THE Prison Fellowship of Zambia (PFZ) has urged prisoners to be positive about the future as their incarceration is a temporary barrier which can help them become productive and better citizens once released.
PFZ chairperson Rajan Mahtani said prisoners should not to despair or feel discarded by society because there is life after serving their prison sentences.
He said this during a sermon to more than 2200 prisoners at Kamfinsa State Prison in Kitwe yesterday.
Dr Mahtani encouraged the inmates to always remember that they serve a living God and there was no one who was far away from Him.
He encouraged the prisoners to pick a leaf from the life of Joseph in the Holy Bible
. "There may be some of you who occasionally can't sleep because a person you love has been put in jail. Lying awake you wonder, how can I ever witness to a person in a situation like this?
"One of our Prison Ministry pastors tells me he likes to share the story of Joseph (Genesis, Chapter 37, verse 39-41) with every prisoner he meets, because people who have been used, betrayed and cheated by the world can identify with Joseph," Dr Mahtani said.
He said despite all the abuse, the inmates should look to how Joseph came out of jail to become second in command of the Egyptian empire at the age of 30.
Quoting the book of Genesis chapter 50:20-21, Dr Mahtani said Joseph had come to a place of healing and maturity.
He forgave his brothers and told them that they meant evil against him but that God meant good for him.
"I believe it is important for me to emphasise that because Jesus Christ lives (he was resurrected from the dead) we, Christians, have a living hope, God, because of his love for us, justified our unrighteousness by Christ's crucifixion.
"You may be ashamed because you've asked for prayer so many times, or feel you can't describe what you're going through, or maybe it sounds too petty. So instead you lie awake at night crying, why? How long? When will it end? Rest assured many other silent saints have gone through it too," he said.
Dr Mahtani said there was need for Christians to take time and share the word of God to the disadvantaged and share the truth of the gospel with prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families.