V8s Go to Gaol


Christian professional racing car driver Andrew Fisher visited Kirkconnell Correctional Centre recently after the big race in nearby Bathurst. Sixty inmates saw a great presentation as Andrew showed exciting footage of some of his races, including the on board view of his crash in one of the V8 ute races just that weekend.

He then talked about how our decisions in life have major consequences, sharing how he and his two best mates at school were making poor decisions in high school and were likely to end up in ‘Juvi’ until challenged by a caring teacher. Two of them listened. Andrew went on to become a successful businessman and professional race driver. Another went onto play NRL with the Canberra Raiders. But the third mate overdosed and died.

Andrew helpfully then talked about how Jesus enables him to think it through and make better choices, giving him the competitive advantage in life that every race driver craves for on the track- how Jesus helps him to avoid many crashes in life, how to handle success, how to handle it when someone or something crashes into him in his life (like with the life threatening heart surgery his baby daughter was faced with and continues to need), but also how Jesus picks him up off the ground when he sometimes doesn’t decide so well, getting him going again – peace and forgiveness.

Andrew respectfully presented the good news of Jesus in an engaging way, challenging the inmates to think about what gives them their competitive advantage in their decision making.

It was a great afternoon with the inmates then getting to look over the V8 ute, get an autographed poster as well as a photo with Andrew beside the car. He also gave those who wanted one a booklet explaining the good news of Jesus in more detail. Two thirds of the inmates were men I’ve been working with, inmates who have been coming along to Chapel and Bible study. But a third were inmates I’ve had little or no contact with. It was great to have that additional outreach. Even some officers came down and checked it out, with the Activities officer going out of her way to appropriately photo shop the inmates’ photos and get them a copy through Activities.

As Prison Chaplains know, logistically it was a fair hassle to organise – but thoroughly worth it, leaving a positive impression with the gaol at large.

Tim Abbey, Chaplain, Kirkconnell

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