Liz Stanosheck worked for the Nebraska Department of Corrections for 20 years. During that time, she wished there were more programs for incarcerated women in the state.
Now as an area director for Prison Fellowship Nebraska, Liz is working to change this—bringing more programs to the female prisoners she works with.
Earlier this month, Liz coordinated with the DOC and Women of Faith to take 43 prisoners to Lincoln for Women of Faith’s “From Survival to Revival,” a conference about making it through the hard times in life.
These 43 women, all a year or less from their release dates, are in community corrections, meaning they can leave the prison during the day to work in the community. Since these women are nearing release, Liz planned the day so each woman could invite a support partner—a mother, sister, or daughter—to join them at the conference and build more of connection with a loved one on the outside.
Women of Faith donated the tickets so the ladies and their support partners could attend the conference, and a local church donated money for lunch.
The conference speakers challenged attendees to allow God to use them right where He’s placed them. They talked about Paul and David and others from the Bible who had disobeyed God—and even committed crimes—but God still used their lives for His glory.
A speaker named Christine shared about the years she spent in Australia’s foster care system, facing the pain of physical and sexual abuse. When she found Christ in her early 20s, she was able to overcome her past even though the odds were against her.
Liz says, “Much like these women, society looked at [Christine] differently. But God is bigger than their troubles. They are forgiven. They don’t have to be carrying this particular burden the rest of their lives.”
The innovative collaboration among Prison Fellowship, the DOC, and Women of Faith provided a much-needed day of healing for the ladies in attendance.
One prisoner told Liz, “It gave me hope, and I don’t have to be this way the rest of my life.”
If you would like to learn how you can help bring more partnerships like this one to prisoners across the country, please visit prisonfellowship.org.