The Officer-in-Charge of the Koforidua Local Prison, Assistant Director of Prisons (ADP) Christopher Hayibor, has said that it is not everyone brought to the prison who is a criminal or bad person.
According to him, some were just victims of circumstances, wicked plots, failure to defend themselves properly before the law, sheer ignorance of the law and moments of uncontrolled anger among others.
“This shows explicitly that anyone can come to prison when we consider Joseph’s story in the Bible”, he said.
ADP Hayibor said these when he gave the keynote address at a day’s workshop for Prospective Prison Evangelists of the SDA Church, at Koforidua, last Thursday.
Likening the story of Joseph to the present situation, he said there were people in prison like him, who needed the word of God because He (God) had a purpose for their lives.
“Whatever you fail to do for the prisoner today, you have failed to do for Christ” he added.
ADP Hayibor urged the church not to limit the prison evangelism to only the inmates, but the personnel as well, because they were clothed with the responsibility of caring for the inmates.
He said that the prison remained a security installation as such there were rules to be followed so that they did not compromise security.
ADP Hayibor, therefore, urged the church to seek permission from the prison authorities before visiting any prison facility for the purpose of evangelism.
He advised that this should be done in a group from the same organisation stressing “expatriates among the group will require security clearance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”.
ADP Hayibor encouraged the SDA Church to focus on the work they had chosen for the good of humanity, God and the country.
The Chaplain-in-Charge of the Koforidua Police Training School, Rev C/Insp Godwin Kumatror, also spoke on the Bible and prison ministry.
He said Jesus cited many examples of evangelism in the Bible, and asked the church to visit prison no matter the crime of the people there.
Rev C/Insp Kumatror reminded the church of its role in society, and said no prison could change any armed robber except the word of God.
“The prisoner you will save today can be the best President of the nation tomorrow, so let us all go out with the word of God to them,” he noted.
Rev C/Insp Kumatror appealed to the church to choose people with “fellow-feeling hearts” to be in the prison ministry because about 70 to 80 per cent of the inmates were victims of unexpected situations.
Speaking on the theme “I will go: breaking the cycle of crime,” Pastor Maxwell Kwasi Asabere said the church was “totally missing in society hence the commission of many crimes in the country.We have forgotten that we are the eye of the youth and children of the nation.”
From Castro Zangina-Tong, Koforidua