CR Inside Newsletter

The blog for CR Inside. Much talk about all things CR Inside...

Meet Marian Collins, South-Central Regional Editor

I was born in Virginia in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. I married at 19 and had two beautiful girls. After 13 years though my marriage was over and I moved to Texas where I reared my girls while working full time and attending college. In '02 I married my best friend on the front steps of the state capitol building in midnight. I retired in '07 after 35 years of working as a lab tech but, came out of retirement in '11...and thus the greatest journey of all began.

I was approached the fall of '04 by a friend who informed me that Celebrate Recovery was going to be starting at our church and asked if I would like to be involved...uh yes! Jan. '05 was our start up date. I've led five step studies, served as a small group leader, an encourager & training coach and served as the female ministry leader. In '07 I was one of four who was blessed to go to Jaco, Costa Rica to introduce Celebrate Recovery. For years I had wanted to take CR inside the prison walls however circumstances beyond my control kept this at bay. But God cannot be stopped. I was approached spring of '11 by the Warden and Chaplain from a local facility about bringing CR inside. I was privileged spring of '12 by becoming the East Texas CRI State Rep. Since then I have introduced CR to other prisons throughout East Texas. At the unit I call home, there are in any given year, 9,000 inmates rotating through these wired gates. What a CR 101 this is! The women's CR large group runs on Monday evenings, the men's on Wednesday evenings. Over the last two years approximately 800 inmates have gone through LHC's.

Our unit was one of five prisons to get HomeRun inside before its release date in April; we had our first BBQ team as the Warden ordered up 5,000 hot-dogs plus drinks for the 1,750 inmates/110 employees who saw this incredible movie. In August HomeRun was shown again to 1,450 inmates and again in November to 60 inmates during a mini CR Inside training. Any given week during large group, 15-30 Texas CR addresses are handed out allowing the inmates to make those CR connections prior to their release. As I witness the spiritual growth among the inmates, I hear of how their families on the outside are beginning to attend a local CR group. Circulating throughout the 40 dorms (56 inmate per) are Mac & Mary's book(s) of "Never Let Go" and John Baker's "Your First Step to Celebrate Recovery". Thanks to the Warden, every dorm has an 14"x18" laminated CR 12 Step poster on their bulletin board. Next for the dorms...CR's "Daily Devotional". I love walking down the halls or even past the yard and hear someone yell..."WE ARE" and then hear the echo of "CR"! I am so thankful to be on this God journey. Presenting the CR program is an honor, working inside is a blessing. God is good. I'm looking forward to the adventures of making the CRI newsletter the best ever ~ let's do this!

Marian Collins ~ CRI Ministry Leader/East Texas CRI State Rep