An ambitious family conference planned for St Albans Prison near Port Elizabeth at the weekend has been cancelled by Correctional Services due to internal issues with the prison’s security plan, says the event visionary Apostle Donovan Arends.
“It is with deep disappointment that I’m sending this message,” he says in a message to pastors and leaders alerting them about the change of plan.
“I apologize for the inconvenience caused. Really, really sorry. Please pray for us. We worked around the clock and we are trusting God for a new date.
“Please know that everyone who provided I.D. nrs that they are really safe and secure and we are deleting it from our computer and phones. Trust you’ll understand. Please support us in spreading the word,” he says in his email message.
The conference, which was to have included morale-boosting leadership training for prison personnel and services on Saturday and Sunday, included veteran TV actor Zane Meas, who founded and leads the Fatherhood Foundation among its lineup of speakers.
Arends said he was inspired by God to arrange the conference to address the root cause of rampant gangsterism in the region — fatherlessness — by reuniting fathers with their sons in prison. The theme of the conference was “Real Men Follow Jesus — Bring Back the Heart of the Fathers to the Sons”
Because of prison security requirements, all those planning to attend had to provide their identity numbers on registration and were told to have their ID book on them at all times throughout the conference.