Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Prison Shoebox Distributions

Saturday, January 11th we were able to go into the Mazatlan prison and do 2 Shoebox distributions. One was for the guards children, and the other one was for the prisoners children. We had very specific rules.  Which included no cameras or cell phones.  That day of we found out that we would be allowed one camera inside the prison.  We were so excited to be able to capture this time and to be able to share our experience with others.
 It is a mens only jail.  The couple from our church work closely with the prison and go in weekly.

Here we are getting instructions and also hearing amazing stories of how God is working in the prison. 

The first distribution we did was for the prison guards children.  It was so important for them to be there to hear truth!  We were told that the guards worship death and make packs with the grimm reaper.  Just thinking about it makes me shiver.

Isaiah 55:11 So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

We pray that the seeds that were planted will continue to grow! And relationships with our Creator will be built.

The awesome youth team doing their drama.
Explaining that the greatest gift is not clothes or a trip but Jesus Christ!

 Our Canadian group plus the youth group from Mazatlan doing a skit together.  Even though there was a language barrier, friendships were made.
Time for the boxes!  

These boys could hardly wait to open their boxes.
Group photo time!
Helping open the boxes.  That tape is really strong!
It was neat to see the mom's getting excited about what was in the box.

After this we moved into the heart of the prison for our second distribution- this one was for the prisoners families.  Saturday is visiting day.  And children are allowed into the prison.  Which opened the door for us to do the distribution and allowed us to bring our children along as well.  What an amazing opportunity for everyone!    
My husband had planned on going into the prison during the week, and I had planned to stay back with our boys as no children were allowed.  And then the possibility of a distribution was mentioned earlier in the week. And I am so thankful that God opened this door.  All the distributions were special.  But the one in the prison was where we felt the presence of the Lord the most.    
We walked through a long path with chain link fence on both sides of us and barbed wire on top. There were prisoners on the other side of the fence.  Most were all friendly. A lot of them looked hopeless.  And then we came to a large open area which had a soccer field and a large open aired  gazebo type building. This is where we would be doing the distribution.

 Here we had a time of worship, for the prisoners and their families.
This lady looked so incredibly sad. Here we had the opportunity to bring hope not just to the children, but to the parents as well. 
 To see the prisoners lift their hands, sing and worship God was amazing!  God is doing a mighty work in the church that is in the prison!
The youth preforming their skit. 

The skit had some funny parts and it was fun to see everyone having a good time.  Laughter is a beautiful sound.


Isn't she cute!

Group photo time!
To see joy in the children's eyes as well as the parents, was beautiful. 

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14
So thankful for this amazing opportunity.  I have had people ask if we felt safe.  We felt complete peace taking our children into the prison and while we were in there we felt very safe.  We felt God near to us. Especially in the heart of the prison.  And we pray that others were touched by the hand of God as well.  We pray the truth told in message, song and skits were seeds that will grow into a beautiful relationship with the one true God! And that the hopelessness will be replaced with the Hope of our Lord Jesus Christ!


  1. I came to your post via Clip with Purpose.
    Wonderful event! Would never know that there would be a distribution within a prison. How wonderful that these children receive gifts of God's love for them!

  2. I came over from Clip with Purpose too. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful pictures!