We recently had our annual meeting at the female prison in Pretoria, since it was women’s month in South Africa. The pastors’ wives held a celebration for more than 300 prisoners, who also received toiletries.
On behalf of the Department, the deputy director of Safety and Correctional Services was very appreciative. She thanked the wives for all the preparations, stating that we treated the prisoners with respect and love.
This correctional center houses women with longer sentence periods and more serious crimes, such as drug trafficking and homicide. There are three Brazilians, four Peruvians and one Spanish woman here, besides the women of African descent.
On this occasion, a new Bible and “Nothing to Lose 1” and “Nothing to Lose 2” certificates were presented to those who completed the courses. When my wife, Marcia, said we would be sending you a photo, they gathered together and shouted, “Thank you, Bishop Macedo!”
Your message of life has reached those in spiritual need. In this group of women that received a certificate, we have two murder cases. Though we cannot disclose any specifics, I think you will be happy to know that, through the “Nothing to Lose” course, they have been rehabilitated.
In the end, Marcia gave a message and also shared the testimony of Ludimila. Tears ran down the young woman’s face as she told the prisoners she saw herself in each one of them. Because one day she was driven by hatred, had the taste of blood in her mouth, was immersed in alcohol and drugs, and so thought she would never be happy. However, she decided to surrender her life, listen to the voice of God and obey Him, even though she was in all of that filth. During the prayer to surrender their lives to God, the prisoners wept copiously.
We have observed that the number of prisoners has decreased each year. Last week, one woman was released and immediately went to Church, because she said she needs to keep the faith and does not want to make any more mistakes. There were more than 400 women present in the first; and yesterday there were 276 inmates and 30 officers, who joined the course and the prayers.
In one month we will start the “Nothing to Lose 3” course.