Paul Morris with the North Mississippi Kairos Prison Ministry team says miracles happen every day and they often happen behind closed doors, or in the case of thousands of men and women incarcerated throughout the region, behind bars.
The prison ministry that Morris and others have championed these past years, is changing lives, according to Morris, an attorney by profession.
The outreach ministry has proved to be a blessing for Morris and others who spend several weekends during the course of a year ministering to the spiritual needs of men and woman at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman and at the Marshall County Correctional Facility.
"I was invited to go to a closing ceremony several years ago," said Morris, who at the time, was also involved with the youth ministry at his church.
Once Morris walked through the gates of the prison and into the secure areas of the prison where the inmates are housed, Morris said he immediately felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.
In addition to talking and praying with inmates, Morris said lay members of Kairos often form deep and lasting bonds with individuals in prison.
"We try and give them hope," Morris said.
Morris said he and other volunteers also compose handwritten letters to inmates on a regular basis in addition to meeting and praying with inmates on visits to the prison and other satellite prison locations.
"We will write letters to them," Morris added. "A lot of them are ostracized by their families. We try and tell them that people from all around the world are praying for them. You want them to realize that the reason they are in prison might be their fault. We talk about choices. We get very transparent."
Morris said the team also ministers to family members of prison inmates.
"A mom whose son is in prison may feel ostracized by society," Morris said.
Additionally, cook teams with Kairos ministries also prepare special meals.
Nourishing the spirit as well as freeing souls from the bondage of sin is a goal that Morris says the Kairos team strives for with every visit to Parchman and area correctional facilities.
"I just feel like I am home," said Morris. "It's (prison) is not like it is portrayed on TV. There are bad people in the prison — don't get me wrong — there are people who have made mistakes."
However, Morris said in reality, most of mankind is trapped in one prison or another.
"We're all in a prison," said Morris. "They (inmates) are just in a smaller one. We let them know that there are people who care."
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.