When those in prison need to be hospitalized or given hospice care, they are moved to the Carol Young Unit in Texas City. Our team made its annual visit this January, beginning on Thursday night at the medical unit.
There we are greeted by women who were once housed in Gatesville and Marlin. It is a family reunion with joy and tears! And how inspiring it is to see our faith dorm graduates ministering to those who are sick and feeling hopeless. Several of the graduates have experienced remarkable healing, while others have been told they have weeks to live. But all are strong in their faith and eager to partner with the Lord and what He is doing among them.
Tina Marie graduated from our Faith-Based Dorm at the Hobby Unit. It is our largest dorm with 63 women. When Tina applied for the dorm, she vacillated from anger, to hurt, to walking away. She agreed to try our Hobby program and had a dramatic turnaround.
Now she is an inspiration to us. She has been diagnosed with cancer and is housed in Texas City. While going through chemo, her focus is firmly fixed on the Lord. What a witness to the strength and peace of Christ. It spurs us on to continue working with a challenging system.
Carla Hooten is our director of reentry. She herself has walked through grief and also cancer. As God has comforted her, she is able to offer that same comfort to those in pain at Carol Young. One such woman was Tonya, who was in our Hilltop Faith-Based Dorm while Carla was going through chemo. Now Tonya is walking through the same valley battling the same cancer. Carla’s ministry in Texas City was a treasured gift as she modeled the overcoming grace of God.
Dee Brestin, author and speaker, was our special guest. Her talk on grief touched the hearts of all as she shared how to lament, to stay connected to God, and to experience His comfort. Dee has been an advocate for the men and women behind the fences.
Other special guests included a panel of ex-offenders. These women bring reality to release. There is a time for questions after the panel shares their stories. The questions are relevant.
Walking into the free world is tough. Women leaving prison miss the deep fellowship that comes through mutual suffering. They are faced with issues and challenges that many were not prepared for.
Through your generous provision we are seeking to prepare them for release and stay connected upon release. We are grateful to be able to partner in ministry with you and also with those who were once behind the fences.
Please pray for an increase in funds to equal our expanding opportunities.
Rejoicing with thanksgiving!
The Stroms and the Discipleship Unlimited staff and volunteers