Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:37-40
In July 2000, a local gang attempted to use the corrupt legal system to put the missionary director Terry Snow into prison and out of country. What was intended for evil, has even to this day been used for good!
After the chilling experience, Terry had an open door to bless the lives of those living in the harsh conditions of hot, packed and filthy cells. Terry and the YWAM team were permitted to make many improvements over the years such as rebuilding their leaky roofs, bringing in plumbing & toilets, and provide food & clothing. All the while, outreach teams and local YWAMers shared the gospel to the prisoners. People were beginning to call it Terry’s second home! the prison warden to this day considers YWAM as special guests.
Over the years we have had the privilege of going to the prison on Sunday mornings to do ministry. Alain Dosthene leads this ministry and Marc Georges Louis goes as well to help lead worship.
Every Sunday, they bring a generator, musical instruments and a speaker system to spend 2-3 hours singing worship songs, share a message and talk to the prisoners through the bars. They have helped make phone calls and bring in necessities to many forgotten prisoners, and have made improvements such as installing fans in the cells. Baptisms still occur, mostly around Christmas time. Visiting prison wardens have shared their awe at how peaceful and hopeful the once-tense atmosphere now is. Mission teams that come to our campus love to visit the prison, so they get to be a part of this ministry when they are here as well!
When a prisoner in Saint Marc is released, they most often have nothing but the clothes on their back. So, they take a taxi directly to YWAM. Our staff provide them with travel expenses and connect them with a local church if Saint Marc is their home. Due to our evangelism & mercy ministry, prisoners want to live a holy, Christian lifestyle upon release, and many have. One of them, Jacob, has even now gone through our Discipleship Training School. What matters most, is that the cellmates know that although the world may have forgotten them, Jesus never does!
Installing new fans in the prison. The cells are very small and crowded so this was a HUGE blessing!