Some of you know of my prison ministry. We have a prayer team called, “AK47”. It’s inception is another wonderful story to be shared at some point. Several Inmates in federal, state and some county facilities pray with us collectively at their “count” times 6a, 4p, 9p but this blog today is about their children.
It was In high school when I knew God had gifted me with the ability to write and to do so in such a descriptive and vivid manner and since then it has now been incorporated into my passion for travel. When I tell you about a destination and what is/has been experienced by the group while on tour; it is without laying out a rough draft or planning what will be written. I just sit down wherever; be it in my hotel room, on an airplane, or in my stateroom……and it just flows. You all have said, “it feels like I’m right there with you”. When I return home I print the blogs and mail them to the prayer team all across the USA who in turn shares with other inmates. It gives them an escape from their dismal surroundings of concrete, razor wire and all the nonsense going on there. Trust and believe they can’t wait for the next tour. Some never even realized these places we visit exist. They have come to call it, “getting stamps in their passports”.
As if I already didnt have enough to do with arranging wonderful tours and taking some of you to destinations you only dreamed of and in an affordable, first class, Kat kind of way. ——- As seasoned world traveler Gail Kelly says, “Its the WOW factor”. I still have this need within to reach out and help those less fortunate.
Some of you may remember the fundraising we did for 3 years in getting uniforms for a preschool in the Langa Township in Cape Town. Those babies were 3 and 4 yrs old and so proud of their little blue and gold track suits. Now they must be about to start middle school. How time flies. Oh, we felt so good about that project.
So now, here I am again. I’m not quite sure how this will play out but for the last almost 4 years I’ve been handling this solo. Each year, I get a few more children. Some with struggling single moms, some being raised by grandma and grandpa trying to do the best they can for the children.
Ms Kat’s Koi (Kids of Inmates) Though no fault of the children, they suffer so many things separated from their dads and/or moms b/c of the injustice of our failed justice system. Case in point: Gabby was about to be 4, a pretty little African American girl. We were in the visiting room at a federal prison and she was counting in Spanish. She was so bright and mannerable. We instantly became friends and she called me either Ms Kat or Mima. She told her mom I was her grandmother. She was there to visit her dad. Her mother only lived 10 mins away so she was able to take her almost every weekend until they shipped him to the east coast and she didn’t see him for over a year. She would be in high school before her dad’s release. I never forget her birthday or Christmas plus she and a whole lot others receive international postcards from me from around the world. Gabby’s Mom said she keeps a postcard of lions with her and says, “one day I’m going to Africa to see lions for myself”. I’m joyful knowing that I’m planting seeds. A few months ago we spoke and she was so excited. She said, “Ms Kat, next year my daddy is coming home”, It turned out the lead investigator was found to be a dirty cop so the conviction was overturned. God is good all the time.
Then there was a former minister with a date of 2041. His wife was on the same trumped up case. She did 8. They had been married since high school and a bunch of kids and grand kids. She was released 2 yrs ago and was struggling to be successful in her transition back to a somewhat normal life. Those females with her in a federal facility near Dallas loved reading the blogs too. Last year the warden at her husbands prison allowed a special visit. He had not even heard her voice in 10 yrs. You can imagine their happiness. He had a submission in for clemency. He didn’t make the cut before Obama left and he was told his file would be turned over to the new administration. He was excited when they told him his clemency review would be in Oct, 2017 and he had an excellent chance. Well, sadly he had a heart attack and passed away in Oct. There are so many sad situations.
My little ones, Ms Kat’s Koi are like the black koi (Japanese Fish) because there is a relation to adversity but it is also used to symbolize strength, courage, bravery to challenge the odds in order to create one’s own destiny and get reborn. It can serve as a symbol of rebirth.
Koi fish swimming upstream: can be interpreted as a struggle or the fighting of obstacles, and is used as a reminder that you won’t give up. It can also mark overcoming obstacles and having gained the strength needed to continue against the current.
I want my Koi to succeed, to have some happiness. I know I can’t save the world nor help everybody but if only a few and only occasionally I pray a difference will be made.
As Christmas approaches, we know that Jesus is the reason for the season. So in the spirit of giving, If any would lke to donate whatever is on your heart for the children, for this Christmas, and upcoming birthdays, you can send to me at the agency.
Today I fly to Tucson —— another Federal spot. Until next time