This is why we do this! Meet Delia and the first woman to leave CR Inside at the new Folsom Prison Women's Facility. She is living proof God can move mountains and works in amazing ways through the ministry of CR Inside and help it become CR Inside Out. Thanks be to God for providing clothes, new shoes, a bed at a recovery home, a donated train ticket, and all the essentials so she can transition to her new life serving God.
State Rep, CR Inside Northern California
Written by Christine Sumner/The Clarion, Re-printed with permission
I had the sweetest note today that I have ever gotten from a long time friend I met at the jail many years ago when we were both much younger. When I began taking Celebrate Recovery Inside to the jail last October I met her again. “What are you doing here again,” I asked her jokingly. She just sighed and made an “I don’t know” gesture.
Over the months following, I began to see a difference taking place and as the months went by, I knew this young woman had changed. I was so glad when the kind judge gave her one more chance after many others.
She has been clean and sober ever since. This young woman is a totally different person than the one I met in that jail over ten years ago. Jesus made the difference. Listen to this:
“I love you so very much. Thank you for coming to that jail and teaching the word of God. You let me know there was hope.”
I cannot tell you what this does for me. I feel sorry for anyone that has not felt the Spirit of God working in their heart when something like this occurs in their life. This is our purpose in life; go out and tell others about His forgiveness and the saving grace He offers to all who seek him. Going to church is wonderful but actually doing God’s work is beyond measure.
For those of you who have never heard of FCI Waseca – we are a Federal Correctional Institution for female offenders located in rural Minnesota.
Our Celebrate Recovery has been active “inside” Waseca since 2010. It all started with one of us seeing a book with the word “Celebrate” on it and asking “what is that all about?” From that moment on, the seed was planted and 3 years later we are strong and getting stronger.
On July 23rd, 2013 we had another graduation ceremony and our second so far this year. For this ceremony we witnessed 60 women completing the step groups. This has been amazing journey for us all! Being a part of the transformation as we work the steps and begin to face the hurts, habits, and hang-ups we’ve been ignoring for so many years is true freedom. To open the celebration we were blessed to have the warden as the main speaker! She encouraged the women “to always remember this day and how far you have come!” Also in attendance we were fortunate to have some of our outside Celebrate Recovery TEAM. Jackie prepared our hearts by leading us in worship with Dale and Craig praying over us all. We then heard from four inmates who shared their story and how a Christ centered recovery is helping lead them from drug addiction, anger, self doubt, lack of forgiveness, broken families, and prior suicide attempts. This was amazing for everyone to experience.
Our Waseca Praise and Dance team took another step out of their comfort zone and sang an a cappella solo with dance. Together they modeled what a transformed life looks like and they received a standing ovation. We closed our ceremony with a presentation of certificates. For many women in the beginning the goal may have been to get the certificate. Now after completing the steps we know that the real celebration is a transformed life. As we received our certificate each one of us was able to stand tall and proud, knowing that our heavenly father loves them and is well pleased. The ceremony closed with more worship songs, fellowship, and cupcakes!
Thank you Celebrate Recovery
Living my life scripture one day at a time with Jesus has been and still is an incredible journey….. Hebrews 13:3 “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoner and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”
I have been in and out of prison since 1989, visiting two younger brothers and my youngest son. I have personally seen results of volunteers in my families’ lives and now since January 2009 I have had the privilege of being one of a team taking C.R. inside Grand Valley Federal Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ontario. In September 2011, I had the joy of taking the journey further and became the Eastern Canadian Rep. Not feeling worthy and worried that I had big shoes to fill I am reminded daily that I am not alone and again one day at a time with Jesus I am in awe of what God is preparing us to do and pray His continual support as we move from one stepping stone to the next…….
Breaking the chains of incarceration, one transformed life at a time.
As mentioned before we the team have been in GVI since Jan 2009 and many women have gone through step studies and are now co-facilitating. We started a team in Vanier Center for women provincial jail in October 2011 and offering the program Life’s Healing choices to the bail, remand, trial and short term unit. We have now been asked to go into the sentence unit to provide Step Study. We will be starting this on June 7th of this year. ANSWERED PRAYER Thank you Jesus!
Life’s Healing Choices is in Hamilton Wentworth Detention Center, Hamilton Ontario on the men’s side and in Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre in the City of London, Ontario on the men side. Six weeks ago a Team of women started to take it to the women’s side of the same Detention Centre. And Nova Institution Federal prison for women in Truro, Nova Scotia has been running Life’s Healing Choices for a couple of years. As we write these words there is a team meeting with the Chaplain at Ottawa Correctional Detention Centre to take Life’s Healing Choices inside and we rec’d a call from the volunteer co-ordinator at Maplehurst Detention Centre Milton, Ontario “We want Celebrate Recovery” And we have 4 men ready to go in.
As a result of our Church (Yeschurch, Brantford, Ontario) having a CR Sunday just this past month I rec’d a request from a lawyer that was there and has shared the program with a client in the Brantford Jail and she has asked me to contact the Chaplain and counselor and use her name to send literature or a person into her client. We have heard from this Chaplain and we are getting ready to take Life’s Healing Choices to the Brantford, Ontario jail in July and August.
Alan S. – I would like to start by stating a little bit about my past. I started drinking when I was seven. I grew up in an abusive family. I smoked marijuana and have been addicted to coke and meth. I felt a void in my heart and was always willing to try anything to fill it. I know now that God is the only thing that fits.
I tried AA with no luck. I came across Celebrate Recovery and saw the light. I knew what I needed, a personal relationship with Christ. ”Lead me, tech me; for you are the God who gives me salvation. I have no hope except in you. “ Psalms 25:5. I knew the path I must follow.
When I arrived at Cheyenne Mountain Reentry Center, I was shining in His glory. I actually prayed to come here and without a word from anywhere or anyone I ended up here. I was overwhelmed with joy when I saw Celebrate Recovery Inside here. I knew I had to participate with this group. Our facilitator, Mr. Squires, has helped meet and even exceed my expectations. His knowledge of scripture gives him the ability to not only guide us through these steps and principles, but show us how they apply to following the Lord’s path.
I am blessed to have this opportunity to be in Celebrate Recovery Inside led by Mr. Squires. I am better for it.