Finding true love – thanks to prison chaplains
All Clare* ever wanted was to feel loved. She recalls watching TV shows featuring happy families as a child and crying through the opening credits.
Clare struggled to fit in at school, and then in the workplace. She felt lonely, rejected, yearning for love. So, when Adam* came into her life, she clung to him like a life raft.
Clare shrugged off Adam’s drug use, thinking it was normal. Then she joined in, just happy to be part of something after feeling lonely for so long.
A drug habit is expensive, so Adam devised a plan to break into homes and steal items to sell for money. The pair were caught and sentenced to prison.
Alone in her prison cell, Clare once again felt overwhelmed by loneliness. She didn’t really talk to anyone, until one of her cellmates invited her to a chapel service. Clare had never been to church, but she yearned for connection, so she went along.
Her first memory of chapel was the big smile on the prison chaplain’s face as she welcomed Clare into the small room. She looked Clare in the eyes – something that rarely happens in prison – and said she was glad to see her. What struck Clare is that the chaplain really meant it.
At the service Clare heard about the unconditional love of Jesus; the love she had been missing all her life. She had lots of questions for the prison chaplains, which they answered.
Each morning in her prison cell, Clare started the day reading her Bible. She was in awe of Jesus and the love and hope he offered freely. She gave her life to him and the empty part of her that drugs couldn’t fill was whole for the first time.
Clare wrote to Adam. She was shocked when he replied to say that he too had been speaking with chaplains and was leading Bible study with other prisoners.
Each year, Inside Out Prison Chaplaincy volunteer chaplains help hundreds of people in prison to begin their journey of transformation.
“People in prison know we really care … and they know that they can trust us. They say our smiles light up, as they say, the ‘dark place’,” says Myra, who has been a volunteer prison chaplain for 14 years.
Adam and Clare are now both out of prison. The couple are planning their wedding and lead a Bible study group together.
By donating to the 2022 Carinity Chaplains Appeal, you can help fund the work of over 30 Inside Out Prison Chaplains assisting people in prison build stronger relationships with God in correctional centres across Queensland.
Your donation helps our chaplains continue bringing Jesus to people in prisons, ensuring they know they are not forgotten by society.
Donate online at carinity.org.au/donations. Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.
* Names have been changed and a stock image used.