History of the Prison A.C.T.S. retreats
by: Larry Reeh
First Prison ACTS, Connally Unit, Kenedy, Texas, Aug 13-15, 2009
Having served on numerous KAIROS* weekends in the Connelly Unit, I believe God had placed before me a call of the Holy Spirit. On KAIROS number 12, which started on a Thursday evening, November 13, 2008, began like any other KAIROS weekend I had been on. The evening starts off with team members introducing themselves by name and the church they worship at. My church, St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Fredericksburg, Texas, sparked the interest of one of the Offenders. After all the introductions were made and we took a break, this Offender sat next to me and asked me if I had ever heard of the “ACTS retreat”. I responded with a resounding yes. The Offender said that he had attended an ACTS retreat before being incarcerated and that he would like to see it in the prison. The seed was planted (Mark 4:31). Before the evening was over, I spoke to the Chaplain, (a Priest from India) who had only been a Chaplain at the unit a month or two. When I asked the Chaplain if he had ever heard of the ACTS retreat, he rose from his chair and his eyes open wide, said he had numerous requests on his desk about ACTS. Ten months later, August 13-15, we held our first Prison ACTS retreat in the Connally Unit. God had put the dots out there, all I had to do was connect them. We have received approval from the Chaplaincy department at Huntsville, Texas, to bring the ACTS retreat into any unit within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) who may wish to have the retreat in their unit. Many thanks to the ACTS movement and especially ACTS Missions (www.actsmissions.org) for allowing us to bring the ACTS retreat into the prison.
*KAIROS is an interdenominational Christian ministry whose programs are designed to be presented in correctional institutions. The purpose is to establish strong Christian communities among the correctional institutions.