Prison Ministry

Namenyi Project Hope works to help inmates and former convicts come to terms with the gravity of their respective crimes -most of them respond positively to this approach. One man, Bilal, confessed to Andras Namenyi a secret he had never told to anyone-that he had killed someone but had never been caught. Appreciative of Bilal's remorse and repentance, Andras prayed the Salvation Prayer, after which Bilal said, "I feel very relieved now. Thank you so much for praying with me. "

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Many of the other prisoners who attend Scripture classes have also begun to change for the better. This is the first exposure most of them have had to Christianity-they fully participate in class, asking many questions, and are excited to learn Christ's message.

Namenyi Project Hope has had a significance impact on the success of the prison's rehabilitation program. Because a majority of the convicts are suspicious of outsiders (especially religious teachers), they are initially hesitant to share their experiences with the Namenyi Project Hope counselors. Andras narrowed the gap by having the born-again inmates counsel those who would otherwise be unapproachable and encourage them to attend the classes. Awarding prizes to those who memorize Bible verses has proven to be a very successful method of introducing the inmates to the Scriptures-the basic moral principles they learn has inspired even the simplest of them to improve their behavior.

 

Tangible fruits of Andras' work are evident at the maximum-security section of the Durban Youth Correctional Center (Westville Prison). He is eager to begin visiting the Adult Section as well, to help them begin healing through their knowledge of Christ.

 

In a recent Bible class at the Westville Prison, Andras offered a jacket (a treasured item in the cold prison) to anyone who could recite five particular Bible verses. Two of the inmates, Alfred and Andile, raised their hands and, in turn, recited the verses correctly-creating the problem of who would receive the prize. The first solution reached was that they could share the jacket and each wear it on alternating days. However, knowing Andile 's kind heart and growing maturity in his faith, Andras suggested that perhaps he might prefer to relinquish his claim on the jacket and give it outright to Alfred. Because 'sharing' is not a common practice among prisoners, the room became very quiet for one minute…everyone waiting to see how Andile would respond. "Yes," Andile finally said, "I will let Alfred have the jacket, because I know that God blesses giving!" 

 

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One Westville prisoner was recently released and is now in a post-care (probation) period. In a letter to Namenyi Project Hope, he wrote, "I am delighted to inform you that as I'm writing this letter I'm at home. I'm not allowed to go anywhere without permission from the Department of Correctional Service, but I think it's much better than being in prison. Though things are not going well for me at the moment, with faith in God I know everything will be rectified. … Every lesson you taught was so beneficial. I really don't know what to say to show how grateful and appreciative I am that we had someone like you. Thank you. God bless."

 


 

Former Program in Mburahati, Dar es Salaam.

Namenyi Project Hope's weekly classes at Mburahati's Christian Rescue Service Center have grown to include over 240 underprivileged children who learn the Scriptures and other morale-building stories. Through active participation (either telling a tale or acting out a role), the children improve not only their English language skills, but their behavior as well. For example, when Namenyi Project Hope first began visiting the Center, the children grabbed at the snacks distributed by the staff; however, they now sit still and patiently wait to be served.

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Comforting a little paralyzed baby girl during  our visit to an orphanage in Msembazi (in Dar es Salaam) where we distributed food supplies.

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Playing with the orphans while they are eating some donated apples. The lady shown with us, Etienne, is from Switzerland and runs the orphanage.

Namenyi Project Hope brought 100 roosters and 150 kgs of animal feed (each) to some very poor families in Mburahati. The objective is to help them raise the roosters to maturity, sell them, and use the proceeds as capital for another investment. They have also learned to put aside a certain part of the money to buy egg-laying hens. The initial supply of roosters and feed were donated by local companies who pledged to continue giving as long as the Mburahati people make steady progress