A few days ago I went to prison! I went on a specific mission and was given full access to the prison from the government and the warden. I was going to bust out some captives, and everyone knew it! Don’t worry; I am not a fugitive now! Nor did I set any convicted fugitives free!
I went to rescue little kids who had nowhere else to go. They had no choice but to be incarcerated with their mothers in prison. Some of the little babies were born in prison too. Two were likely born out of a prison rape and are infants, born right in the prison cell. Other mothers had no place to leave their kids when they were sent to prison, and so brought their children with them. Nearly all of them have husbands who have abandoned them. Being prisoners they are perceived to have disgraced their families, and they feel like they have no place to send their children.
There cannot be a more hopeless place to live on earth than in a prison in Cambodia, especially if you are a child who is not even supposed to be there! All men, women and children are held in the general population. In the prison no education is available. The prospect of sexual abuse, even for infants, is quite possible. Most are malnourished (see the light hair) because they do not have prison food rations; so, their mothers share their meager rations with them. Fortunately, Jesus can take the hopeless and turn them into jewels!
Isaiah says, “I, the Lord, have called you. . . to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness” (Isaiah 42: 6-7).
We have offered to raise the kids until the mothers get out of prison, or even up to graduation from High School if the families so desire. Kids who have no chance at a bright future because of their mother’s incarceration are now able to get the best education and care available in the province. God can indeed turn any bad thing to good! (Genesis 50:20)