Pastor Marlon Hestick of the Vreed-en-hoop Weslyan Church, the son of a former prison officer, believes there is power in restoration.
And to substantiate his
cited two hair-raising success stories involving a number of young people from a community who were once branded as outcasts by society but are now on the road to success.
According to Pastor Hestick
, the lingering question is what happens to these incarcerated young people when they leave the prison, what stigma is attached to them, and what hope do they have for the re-introduction and re-integration into society.
acknowledged though that there is ,something in everyone of us that qualifies us to set loose somebody in some area of need.,
Ironically, shortly before Pastor Hestick
,s motivational message, Minister Teixeira, in a prepared message read on her
behalf, had assured the men and women who are incarcerated in the country,s prisons that she
gains ,no pleasure from seeing so many young people fall prey to the temptations of illegal activities,, and urged that they turn their lives around.
Alluding to the issue of rehabilitation, Pastor Hestick
likened this to a national responsibility, pointing out that it is not just the task of the Prison Service, but of the church and all the service organizations which have been contributing in this area over the years.
,It is a national thing, no one is infected and no group is independent. .. it requires a connection for us to see beyond our ethnic differences as the Bible teaches that God created us for community,, he
disclosed to the gathering that his
ministry has an ongoing project titled ,Redemption-Redeeming our sons,, through which he
interacts and provides counselling and assistance to troubled young people.And through this project, the Pastor has the privilege of visiting prison locations and even the juvenile correctional facility, the New Opportunity Corps (NOC) where he lamented having seen some faces over and over, ,invariably and unfortunately many of the these persons have stumbled at the same block over and over again.,He
reiterated that there is power in restoration and rehabilitation to allow the incarcerated to be once again accepted by society, noting that his
success stories are testimony to this.He
said that while we continue to thank God for what has been achieved, there is a challenge to society to help those who have made mistakes and have chosen the wrong way, to be redeemed by giving them a second chance and a second opportunity to be restored .He
lauded the men and women of various institutions who, through their unselfish redemptive work, have undertaken the responsibility to help shape the destiny and influence the lives of those in corrective institutions, so that they can set new foundations that will cause the weight of their destiny to rest securely.