An adventure began several years ago when I received a phone call from Tricia Mankin asking “How could our Bible study help you?” Learn how that call ignited a fire in the Waco Women.
There is power in the name of Jesus! We passed out Christmas bags to nearly 2500 women. We went to several large, noisy segregation units with a message of hope for those who feel hopeless. After the gifts were given and as we sang, a hush came over this large two story-housing unit.
There is power in the name of Jesus; to break every chain, break every chain, break every chain.
A proclamation of freedom. Then one of our volunteers shouted, “Sing these words back to us as a declaration!” Then we heard the voices of those locked up 23 out of 24 hours a day declaring, “There is power in the name of Jesus.” The presence of the Lord invaded segregation.
Our officer’s heart was softened hour by hour as he saw God healing broken hearts, restoring hope, and setting women free. At the close of the day, he asked me to sign a Karla Faye Tucker: Set Free book for him, and told me he planned to read it.
That night, our Murray Faith Dorm produced a play, and it was an open-call Chapel night. As our chapel filled to capacity, an entire housing unit was turned away. Hearts are open.
Faith Dorms are a great asset when our team ministers in the housing units. Both Mountain View and Hilltop will have graduations in the next month. Our graduates are prepared to lead studies in the dorms.
On Christmas day, 24 of the 29 ladies on lock up at Mountain View attended service. As I looked over this packed chapel of women in white singing Silent Night, my heart was filled with joy and hope!
Your prayers and financial support enable us to reach out more and more. Thank you for partnering with us! We wish we could take you along ...
All about the Mountain View graduation.
Brittany Holberg has been on death row in Mountain View prison for 13 years. I first met her while I still lived in Milwaukee. However, for the last several years I have had the opportunity to be Britt’s spiritual advisor. This summer Britt was sent to the Amarillo county jail to appear before a judge. She came back on fire for God!
"I felt overwhelmed with fear at times before I left for the county jail. I prayed for strength and wisdom. From the moment I left my cell I saw answers to my desperate prayer. It has been 13 years since I'd seen the outside world and I was in awe of God's creation. The officers who drove the state car and escorted me were curious about "life on the row."
I found myself talking freely about my walk with Jesus. The more I talked about Him the less I thought about my situation. I'd heard and even confessed to letting go and letting God take over. I was put to the test!
On death row we are housed in individual cells, isolated from general population. Not so in the Amarillo jail. I was housed with other women. I recognized the brokenness in the women around me. I could relate to their lostness and the bondage of guilt and shame that is far greater then prison bars. I had a desire to share the love that I have found in Christ with them. I wanted them to see Jesus in me the way I see Jesus in Jean.
I never imagined how powerful my own testimony could be. My purpose now is to share His grace and mercy with as many people as I can."
I look forward to my twice-monthly visits with Britt. Her courage and faith spur me on!
Blessings to you,
Jean (& Terry too)
My son Jake is in his second year at Temple College and will be 19 years old in May. What a man! When he was three I wrote a song entitled Jacob’s Song (that seems like such a short time ago). As I thought about my hopes for Jake, I had written, “I pray the blessings given to me will rain down upon his shoulders and he’ll serve you.” God has answered that prayer. Recently, Jake ministered with our team in Woodman State Jail, Mountain View, Hilltop, and Death Row. This dad’s heart overflowed! Walking back into the chapel from Death Row he commented, “This is the happiest, sad place I have ever been.” Jake’s words nailed the joy and challenge of ministering in prison.
Jake and a gifted team of volunteers joined us for several outreaches that were off the chart! Bev DeSalvo shared her story of healing from abuse, bringing great comfort to the women.
Charla Pereau spoke six times to overflow crowds. Charla founded “Foundation for His Ministry” in Mexico’s Baja 44 years ago to provide a place of love and care for orphans. The ministry now includes an orphanage, medical center, church, feeding station for the poor and a fire department in the Baja location—and three other major works. To echo Jake’s words of this miracle ministry, “This is rad. Charla doesn’t just have an orphanage; she has a whole city.”
Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered twelve-step program, continues strong in Woodman. Last week my precious wife Jean shared her story. Many women were in tears, as God used Jean’s past to help the women with their future. This week I will teach and wrap-up the current twelve-week session. It’s a privilege to see God working in all of our lives as we draw close to Him.
Thousands of desperate people are waiting to be set free behind prison bars. Welcome Jesus: The Liberator. As our volunteers declare His truth, their lives are being impacted and transformed as well. The Gospel becomes a reality in places that are barren and bleak. Our Savior was born in a dark cave in Bethlehem, so he is comfortable in dismal places and fills them with light.
Christmas celebrations will be held at Hughes, the men’s facility, as well as Mountain View, Hilltop, Hilltop Trusty, Murray, and Marlin.
Our family will be doing a special Christmas service at Woodman State Jail on December 23.
We will do Sunday services at Mountain View on December 26. Teams will go cell to cell to visit those who cannot attend church.
My grandson Jake has heard about the women on death row since he was five years old. The day after Christmas, he and Jean will have church with them.