Every year, a team drives to Dickinson, Texas, to minister to the women at the Carole Young Medical Facility. It gives us an opportunity to pray with the sick and to encourage those facing medical decisions. We also reconnect with women previously in our units. This year, Sharon and Larry Bankhead shared their story with the women.
“Four years ago, I began the greatest journey of my life. What began as the darkest pit I’ve ever known, where my Father chose to discipline me, led to an unexpected ministry.
I learned much in 120 days in county jail. Humility. Grace. Mercy. Redemption. He reminded me that ‘I have engraved you in the palms of my hands.’ (Is.49:16) When I accepted Him as my Savior, my name was engraved ... not written … even in Sharpie ... engraved. Though I had fallen, He made sure I didn’t stay there.
He showed me great men and women in the Bible who fell, but were redeemed and used mightily. David, an adulterer AND murderer; Miriam, a gossip; Rahab, a prostitute; Paul, a murderer. The list goes on. He took broken lives and made something beautiful. He still does.
I had a passion to share that redemptive story in the prisons. But He wasn’t ready for me yet. He insisted I be still and wait. Not an easy task for me! Three years later, He opened the door.
He didn’t just open it a crack ... He swung it wide. Not only for me, but for Larry, too. He gave us an opportunity to walk alongside Discipleship Unlimited in ministry to women in white in Texas prisons.
Recently, He led us to share our story at the Carole Young Medical Facility. As Larry shared, he said, ‘It is our story … not just Sharon’s story.’ It is our story of grace and redemption to give hope to women in white. ‘I was in prison and you came to visit me.’”
Larry and Sharon are a huge addition to our ministry team. Their lives tell His story. Their greatest test is now used as a liberating testimony. How amazing is His grace. And He builds teams.
When you pray for us, you are part of this team. Your faithful support allows us to expand this ministry of the Gospel of grace both inside and outside of prison walls. Thank you!
Blessed New Year!
The Stroms and the Discipleship Unlimited team