God has made all of us to be leaders in the sphere of influence given to us. Some of the most important and precious work we do with prisoners is to help them realize that they, too, have this potential and calling to be leaders.
A woman I’ll call “Isabel” is a perfect example. She used to be an addict, and she was abusing drugs throughout the season that she gave birth to her first two children. She was arrested on drug charges without receiving jail time, but she did not heed the warning from God to make a change in her lifestyle. She wasn’t ready to lead!
But God finally got Isabel’s attention. She became pregnant a third time and was convicted again on drug charges. She was sent to prison and had her third baby while in custody.
Isabel entered a remarkable program called BAMBI, a facility run through a partnership between the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the University of Texas, and Prison Fellowship. At BAMBI, ladies are allowed to keep their young babies with them in an appropriate, home-like setting while they do their time and learn how to be moms.
Most importantly, Isabel found Jesus as she served her time. Now she is out with her 18-month-old child. She has a job, a scholarship to go to school, and has just received custody of her other two kids. She is drug-free, a successful mom, a provider of a healthy home, part of a church family, and growing in Jesus.
If I could introduce you to Isabel today, you would see that her countenance is beautiful. Her eyes sparkle with true joy. She is living out her potential, because friends like you have accepted the call to lead, as well!