Medical mission to Dominican republic
Why Cookies for Kairos #59?
Why Cookies? One of the many demonstrations of love offered during a three day weekend is an outpouring of cookies. Included in each bag of cookies is a scripture message. Homemade cookies are a tangible and vital expression of Christ’s selfless love and witness from the outside Christian Community.
When Kairos first began in Florida during the 1970’s, a problem arose that seriously threatened the ministry. The Kairos candidates were excused from their regular duties for this time, and in addition, they were enjoying the food being prepared by the Kairos kitchen team while the rest of the population had to be content with regular prison fare. Some of the inmates resented this to the point of making life so miserable for the candidates that it was feared they would drop out of the weekend.
The Kairos leaders met to determine what could be done to eliminate this problem. Since it was felt that this ministry had been called into existence by God, the group prayed that he would give them the answer they needed. After a long period of praying and listening, several members of the team were given the word: “cookies.” The Kairos Cookie Ministry (for that is what it is – a ministry) began as a result of this meeting.
Each three-day weekend a dozen cookies are distributed to every resident and correctional officer of the institution, as well as to those residents participating in the Kairos weekend. Not only has this eliminated the original problem, it has resulted in the candidates being encouraged by the rest of the prison population to continue to participate, so that they will continue to receive cookies from the candidates!
These cookies and snacks tell the residents that someone who doesn’t know them still cares enough to give a part of their life, investing the time it takes to bake the cookies without wanting anything in return. Such selflessness is often a unique experience for them. Most inmates in our prison system are takers, not givers. This brief experience of sharing something of value freely – often with those they do not like – has a powerful effect as well. Someone has said these cookies are “seeds of love” being sown in the hearts of those who know so little of the love God’s children are commanded to show forth in the world.
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