
Keep baking cookies. Jesus still saves just as He loves and comforts and restores the convicted and their victims alike.
Posted By Blogger to Nick's Walk at 8/19/2012 03:15:00 AM