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They are going to prison in a foreign country

IIn need of His love
IIn need of His love
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Today they are busy packing but within the next couple of days a team of one man and five women will board a plane at Huntsville Municipal airport and head for Costa Rica. They are going to prison in Costa Rica. More specifically they are going to the Buen Pastor Women’s prison. The purpose of the trip is to help other women in Costa Rica conduct a Kairos in the prison. Kairos is a prison ministry retreat that will help the women inmates to grasp the love, mercy, and forgiveness of God.

The Kairos ministry in Costa Rica is part of the ministry of Carlos Cunningham. Carlos is the founder and director of Voz de libertad (Voice of Liberty) which is dedicated to evangelizing and discipline prisoners and their families in Costa Rica. It was by Carlos’ perseverance that doors in the prisons of Costa Rica were opened to Protestant ministers. To learn more about Carlos and work he does in the prisons and as pastor Iglesia Biblica Calle Blancos in San Jose visit

Two of the team members have made this trip before but for the remainder this will be their first Kairos trip. Some have made the trip for other ministries. The local team will not conduct the Kairos but only assist the local Costa Ricans. The point of this ministry is to come along side the local team and assist them. It is not about coming in and running the show as so many people are afraid might happen. Some will help within the prison and some with act as part of the support team working on the outside. The support team will prepare meals, and special treats such as cookies. They will also help make Agape (love) gifts for the women taking part in the Kairos. Agape gifts are a standard part of Kairos, Emmaus, and Chrysalis retreats and are presented throughout the four days of the retreat. The food, cookies, and gifts are simple ways to show God’s love to the women, who are chosen by prison officials to take part in the retreat.

The group, led by John Ryberg, associate pastor at a local church in Madison, AL, will include Lisa Towers, and Stacy Sell. Both women would appear to most of us as normal American wives and mothers. They might even be referred to as “soccer moms”. Both women live in Madison with their families. They are active in their church where they are part of a Sunday school class, help with children’s ministry, and attend Bible studies. However, they have been called to help with this ministry in Costa Rica. So they will, with their family’s blessing, leave the comforts of their daily lives and go to prison. They will spend the nights in a hotel and their days inside the women’s prison.

Want to see more of what the group will be doing, check out last year’s trip at Also you can learn more about the Kairos ministry by checking out the related article “They willing go to prison”.