Prison visiting volunteer, Dee, was delighted to receive a call from Alexa*. Dee had been visiting Alexa in prison for many years until her release. “She told me she has completed her university degree and now has full-time work. Her whole family now attend church with her!” Alexa invited Dee to come to her church’s Christmas service.
“I first met Alexa in prison following a chapel service. She requested a Prison Fellowship visitor because she was alienated from her mother and sisters. She had no one to talk to, and I was happy to be able to be there for her.”
Alexa was betrayed by her mother when she was in her late teens. Alexa was married off to an older man for a price. After her eventual divorce, Alexa had just enough money to live in a unit with her new boyfriend, Steve*. As a result of an argument, Alexa moved again, to live with her neighbours.
In a devastating turn of events, Alexa agreed to do a drug run for these new neighbours. Unbeknownst to them, it was a trap, and Alexa was sent to prison. In the meantime, she found out her sister had become pregnant… and the father was her ex-boyfriend, Steve!
Naturally, Alexa was bitter. Betrayal by both her mother and sister had hurt Alexa deeply, and she refused all of their requests to visit her in prison. “I will always remember when, after a session of her telling me all of this,” Dee says, “we both cried, and I prayed that she would no longer hurt herself by not forgiving her family.”
The next time Dee visited the prison, Alexa had surprising news! She had found forgiveness and asked her family to visit her.
Alexa fell in love with her baby niece, describing in detail to Dee how tiny and pink she was! The father was long gone, and both women had found a way to reconcile.
Upon her release, Alexa joined a church with her mother and sister. The judge had told her he believed she had great support and could have a new life, and Alexa did not waste the opportunity. She completed her degree, found a stable job, moved in with her family, and they now attend church together each week. This is why she called Dee.
“They were all in the Christmas play!” Dee says joyfully. “I went along to see them with my husband. The back of the church was really rocking!” Dee was delighted to see both the dramatic presentation and the dramatic turnaround in the lives of Alexa and her family. The pastors confirmed how well they were all doing.
Because of your support, Prison Fellowship is able to recruit, train and support volunteers like Dee who, in turn, bring hope and healing to prisoners like Alexa. God truly can bring peace out of any situation!
– Joanna Mann, Staff Writer