As our work in prisons continues to grow, we caught up with Owain, our Wales Prisons Outreach Worker to find out what he has been up to and hear some of his highlight moments.
Hi Owain! Can you tell us how you got involved in prisons work?
God calls us to go and share the love of Jesus to every corner of society and I believe God called me to go specifically into prisons to do this.
My life has been completely transformed by Jesus and I want to share about what God has done for me with those I meet in prison and tell them about the hope they can find in Jesus. After volunteering in a prison a few years ago as part of an education programme, God gave me his heart for the broken and struggling and since then I knew God was calling me to work in prisons. There have been many highs and lows but I know this is where God wants me to be – sharing the hope of Jesus with those who most need to hear it.
What have you been up to in the last month?
It’s been a busy and exciting month. It’s been great to build deeper relationships with the lads over food, playing table tennis and through lots of Fifa! As I’ve got to know them and share more about Jesus, many have wanted to find out more so I have launched a Youth Alpha course. It’s been a great place for the young people to hear more about Jesus and chat about it with their mates. As well as this, I help with the two chapel services The Message runs each week, sharing the gospel with over 25 men, and we are now starting up an Alpha Course for the men too! We are excited and expectant to see all that God is going to do!
I’ve also been spending time visiting men on the prison wings and praying with them, giving out resources and sharing the gospel. Just last week, as I began to chat with one guy Griff about the Alpha Course, he instantly called two other guys on the wing to come and join him, telling them they needed to sign up too! In the end, the four of us ended up at a table praying together and now each of them is signed up to come along to the Alpha course, desperate to learn more about Jesus. There are other lads who are being released soon and I have the privilege to help them to navigate life on the outside and find positive Christian communities and churches.
What has been your highlight from the last few weeks?
This has to be the salvation of one the guys, Toby, who I have been supporting and getting to know for a while now. Recently, I gave him a Bible as he wanted to read more about Jesus and then went to visit him the following week. As we chatted, he told me that he had asked Jesus into his life, and that already he could tell that his life had been changed and that Jesus was now his Lord and Saviour. He signed up for the Alpha course straight away and is so excited to learn more about Jesus and how to follow him!
And it’s not only the inmates that God is moving powerful through! The other day I had a great conversation with a member of staff over a cup of tea, and was able to share the gospel and pray with her too. I’m excited for what God will do through her as I really believe it’s just the beginning of her journey!
I love having to rely on God’s guidance each day and not knowing what will happen from one day to the next! I hope that in coming weeks many people will be saved, finding their freedom, hope and forgiveness in Jesus. I can’t wait to see where God is leading us as a prisons team and whatever the future holds, I know I can rely on his goodness, his faithfulness, and his presence with me every step of every day.
Find out more about our prisons work and how to get involved at message.org.uk/prisons