Queensland not-for-profit Carinity goes inside the state’s jails to bring messages of love, faith and support to people who feel forgotten.
Carinity’s Inside Out Prison Chaplaincy service provides faith-based pastoral care, bringing the light of Christ into where there is darkness.
Sammy’s story highlights the vital role prison chaplaincy can play in transforming the lives of people in prison.
Sammy grew up in a violent home and was abused on a regular basis until, at the age of 15, he finally left home. By that stage he was already addicted to drugs and pornography.
By the age of 18 he was drinking a cask of wine a day to try and drown out the voices that tormented him.
Before long, his addictions and the need to fund them led him to commit a number of armed robberies and he was imprisoned.
Prison chaplains became a breath of fresh air in a dark place for Sammy. During his second visit to prison, he handed over his life to God.
“Finding God in prison was the best thing that ever happened to me. He had been walking with me the whole time and led me to a place of repentance,” Sammy explains.
Today, Sammy is “outside” and studying a Diploma of Counselling so he can fulfill his calling to shepherd others. He is in a positive relationship and is looking forward to fulfilling his dream of marriage and family.
Without the intervention of prison chaplains, Sammy’s story may have ended quite differently.