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  • Writer's pictureAlong Side Ministries

Harriet Hemerling –Program Graduate Becomes A Board Member

October 2022 • Newsletter

Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

We previously introduced you to Harriet Hemerling in our article on June 15, 2020. (See “Stories” at Harriet had just graduated from the Along Side Ministries (ASM) program. But her story wasn’t over, it was just beginning.

Before ASM, Harriet had an impressive track record of success finishing law school at the age of 26 while being a single mother and caring for her young son. She established her own law

practice and was doing quite well, but her drinking which began in college soon began to take hold of her. She acquired several DUI’s which would end her career and almost take her life. She ended up with a prison sentence of five years. While inside she was introduced

to Along Side Ministries, began to participate in our discipleship groups, work with a mentor, and surrendered her life to Christ.

The story and path of Harriet has\ taken many roads. She has seen great accomplishments and the lowest of life’s moments. As she sat in a prison cell, she faced the question all of us

must seek and truly answer. Would she fully surrender? Harriet said, “Proverbs 3:5-6 is my favorite verse because I really struggled with surrendering my future to God. I was used to being in control. Surrendering my life and my future was the real breakthrough. I now cooperate with Him as He molds and shapes my life instead of me trying to do it myself.”

Harriet completed the 9-month Discipleship Training Program upon her release. She continued meeting with Angela Cooper, her ASM mentor who she now considers a very close friend. She was able to get her own residence with her 5-year-old son. She became employed and found a career path with a university. She manages a team of advisors while overseeing the enrollment of both undergraduate and graduate students.

She is now active and involved with Living Word Bible Church in Mesa. She serves within Celebrate Recovery and attends the weekly women’s Bible study.

Harriet has been searching for ways to give back to ASM and to be connected in a deeper way. The ASM Board was seeking to bring the right graduate to serve as a new Board member. Harriet was recommended and was unanimously approved. Harriet became the first ASM program graduate to serve on the Board of Directors.

In this new role, Harriet looks to bring to light the experiences of those who have gone through it and reach back to help those still suffering. She is proof the ASM program works and feels that God uses transformed lives to change the world. She desires to see ASM grow and make an even greater impact in the community.

The beauty of watching God transform lives is evident in Harriet’s story. Harriet views her selection for the ASM Board of Directors as an example of God opening doors, always for a higher purpose. Her message is that God can and will open doors for you. Your past does not dictate your future!

From a Mentor’s Perspective

By Angela Cooper

It was such a blessing mentoring

Harriet. She had been participating

in my Bible Studies for a few years

inside the prison. She was consistent

in attendance, hungry for the Word

of God, and willing to do what was

needed to get her life back together.

Harriet wanted to be restored and was

very enthusiastic about doing the work.

She was thorough, committed, and

very engaged in helping her peers.

I loved teaching Bible Study inside

the prison and had never intended to

mentor anyone; Harriet was different.

I felt my best gift to her was my life

experiences, all the wisdom

engrossed in each gray hair on my

head. I would give her as much of me as I could and as much as she wanted. Harriet was grateful to have me as a mentor and when a person is appreciative you want to do more. Her motivation inspired me, and I wanted her to succeed because she had lost so much.

I continued mentoring Harriet through the Discipleship Training Program on the outside, until she graduated. We see each other on a regular basis and have developed a very close

relationship. God always does far more than we know. He used our mentoring time to help me through a period of grief over losing both my husband and son. I highly recommend that you consider becoming a mentor with ASM. It will change your life.

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