How Bread Opened the Prison Door

Posted: March 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

I often hear from people about how much they enjoy the bread from the Beltis/Heartline bakery. And now this amazing bread has opened a prison door. ~ John

Guest Blogger: Nick Middleton-The manager of the Beltis/Heartline Bakery in Haiti

Friday, 2/27/2015

bAs part of the discipleship program, we have been looking to see if it would be possible to enter a local prison here for outreach.

Moise (Head of the Heartline Discipleship Program) started this process by going to the Delmas 33 juvenile penitentiary and asking for permission.  They told him he needed to visit the prison offices first.  He did so, and right away they told him “no” because visitors from ministries were not being allowed to visit prisoners after some opportunistic thugs used the praying/visiting excuse as a way to enter and break out some prisoners last Fall.

I thought this might be the end of things, but then had another thought.  I sent Moise back to the offices with a sample of our bread and a promise that if they allowed us to visit and do activities with the kids we would bring a gift of bread each time.

Moise returned to the offices with some fresh bread.  This made it to the desk of the Minister of Prisons who absolutely loved it and immediately made an appointment for Moise to visit with her personally the next week.

A week later Moise and I went together for our official “interview.”  Beforehand, we at Heartline were praying for favor.

cellThe head chief turned out to be a very friendly, Christian lady named Marjorie.  She gushed over how good our bread was, but also seemed genuinely interested in our plans for Christian activities with the prisoners.  She granted us a 3-month permission slip to do a Bible study and prayer time in the juvenile prison for boys.  She also encouraged us to look into developing a program for baking bread for the youth there to keep them occupied and provide some extra food for themselves.

We are supposed to give Marjorie a report after three months.

So the next stop was back to the prison.  With an official letter of entrance, we were ushered in to speak with one of the wardens there, another woman.  Surprisingly, she too was friendly, and after explaining what we were about, promised to facilitate our Bible study times with the kids.  She was totally on board.  Wow!

We were scheduled for another appointment, which brings us up to today.  Moise, myself, and the five discipleship guys visited this morning.

There were six large prison cells, each holding about 30 kids, for a total of some 150 boys ranging from around 12-18 years of age.

With several guards present, each cell was emptied one at a time.  Room by room, Moise explained who we were and that we wanted to share some physical bread with them, but also the spiritual bread of life.  Moise asked who would be interested in a weekly Bible study.  He clarified this wouldn’t be a weekly sermon, but a time where we could get to know them and they could ask questions.

Many kids raised their hands saying they were interested.  The warden told us to choose 5 from each room, which we did, for a total of 30 boys.  Many more than that expressed interest.  We took down the names of the kids we chose, and gave 2 pieces of bread to each prisoner.  They seemed happy to get the bread!

A few things I noticed in the prison:  1) The kids were clean 2) They were not in uniforms, but instead most wore non-matching T-shirts and basketball shorts 3)  I saw one young boy with a very swollen eye – one of the guards took him aside for a moment to ask him questions about it 4) Another boy told me they are fed twice a day, a corn-porridge dish for breakfast and rice and beans for supper, with meat only an occasional treat.

We left after an hour, with an appointment to return next Friday at 11 for our first official time with the kids.  Our plan is to sing songs with them, then some teaching, and then split into small groups (each led by one of the discipleship guys) for the boys to answer questions and discuss the teaching, and to pray together.  We’ll also have a brief survey for all the kids.

Keep praying for favor in this opportunity!

Nick

The Bakery Manager

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Comments
  1. Cindy Duhm says:

    This is so awesome Nick!!! I will be praying for this great opportunity! Cindy Duhm (Jenny’s mom)

  2. Becky Harding says:

    This is wonderful please keep sharing with us about your progress!!!! I will continue to pray for this program:))

  3. Becky Huber says:

    God is so awesome! Talk about favor! I will be praying for His continued favor as you meet with the boys and that God would open their hearts to Him.

  4. Sarah says:

    I would love an update on this!

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