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February 27, 2007

Living Among the Dead

A mission of mercy ... that's what Madre Antonia calls her work in Tijuana, Mexico. Known affectionately as "Madre" or "Mother," she lives where guards fear to tread ... the Tiajuana Penitentiary.

Yes, lives. Voluntarily.

"Home is where the heart is... even in prison" highlights her labors of love. Warning: it's convicting.

As a Christian, and one who makes a living pursuing criminal justice reform, I am challenged by her approach. Dwell among them. Now there is certainly a novel idea. So many times we look to government, to policies, to others to make the difference, but we should be challenged to begin first and foremost with ourselves. Hypothetical: If permitted, how many of us would clamor to be the first to freely take up residence in prison? And yet, in essence, isn't that what we are called to do?

"Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest." ~ John 4:35

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Comments

Kristine Steakley

Husband/wife journalist team Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan have written a great biography of Mother Antonia, called The Prison Angel, now available in paperback. I highly recommend it!

Labrialumn

All Christians are called to move into prisons?

Really?

Faith

Labrialumn,

Thank you for your comment! I afraid my sentence "And yet, in essence, isn't that what we are called to do?" may be misunderstood. No, I don't believe all Christians are called to move into prison. But what I intended by my sentence was to remind us as Believers that we are all called to mission fields where others fear to go, or where we ourselves may be fearful (or at least uncomfortable) to go. Sharing the Gospel and the love of God to others often involves stretching us out of our comfort zone, and I'm sure we would all agree that taking up residence in prison is something we certainly aren't comfortable with. While we are not all called to that type of lifestyle, we are called to be willing and prepared to go where we might minister to the lost.

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