• Along Side Ministries

What takes a 7-year-old in a Sunday school class ...

Updated: Apr 29

May 2022

And turns her into a 32-year-old sitting in a prison cell?


And once you’ve fallen that far ... how can you find your way back up?


Hannah can tell you. She was that 7-year-old.


She had, as she recalls today, “a pretty good childhood.” She grew up in church. In her teens, she was in the church youth group. “I had loving parents,” she says, “really strong in their faith.” But at 17, she rebelled. “Got involved in the wrong crowd, with lots of bad influences ... searching for love in all the wrong places.”


In her 20’s, Hannah got pregnant. She told herself that this would be the start of a good new life. But there were medical complications. “There was nothing the doctors could do,” she says. She lost the baby. Her boyfriend abandoned her. “I was broken,” Hannah says. “I felt unwanted, rejected.” She turned to alcohol. “I got to rock bottom.”

Her parents tried to help. They put her in a recovery program. Things

seemed to be looking up. But then she got fired from a job she loved — and

she crashed. “I felt like a total failure,” Hannah remembers. And she blamed

God.


Soon she was doing drugs, picking up men, struggling to survive. “I was looking for something that would fill that void, to numb me.... I really didn’t have any hope anymore.... I gave up on myself.” Her

parents loved her; they wanted her to come home. But Hannah refused. For three years, she lived on the streets.


To pay for her habit, she stole. Stealing “was like another high for me,” she says. At the same time, she was wracked by fear of getting arrested — but she couldn’t stop. “I was always looking over my shoulder,” she says,

“knowing they were going to catch up with me.”


And it happened. A felony charge put her in prison — for two and a half years.


Prison probably saved her life. Entering prison, “I was malnourished,” Hannah says. “I could have died out there.... I was headed into death.”


Instead, by God’s grace — thanks to a caring friend like you — Hannah was headed into new life.


She heard fellow inmates talking about something called “Along Side Ministries.” Your generous giving sent our volunteer team into Hannah’s prison. And through the deeply personal ministry of her Along Side mentor, Hannah began to realize, for the very first time, that God loved her ... and she could start life over.


“God directed my steps to Along Side!” Hannah says today. She rededicated her life to Christ. Week by week, she grew in faith. Meanwhile, she was being prepared for a successful transition to life on the outside.


Suddenly, out of the blue, she was given an early release. Barb Charette, her mentor, met her at the prison doors, with new clothes and a supply of basic necessities. What a day of celebration! They grabbed lunch, then came to our residence facility — where Hannah “felt accepted and welcomed and loved” — and she gratefully plunged into her new life.


Hannah today is the person God intended her to be — no longer believing the lies of the enemy, but confident in God’s grace. “I know God is going to do great things in my life,” she declares.


He’s already begun. She’s in culinary training and loving it, working and saving. Meanwhile, “God has blessed me with a loving, Christ-centered family in Along Side, helping me become the godly woman that I’m created to be ... a prodigal daughter who has run back to the loving Father’s arms!” Your generosity set the stage for Hannah’s miracle.


And you’re still journeying with Hannah, through our Second Chance program, connecting her with crucial resources, helping her with budgeting, making her doctor’s appointments, keeping square with her parole officers. Building for the future.


Hannah has a whole new worldview today: “God is bigger than our past and all our failures,” she states. “He has redeemed my life.” And God used you to help it happen. Your support for Along Side Ministries rescued and restored her.


But so many others need the same kind of miracle ... I hope and pray you’ll give again today. And as you give today, your generosity will go twice as far, through our HOPE ALIVE Matching Challenge.


Any donation you make today will be matched dollar-for-dollar ... The impact of your love will be DOUBLED, up to a total of $60,000!

So my heartfelt question to you today is: How generous can you be? How many lives can you save? How many prison inmates can you minister to, and point to faith in Christ, and prepare for a successful life after prison?


I hope God has blessed you so much that you can be extra-generous today, to take maximum advantage of this extraordinary Matching Challenge opportunity. Please let me hear from you quickly. God bless you for whatever

you can give!


Yours in Christ,





Ken Sheets

Executive Director


P.S. As you read these words, there’s another Hannah sitting in prison, feeling hopeless. But you can bring hope alive, by the power of God’s love. Please give generously — and your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar! Thank you for your Christ-like compassion!

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