The Day I Went To Pollsmoor Prison
July 20, 2009 § 2 Comments
On Saturday (18th July) we went to the notorious Pollsmoor Prison to go and do a program with the inmates there. Pollsmoor Prison, is a prison in the Cape Town suburb of Tokai in South Africa. Nelson Mandela was the most famous inmate of the prison. He describes Pollsmoor Prison as “the truth of Oscar Wilde’s haunting line about the tent of blue that prisoners call the sky.”
Pollsmoor is a maximum security prison with little means in the way of escape. Some of South Africa‘s most dangerous criminals and roughest gangsters are held in Pollsmoor Prison. The prison has a staff of 1,278 and the capacity to accommodate 4,336 offenders, but the current inmate population is over 7,000 (a figure which fluctuates daily).
On our arrival John Palm ,who does the prison ministry at Pollsmoor Prison,welcomed us and signed us in so that we could get a our guest passes. I so much wanted to take pics of the prison inside but we had to hand in our cellphones as visitors were not allowed to have cellphones within the prison walls. Bradley Naidoo , Pete Douglas and myself was assigned to do this program. As we made our way to the cells, one could constantly hear the inmates shouting out of the cell windows. As we entered the cell I saw a guy lying under a broken window,in his bed and it was freezing cold in the cell. These are just one of the poor conditions the inmates have to live under.
We were given a cell with 50 inmates. The inmates gathered round as we prepared to start. Bradley did the welcome and then handed it over to me. I shared my testimony with them and told them what an awesome work God has done in my life and that I so easily could have ended up where they now find themselves. After me Bradley shared his story and spoke about belonging. He explained how we all were created and designed with a deep sense of belonging and some of us end up looking for it in the wrong places (eg gangsterism,drugs etc). Bradley also told them that we all belong to Jesus Christ. After Bradley, Pete shared with them about the love of Christ and that no matter what they have done,that Christ will always love them and will forgive them.
After sharing and having in depth talks with the inmates,it was time to do what we actually came to do…pray for the inmates. We made an alter call and asked if there was anybody that wanted prayer. All of the 50 inmates responded and we got to pray fro each one of them. The power and the love of God touched them and the inmates were slained in the Spirit and there was lots of tears that was shed. After praying for them we asked how many of them would like to commit their lives to Christ. Fourteen of the inmates committed their lives to Christ that Saturday morning. Praise God!!John Palm the minister that does the prison ministry will be doing follow up with them.
I can just thank God that He came to save me when He did. I could have so easily ended up within the walls of of Pollsmoor Prison,but under very different circumstances. I have done so many bad things in my life, and can just thank God for His mercy and His Grace upon my life. I thank God He has called me to do work such as this and winning souls over for His Kingdom with the testimony He has given me.