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.
So those are the stats as to where Eastern Canada is now and we would like to share some wonderful information about the Team’s that go into these facilities. The Grand Valley Team is amazing and their love and support of the women inside is tremendous. They have trained to be escorts and escort the women out on short and long term E.T.A.’s. The last couple of One Day’s in Guelph, Ontario we have had what Hector calls “satisfied customers” come from inside the Federal Prison a half hour away and spend the day with us.
One of our newest volunteers started June 2012 at the age of 80 She worried about what she had to offer and to see her today and the love and support and fun she brings to that community is truly miraculous. As well we have a new volunteer from A.A. inside, the girls shared about the program she asked to join us and she will be starting a step study in June with the women and will be able to become a future leader at Celebrate Recovery. As for our Team in Vanier it is small but mighty In 2011 when we started I had a gal call me from New Life Prison Ministry and asked me what Celebrate Recovery was I told her to come on Friday morning and have a look she has not left. She just celebrated her 70th birthday and she has volunteered for 8 years and has fallen in love with Life’s Healing Choices. Talk about the Hand of God –
Last June, Deb Jones our Eastern Canada Director and I traveled to the Maritime’s for 2 net workings. While there we met a gentleman who has done prison ministry for years in Newfoundland. He purchased Life’s Healing choices to take back and start with the men. At the very same networking Deb and I were introduced to Brent Bishop author and board member for Bridges of Canada as well as Monty Lewis, the founder of Bridges of Canada, previously Cons for Christ and a member of COPE. They had just got back from Ontario evangelizing and promoting Monty’s second book “God Still Speaks” on our Christian television station. On their journey home they were praying for the men and women that gave their heart and lives to Christ while they were evangelizing. Their prayer was who will go in and disciple these men and women. That is where CRI could come into the picture.
Matthew 25:36 says “I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you cared for me. I was in prison and you visited me.”
Matthew 25:40 says “And the King will tell them ‘I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, *you were doing it to me!”
AND THE DREAM CONTINUES…..
Our Goal is to have CR in every correctional institution in Canada and a healthy CR group in each of their communities. Our prayer list…
- We need people, we need volunteers.
- We need people to come along side of newly paroled prisoners who need help on the outside.
- We need trained ESCORTS– people who help transport prisoners.
- We need Donations –we promote the program as FREE to get inside but it does have a cost.
- We want the ALT to have a section donated strictly on the nuts and bolts of C.R. inside.
- Would it not be great now that the movie HOMERUN has become a huge success they do a sequel that features CR going inside the prisons? Imagine the mindset that can be changed and the chains that can be broken.
- There are 8 penitentiaries in the Kingston, Ontario area alone; we need male C.R. teams to go inside.
- We need to tell those inmates who are abandoned that they are not alone.
- PRAY, PRAY for wisdom, pray for guidance, pray for the laborers but most importantly seek God and ask Him if this is something he is leading you to. We can use all the help we can get.
Through your prayers, God hears and God knows our hearts and let’s live these scriptures together one day at a time with Jesus
CR Inside Representative