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Along Side Ministries April 2024 Newsletter

Breaking Chains • April 2024 • Newsletter

Homecoming & Volunteer Appreciation Day

Would a different mom have made a difference?

Racquel’s Story

Racquel was just 4 years old when her parents divorced. Afterwards, she traveled back and forth between houses, between two separate families, finally landing more at her mother’s house. There, she grew up in an atmosphere of harsh criticisms, shouting matches, physical beatings, long silent treatments, even having her hair chopped off by her mother.

“I remember praying to God, asking Him why this woman was my mother.”

The abuse and lack of parental support by her mother continued throughout her teen years, but not until she had discovered boys, sex, and drugs. She was 18, pregnant, and heading for more destruction.

Racquel’s first husband was an alcoholic with a gambling addiction. Her second husband, also an alcoholic, died in a car accident, but not before leading her to crystal meth, muscle relaxers, and cocaine.

In 2007, tragedy struck. Racquel’s father, the only true stability in her life, died suddenly of a massive heart attack. She found herself alone with three children and a drug addiction that shadowed her every move.

The years ahead led only to more poor choices, finally climaxing in her losing her children.

“My drug use got worse. I was using stolen money for my medicine.”
Raquel with her mentor Nichole

Trying to cope with life while addicted, Racquel stumbled and fell over and over. Then, one day, the police arrested her on the word of an informant. The informant had given her up on reducing his own prison sentence.

Racquel was arrested and faced three

counts of sale of a dangerous drug and

three counts of possession with intent

to sell. The District Attorney asked

she be given the maximum – 90 years behind bars!

“I no longer believe that God or Jesus existed.”

In November 2009, Racquel was found guilty and sentenced to just 7 years running concurrently and sent to the Perryville Women’s Prison, Perryville, Arizona.

At Perryville, Racquel met women who began ministering to her, and God began working on her heart. She began attending Bible studies and was accepted into the Along Side Ministries’ Discipleship Program, where she deepened her relationship with God with the help of an ASM mentor.

“God got a hold of me, and I instantly hit my knees.”

No longer an addict but a changed woman walking with God, Racquel was released from prison in 2015 and came to the ASM Women’s Discipleship Center, graduating from the program in December 2015.

Raquel after ASM Discipleship Training
“I went back to school to
get my bachelor’s degree in accounting, and I’m working on finishing my master’s degree.”

Today, Racquel has restored her

relations with her children and is even

a grandmother. She is integral to the

Ministry Training Program at Along Side



Graduation March 2, 2024

ASM Graduation March 2

Thank you for honoring Joseph Hana,

Matthew Gibson, and Ronald Guard

our most recent Discipleship Program


“Along Side’s program will always

be close to my heart. The love I’ve

experienced through faithful brothers

and sisters, volunteers, and mentors

tremendously impacted my life. God and this program have put a desire in my heart to freely give as freely as I have received. I’m grateful for everything Along Side Ministries offers, and I’m grateful for every life that poured into me.” - Joseph Hana


Help Change a Life and Take the Credit!

Arizona Tax Credit

You can make a difference in the lives of the men and women in our Discipleship Training Program as they make a successful transition to independent living and the local church. Please consider donating to Along Side Ministries and receive an ARIZONA TAX CREDIT.

The State of Arizona Charitable Tax Credit is available to singles up to $421 and couples filing a joint return up to $841. Please consult your tax advisor for how this credit may apply to you. Use the following QCO code on your AZ taxes: 20298.

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