Talian Ross, RN lives out his faith. As a charge nurse on night shift at CHI Memorial, he loves when opportunities arise to minister to patients and families who need encouragement. He and his wife Christyn are actively involved in Upper Room Ministries, a Christian organization that provides opportunities for people to experience God’s grace and love and develop a closer relationship with Him.
Through this work, they also participate in Kairos, a prison ministry whose mission is to share the transforming love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ to impact the hearts and lives of incarcerated men, women and youth, as well as their families.
“Many of these men have families who have disowned them, and they’ve learned very quickly in prison not to trust anyone. This is a chance to connect on a deeper level and show them someone still cares,” says Talian. “And hopefully when they leave prison, they’ll have a new perspective and a desire to reenter the community in a positive way.”
Kairos weekend is held twice a year at Bledsoe County Correctional Complex, with the goal of transforming lives, decreasing prison violence, and reducing recidivism. The weekend’s activities include worship time, a series of discussions, and chapel meditations facilitated by a group of 40-50 volunteers who have gone through extensive training. Only 30 inmates can participate each time, and must go through a selection process vetted by the prison chaplain. Every participant who attends is prayed over and paired with a volunteer mentor.
The team brings in large trailers with supplies they use to conduct worship services, facilitate training sessions, and prepare home cooked meals. They also bring 2,000 dozen homemade cookies to share with the inmates. These simple acts of kindness open the door for meaningful discussions and relationships.
“The purpose of Kairos is to show God’s love to people who society often ignores and let them know that they have value. Christ himself says if you minister to those in prison, you minster to me,” says Talian. “As a Christian, when you have the love of God in you—everything you do should be to show that love to others.”