Christmas Connections Behind the Fences

The women in our units talk of the day they’ll be home with their families for the holidays. For some, that hope becomes a reality; but others find they have changed, but their family has not.

We teach them that they may need to be like Ruth and leave “Moab” and make their family their spiritual family. We show them how to find a good church and stay connected with the volunteers they have come to love.

Many come to our yearly retreat: Reignite, and to our regional gatherings: Refuel.

San Antonio Refuel

Others come back into the prison to serve. They bring hope!

Angela ministering in the prison she served in for 18 years

Angela did 18 years at Mountain View and now is in management at the Christian bookstore in Abilene. When she comes back to Mountain View as a volunteer, it’s a reunion! Even the Correctional Officers are thrilled to see her.

During the holiday season, ex-offenders and volunteers are given an opportunity to connect with those behind the fences and bring a gift of shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, candy bar and a book. Our indigent inmates are so grateful. We also bring cookies and brownies for the Correctional officers.

The women from our faith dorms assemble the gifts in the chapel. Our gift distribution is a chance to show unconditional love for those locked up away from family. It is a joy filled time.

Jesus has blessed us with his coming and his presence. And we become family. For many of our women, we are their only visitors. A letter from last year’s outreach:

I want to thank all the people who brought the Christmas packages to us! It meant so much to me all I could do was cry! It was the first present I had received in seven years! I had a hard time thanking them through my tears of joy. So I was hoping you could pass this message of thanks to them. Jesus is the reason for the season. -Jamiece, Woodman

This joy and appreciation is overwhelming. We hope to provide gifts for 2,000 women this year. The cost is about $5 per gift. A gift of $25.00 will provide five women with Christmas gifts plus cookies and brownies for the Correctional officers.

Pray for our outreach on December 16 at Mountain View Units.  There are around 1,000 women there.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching. I want to express my thanks to God for you. Your willingness to give so generously to Discipleship Unlimited has made this movement possible.

Together we are spreading His joy!

Linda Strom

The Discipleship Unlimited ministry team