A response to recent news articles: Wayside Cross Ministries (WCM) did not seek out Thomas Kokoraleis upon his release from prison. He came to us seeking our help. Ours being a Bible-based, Christ-centered ministry, we are mandated by our Lord Jesus Christ to love our neighbors. According to Luke 10:25-37, anyone in a genuine need is a neighbor. Almost one-third of the residents in our Master’s Touch program come to us immediately after being released from one of the many correctional facilities in Illinois. Some are former sex offenders. We do not discriminate.
While participating in our Master’s Touch program, many of our residents have experienced permanent spiritual transformation through the power of the gospel of Christ. The Bible clearly commands us to show kindness and mercy towards all, even our enemies, the ungrateful and the wicked. This is because God is kind and merciful to all (Luke 6:35-36). As a Bible-based, Christ-centered ministry, we are required by Scripture to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).
For more than nine decades, WCM has been committed to empowering the afflicted and the powerless in collaboration with scores of local churches and hundreds of godly mentors. Recognizing that God is the source of our competence (2Corinthians 3:5), we are called to help people like Thomas. God‘s grace transcends any human depravity and wickedness. Therefore, we hope and pray that Thomas Kokoraleis would one day return to society as a God-honoring, productive, member, displaying the amazing transforming power of Christ. We ask you to join us in this prayer.
WCM Board of Directors Response April, 5:
In light of the concerns raised about Thomas Kokoraleis entering Wayside Cross Ministries’ Master’s Touch program, WCM leadership has met with Aurora mayor Richard Irvin and his staff members to address the myriad of issues surrounding this matter. At a meeting of the WCM Board of Directors held last evening, we concluded, after several hours of deliberation and prayer, that we need more time to arrive at a solution that will be both true to the call of our Lord Jesus Christ in accomplishing our Mission and Core Values, while also easing the safety concerns of our neighbors in the Aurora community.
We ask for your prayers and continued support as we seek a mutually-beneficial solution. Our hope is that we will accomplish this task in collaboration with the city (government) of Aurora.
—James Lukose, executive director
Wayside Cross Ministries