Prison ministry offers support to inmates’ families

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 15, 2015

About four years ago, Picayune resident Cindy Rainey volunteered for a program that changed not only her heart, but others’ as well.
Kairos Prison Ministry International is a faith based ministry dedicated to supporting the incarcerated and their family members, the website states.
Rainey volunteers with South Mississippi Kairos Outside, one of three ministry programs.
As part of the second program, Kairos Inside, volunteers host a weekend retreat for male and female inmates, Rainey said. The third program is Kairos Torch, a support program for young adults in youth detention centers.
“The whole premise of Kairos Outside is that women on the outside are also doing time,” Rainey said. “They face many challenges and need support.”
Rainey, who has served as a church musician for 40 years, was asked by a friend to play music for a Kairos Outside women’s retreat weekend.
“I intended to just play, but seeing the joy, growth and difference in these ladies in three days made me want to be active in the program,” Rainey said.
South Mississippi Kairos Outside group services women from below the Jackson area and from coast to coast, Rainey said.
In April and November, the non-profit hosts a weekend retreat at no cost to participants, Rainey said.
“We show them God’s unconditional love and there’s no judgement,” Rainey said. “It’s a weekend filled with fun, food, fellowship and music.”
In addition to retreats, volunteers host a monthly support group, which is held the first Monday of the month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Parkway Heights United Methodist Church in Hattiesburg, Rainey said.
Transportation can also be arranged to and from support group and weekend retreats, Rainey said.
Program participants are also invited to quarterly reunions, she said.
“It’s an event for people who have attended weekend events,” Rainey said. “Their children are also invited. It’s another way we provide support and connections.”
Rainey said they are always looking for volunteers who can serve during a weekend retreat. The next retreat will be held in November at Seashore Assembly in Biloxi.
Next Saturday, the group will be hosting a pancake breakfast at Applebee’s, located at 715 Memorial Blvd., Picayune. The event will last from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and costs $5, Rainey said.
For more information about South Mississippi Kairos Outside, contact Rainey at 601-554-6714 and visit

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