We feel very safe living here in Tansen – people are so friendly to us and treat us with respect. So it is sometimes hard to believe that there is a jail located here – and that it is full of people! We aren’t sure of their crimes, but we do know that Jesus has called His people to care for those in prison.
Trying to follow that command, a group of doctors, a dentist, and some staff from the hospital (all believers) traveled to the Tansen jail the other day. After surrendering to body searches, and leaving behind cell phones and cameras (except one for which permission was granted), the group entered the jail.
Tansen jail has been around for a long time – here is a photo that was taken in the late 50’s.
The jail looks pretty much the same these days! But – they are currently doing some new building, as the jail was built for about 120, and now there are 300 inmates….
There are children who stay in the jail with their mothers until they reach a certain age… We are not sure what happens to them as they get older.
So – about 193 patients were seen that day – Les and the other male doctor saw 89, about 60 were dental patients (40 teeth were extracted!) and the remainder were female inmates seen by the female doctors. The dentist wasn’t able to see female dental patients that day, so he will go back another time to do that. The dentist also taught the inmates about dental hygiene.
The patients are given a certain amount of food each day at the jail – and there is a small store where they can purchase more if they like. Visitors are able to come in and bring money to the inmates and food items, as well.
Apparently, Tansen jail is a very popular one – the climate is lovely here, the views are nice, and there is running water all the time (that’s even better than at our house!). So – arrested people try to get sent to Tansen jail!
Thanks for your prayers for these people – may the love of Jesus, given through the service of the doctors and dentist, plant a seed in their hearts which will grow into faith!