Every September, The God of Hope Ministries hosts a reunion for our volunteers and alumni, the inmates who have gone through our program and have now been released. We love to gather, share a meal, sing worship songs, take pictures, but most of all hear testimonies from our graduates. This year, we are celebrating our 20th anniversary as a ministry, and we were fortunate enough to have a graduate from our very first dorm in our women’s unit along with a graduate who had just been released in 2022.
Hearing both of their testimonies was inspiring. God truly has worked in this ministry to bring people new life and hope. April, the most recent graduate said she was in the dorm from 2020-2022 and just got out in January of this year. She said, “I went to prison terrified. I was in my 40s, had never been in trouble with the law, was raised in a Christian home and I was terrified, feeling unworthy, unlovable, and unforgivable. And I did not get dropped into the Faith-Based Dorm right away, I lived in a really pretty scary environment with a Bunkie that was scary. And I dropped a form for the Faith-Based Dorm immediately before I even knew what it was or what it was about. I just wanted away from this situation.”
But April soon learned more about the Faith-Based Dorm. She said, “But I started walking by Two Echo when we would go to chow and I saw the girls worshiping God. I saw them singing choir. I saw them pray for each other. I saw them doing prayer circles. And I wanted what they had. And I got in that dorm when the time was right. It took a few months for that to happen. I got in right when the volunteers were coming back after Covid. And we were able to study the Bible.”
The program had a huge impact on April. She said, “I’ve been a Christian since I was 7 years old, but I’ve developed a relationship with God in that prison, in that dorm. And I am so grateful to the people here… Ms. Loretta taught me how to memorize scripture. I didn’t think I had the brain capacity to memorize scripture. And to get up there on the mic and be able to recite an entire chapter of scripture, made me feel worthy again. It made me feel like I had something to contribute to others. Mr. Robert inspired me so much. He made me feel like a human again and helped me realize that we are children of God and we are able to give hope to others.”
April finished by saying, “Our mess is our message and our test is our testimony. God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves.”
Praise God for how He is working in this Faith-Based Dorm to bring new life and hope to inmates!