Once a week, Cleansing Stream Ministries visits the Kauai Community Correctional Center.
They pray, praise and worship. They share testimonies. They encourage. They watch movies like “Courageous” and “Fireproof.”
It is making a difference in the lives of the inmates who participate, said Roy “Rocky” Sasaki, retired pastor who works with the ministry.
“They are really being blessed,” he said. “I see some good things that are coming out of this.”
“The men just love to sing praises and worship,” Sasaki added, smiling. “They sing even louder and greater than even the church people.”
Of particular joy for Sasaki and others with Cleansing Stream Ministries were responses provided by inmates when asked this question: What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving season?
The answers, he said, indicated the message delivered by the ministry is getting through, that the inmates are growing in faith and learning to trust in God, in family, in community and in each other.
So, what were these answers? What are they thankful for? Here are a few responses:
“Time to reflect and appreciate those around me.”
“Never giving up on what God wants and has called me to do.”
“Knowing that God loves me.”
“For the life I have.”
“Not being lonely.”
Nice to hear messages of hope from those who could feel bitter and complain about being dealt a bad hand in life. We hope this means they are taking responsibility for their actions that landed them at the correctional center.
No doubt, there are days it’s tough to be thankful. Those days when the car breaks down, the bills are overdue, the roof is leaking and the dog got loose and bit the neighbor can make life stressful and cause us to become a bit angry and question why we’re facing such tribulations.
Our hope, on this day, is that you’re able to slow down, relax and enjoy a meal and time with family and friends. We hope the turkey doesn’t burn, that there’s no arguments with relatives who dropped in without an invitation, and there’s enough pie to go around. Perhaps like the inmates, we will realize that despite the challenges and turmoil and frustration that can arise each day, there is much to appreciate. All is never lost.