Tuesday, May 31, 2011

sorry. patawad. pakawan.

i remember thinking to myself, ah! what are we going to do with the CICL at the jail today? i bounced an idea off the other social worker and together, this is what we came up with...let's call it:  

i'm sorry. please forgive me.

for this activity, we had each of the CICL make a list of ten people that he or she has hurt in the past...these people could be friends, classmates, enemies, brothers, sisters, moms, dads - anyone! from there, we told each one of them to choose three individuals they wanted to address, from the original list of ten they compiled. they were instructed to compose a message to those three people... it could include words, it can only be words, a simple drawing...anything! and here are some things they came up with:

he learned to not answer violence with violence...

for: her dad

it was love at first.

here they are...
when everyone finished, i arranged all of their messages on the floor of the chapel meeting room. we all gathered around and looked at the different drawings, and took in some of the words that composed the images. there was a moment of silence that naturally happened - it was a pretty emotional activity, if you can imagine, even in a room of young teenagers. from there, each person shared some of the stories of the people they wanted to say sorry to. one drawing was of hills - one of the fond memories he had with the person he affected, was when they were together playing in the mountains, as young kids. another drawing presented was of his hand - to symbolize his promise to say, he will never harm his friend again.. another drawing was of two hearts together - to symbolize peace, or a truce.
prayer always makes things just a little bit better.

with sincerity in our hearts, one of the social workers led a prayer asking for forgiveness for all of our actions, and especially for peace within ourselves. the afternoon activity was reflective, beautiful, and i carry hope in my heart for these CICL.

Monday, May 23, 2011

learn by example.

after a long break, this blog is back up and running and the experiences within the walls will be shared once again!

one moment that i think will stay with me for a while will be from one of our recent activities with the CICL. for that day's activity, we invited some of the boys involved in one of the NGOs here, to come visit the jail with us and to lead some ice breakers, as well as team building exercises. what i witnessed during those two hours was amazing. first off, i was just blown away by the maturity, energy, joy, and leadership skills that these boys carried with them as they led activities with the CICL. there is definitely something very powerful about youth leading the youth. when asked if i had anything to add, for once, i was at a loss for words - nothing needed to be said...i was still trying to process the awesomeness that was going on right in front of me!

 something that i thought was especially powerful was when some of the boys we brought with us, shared their own testimonies about run-ins with the jail and how they were able to turn their lives around - now they are successfully completing college. i mean, talk about inspiring - i found that it was one thing to be able to stop the cycle of crime in one's own life, but then to go back to that place and motivate others to also say no to poor choices and vulnerable situations which can lead to unfortunate consequences? yes, absolutely. it was very moving and i am confident that the CICL were grateful for that afternoon.i mean, i was!

i left that afternoon hopeful for this generation and so thankful to have witnessed conversion. it was blatant in front of me and i thought to myself, YES - i will continue to pray for positive outcomes. it is possible.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

and you visited me.

here's a great article on the prison ministry experience of Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley. it also refers to the collaboration between the religious and the laity, as well as the response of the inmates. just another insight into the importance of prison ministry, and truly how it can shape and change lives.

FRAMINGHAM — Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley was just out of seminary when his friary sent him to serve as chaplain at the Butler, Pa., county prison. His first task was to preach to the inmates, but he had never given a sermon before, much less to such a tough crowd. He consulted his preaching textbook, which advised: “Speak into the horizons of your congregation.’’

read the full story here:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

psalm 139

one of the CICL shared this with me, and thought i would also pass it onto you:

you are who you are for a reason,
you're part of an intricate plan
you're a precious and perfect unique design,
called God's special woman.

you look like you look for a reason.
our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb,
you're just wanted he wanted to make.

the parents you had were the ones he chose,
and no matter how you may feel,
they were custom designed with God's plan in mind,
and they bear the master's seal.

no, that trauma you faced was not easy
and God wept that it hurt you so.
but it was alloewd to shape your heart
so that into his likeness you'd gros.

you are who you are for a reason,
you've been formed by the master's road
you are who you are, beloved,
because there is a God!!!
- russell kelfer


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

thanks and changes.

the other day was thanksgiving, and as expected, i was pretty much the only one excited about it (thanksgiving is not celebrated here in the philippines!). but that was totally fine! :) so to celebrate thanksgiving, i thought i would incorporate this american holiday into our activity at the jail. after doing some fun group activities like the human knot, the count off game, 7-up, different team building activities, it was time to take out the art supplies and the blank sheets of paper.

on one side, draw/write something you are thankful for. on the other side, draw/write something that you would like to change/improve about yourself. i called this, "thanks and changes." and so they went...

"i'm thankful for my family."

"the first thing i want to give thanks for is for the blessings God gives me everyday, and that we are not abandoned."

"the thing i want to take out of my life is drinking"

Monday, November 29, 2010

take a look.

chapel time.

preparation for christmas decorations! the orders keep comin!

storage area for the parols!

LOVE the colors!

they're really cool up close.

these themes are changed every week.

the themes are chosen based on that sunday's scripture readings.

Saturday, November 27, 2010