The Walk With Christ

Kairos Prison Ministry


In 1983, a small group of men who had been on a Walk or Cursillo launched this highly effective ministry when they decided to take the basic Walk program to the inmates at the penitentiary. Cursillistas from Montana joined Pilgrims from Spokane and Walla Walla in going behind the prison walls and using the basic Walk program to evangelize to the inmates. While it is not possible to have cloistered weekends as in our experience, our familiar pattern of 15 talks has been highly successful in reaching inmates. Palanca, while not personal because of prison rules, remains important as it sends the message that brothers & sisters in the world outside the walls care about these men and are praying for them.

At a meeting with the Superintendent in 2000, the team was told that he valued the Walk With Christ/Cursillo program because he could see the changes it made in the lives of those who attended. His observations were not based on a few Walks, nor on small numbers of pilgrims. They were based on the large number of men that had attended since 1983. This is now 2015 and on January 16-19, 2015, Walk #85 was held. There were between 150 and 200 men that had signed up, but because of prison rules only 50 men were allowed to attend. In March of 2015, Walk #86 will be held and we expect the same response as to men signing up; there will be a lot of disappointed men that can’t make the Walk because of the rules. At Closura, Crosses are handed out with each recipient responding to “Christ is counting on you” and “I am counting on Him”. These are given out to inmates who show an interest and attend most of the sessions. There are three meetings per day, with two meetings on the last day. These meetings consist of morning, afternoon, and evening and are based on the men’s meal times.

We are also committed to monthly Ultreyas preceded by walking the tiers, and meeting the men in their “Houses”. There are three distinct areas in the prison where we provide Ultreyas. On the first Saturday of each month, Ultreyas are held in the afternoon and evenings for the various areas which include maximum security, special handling/protective custody, and minimum security.

We have seen many genuine conversions over the past 31 years. We frequently hear an inmate give thanks for being sent to prison because that is where he met Christ and got his life turned around. It was once a joke that only inmates who came to chapel were the weird types and those who thought it might help get an early release if they had a show of religion. Now, things have changed. We now have the tough ones – bikers, murderers, and those convicted of the worst crimes, experiencing the forgiveness and cleansing that only Christ can bring. These “toughs” become as gentle as lambs, and the change is causing them to share with their “cellies” what Christ has done for them. What we have found is that these men have significant hurts, guilt, and fears in their lives. We provide an atmosphere of love and support that allows them to open up with their needs and experience the depths of God’s love and healing in their lives.

Matthew 9:37 says “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

The operative word is pray! All of us can pray for revival to come to the prisons. Some of us can be involved as volunteers. In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus said “…when you do it as unto the least of these my brethren, you do it unto me.” In that passage He specifically mentions visiting those in prison. If you would care to try to test the waters, come with us on a weekend and join with the men from Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon who serve as their schedules allow. We also need clergy who would agree to be Spiritual Leaders at least once per year. We also need young men to test the waters because the present crew is getting older and fewer are able to come do to health problems; so please test the waters.

QUANTITY AND QUALITY OF ACTIVITY TO DATE:
1) Conducted 85 four day events since 1983 (Walk to Emmaus/ Cursillo’s)
2) Spent the first Saturday of every month since 1983 walking the housing units, talking to the men, and conducting meetings (Ultreyas) in the morning, afternoon, and evenings.

PURPOSE:
To serve the Administration, Staff, and Inmate population in the most effective way possible. This includes the managers being available all day and night for the Staff, Chaplains, and Inmates to help in any way we can, or to simply pray in the Chapel for the needs at such difficult times.

EFFECT:
1) In the units and the chow hall we have provided a calming or diffusing effect as we act as sounding boards, comforters, counselors, and spiritual guides.
2) We make every attempt to reinforce the God given positions, and the responsibilities of the Correcting Officers.
3) During are meetings we create an atmosphere where even the most hardcore inmate can let his guard down and deal with issues of Racial, Prejudice, Anger, Sexual problems, Faith, Discipline, Relationships, and Responsibilities ; just to name a few.

NOTE:
Many long term members have ceased active involvement for health reasons.
We could use Cooperative Palanca too – remember, there is no personal Palanca.
We hope this gives you some idea as to who we are.

For information call:

  • Steve Vawter | (509) 995-4568
  • Paul Brown | (509) 319-0660

Matthew 25

34“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’