CCI in Prison

On Valentine’s Day this year CCI was…

In Prison!

This month the Christian Communications Institute (CCI) went to jail.  Well, it was actually a juvenile detention center for young women.  It all started when an Interserve partner of ours (who leads a regular prison ministry at the center) was sharing about the problems the women had faced — broken families, drugs, violence, and abuse.  Immediately something came to mind — CCI’s dramas!  These plays highlight the challenges of youth, the choices that must be made, and the hope, forgiveness, and power to change found in Christ.  CCI usually performs these plays in schools, but wouldn’t it be great if the team could present one at the detention center?  Andy (who works as an audio-visual specialist at CCI) took the idea to the CCI team leader who loved it.

When we stepped off the bus we were pleasantly surprised at the welcome we received at the gate, and the fresh, open feeling of the grounds.  Our team set up the backdrop and audio equipment in the open-air hall, and then 55 young women, six of them with infants in arms, quietly filed in and sat down on the floor.

The program was powerful, as CCI programs often are.  Hands clapped and tears flowed as the girls became immersed in the story — a story that echoed many aspects of their own lives.  At the end, one of the actors gave her personal testimony, relating how she endured years of drug abuse until finally coming clean and giving her life to Christ.  The reaction was positive, even from the center supervisors who had been wary of the fact that CCI is a Christian group.  “Please come again and perform for the boy’s center too,” they insisted.

As our CCI troupe mingled with the girls after the show, we felt a real sense of the joy of serving in partnership.  Interserve partners working in separate ministries had united to fill a need, partnering with Thai Christians who share their faith through the performing arts.  We were privileged to be part of a witness bringing light and hope into some young hearts that day.  God blessed us all, and because you enable this type of work to happen through your prayers and support, you are blessed as well.

A quote from one of the drama team: “It was the best Valentine’s Day for us!  We were able to share the love of God through dance, drama, songs, personal witness stories, and chatting with the girls after the performance.  God’s love can touch our hearts too.”