Hope from the inside

hope vineandwindow

So you are a woman with a past.  Living with shame, regret, and guilt.  Yet, you don’t just go home and tuck yourself into bed, you are transferred to your cell.  You hear the bars or door lock behind you.  The walls of your room are again lifeless and unfriendly.  You have too much time to think.  …If only someone would come and bring a bit of hope.

We want to introduce you to Ann Allen.  And we pray that her story of ministry with the women of Coffee Creek will encourage you and spur you on to action in helping the women through May Justice Reign.

Ann Allen’s heart for Coffee Creek, as transposed by her daughter, Danae, for the Authentic Grace blog.

I began serving the women at Coffee Creek about 9 or 10 years ago when a group of women I really admired and respected began a ministry there and invited me to join them. It has been and continues to be one of the most impactful ministries I’m involved in.

Our team gathers on Tuesday evenings in the prison; we start with a teaching, which is very interactive as the women who attend offer questions and responses to the topic. This leads into a time of worship and culminates with small groups where the inmates are prayed over individually, a time that the inmates love and have great expectation for.

I choose to give my time and gifts to this ministry because I love seeing the women experience freedom. They live lives of unimaginable hardship within the prison walls. It is incredible to me how so many are tested as they have to stand up for their faith against persecution by other inmates, and come to the Tuesday gatherings freely expressing such devotion to the Lord.

These women are more free in prison than some women I meet outside of prison. They are so hungry for an authentic ministry that helps them to genuinely encounter God and our team does all that we can to facilitate those encounters. I come alive when I see the inmates, full of the love of Jesus, turning to each other with love and encouragement. Our God is incredible and the work that he does in these women’s lives is one that I don’t want to miss out on.

If you’re following the May Justice Reign Prayer Calendar, the prayer for today is:

“Pray for policemen, firemen, and others who serve to protect our communities.  Pray for their safety and endurance.”

AnnAnn’s passion is helping people connect in deeper intimacy with God. She is wife to Jim, mother to 3 fantastic kids (who are the loves of her life!), and grandmother to 2 grandbabies (plus a 3rd due any day!). In her free time she likes to garden, read, and spend time with her family.

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