Hygiene kits an avenue for the love of Christ

By June 13, 2013

India (MNN) — Sunday is Father's Day. Do you know what you're getting dear ol' Dad?

Donna Glass with India Partners has a suggestion.

"Instead of providing another bottle of cologne or another tie to a dad, how about [giving] a hygiene kit for a prisoner who couldn't afford it?" she asks.

On average, the number of inmates in India's jails is three times their original capacity, and 66% of this population is still awaiting trial. Mumbai's Arthur Road Jail is the city's largest and oldest prison.

A 2011 article in "The Times of India" takes a closer look at the Arthur Road Jail's seam-bursting dilemma. According to national statistics referenced by The Times, the jail's population increased from 1,886 in 2010 to 2,044 in 2011.

The facility, built in 1926, was originally intended to house only 800 inmates.

In these overcrowded penitentiaries, disease spreads twice as quickly without proper hygiene. Prisoners often come from poor backgrounds and lack sufficient funds to purchase things like a toothbrush, towel, or comb.

One way an India Partners cohort shows Christ's love is by providing these very items. At a recent delivery, over 90 inmates received hygiene kits containing a towel, comb, new clothes, soap, a toothbrush and toothpaste.

The gift brought smiles to a former artist named Pinto, incarcerated since last December.

"When he received a hygiene kit, he said, 'I'm very grateful because I don't have the money to purchase the items that were distributed. I am blessed to receive these things,'" Glass recounts.

Prisoners are receiving more than physical cleanliness, though. Their souls are also refreshed and renewed when believers share the redeeming hope of the Gospel.

"As our partner in India goes into the prison, they minister to these people," explains Glass. "When we visit the prisoners, as Jesus said, we have visited Him."

India Partners offers inmates an opportunity to attend worship services and receive counseling. Can you help spread the Gospel in this simple way?

"$5 will buy a hygiene kit for a prisoner, [helping him] stay clean and healthy," Glass states.

You can send a simple token of love to Mumbai prisoners by clicking here.

Pray for the inmates of Mumbai.

"Pray that they would know peace [and] know that they are loved," says Glass. Pray for reassurance for those who are awaiting trial.

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