How Precious Found Her Compassion
After turning herself in for assault, Amita Hassan—better known as "Precious"—knew that something had to change or her life as she knew it was over.
"I was very resentful about life and the cards that were dealt to me," she shares. "I felt cheated and I just felt like I had lost out on life and the things that I was supposed to have."
But while she sat in the San Bernardino county jail, Precious made an important decision—one that would change the course of her life.
"I chose to lay it all down. I chose to not be the same person that I was when I entered into custody," Precious says. "I didn't want to come out the same."
Precious chose to let go and allow God to move in her life. And that's exactly what He did.
CALLED TO LEAD IN COMPASSION
While there, God told Precious He wanted her to be in ministry. She wasn't sure how to get started at first—after all, how does one become a minister when incarcerated? And then she heard about TUMI, the Urban Ministry Institute.
THE URBAN MINISTRY INSTITUTE
TUMI is an intensive theological training course offered by Prison Fellowship in conjunction with World Impact that teaches and equips prisoners to become Christian leaders in prisons and in the urban communities to which many of them will return. Launched in prisons in 2007, TUMI is currently active in 10 states and 421 prisons, both male and female, with over 1,300 prisoners currently participating. Over 400 graduates of the program have been recognized as leaders in their respective institutions and have made positive transitions back into their communities.
TUMI was exactly what Precious needed.
"Prison Fellowship has basically changed my life through the Urban Ministry Institute," she says. Like many prisoners, Precious has moved from one facility to another during her incarceration. And at each one, she has participated in TUMI.
"The modules that they are in now [here at Folsom State Prison]—I've already done those modules, and so [the leader] has asked me to step up and co-facilitate. … It is absolutely awesome what God is doing with these women here and with me, just teaching this class. I love it. I love it. The Word is impactful and it can change your life. [TUMI] teaches you how to learn the Word, apply the Word to your life, and spread it throughout. And that's something we do here at Folsom."
THE OLD IS GONE, THE NEW HAS COME
"I laid these hands down, and I picked up my Bible for Jesus Christ," Precious says.
But serving Jesus in prison can be difficult.
"When you're walking in God, you're challenged," Precious says. "You're challenged every day with different obstacles, with different things in your life. ... Being in prison is hard because other people are not where you are at. You know they come at you, they say things to you, they're combative, and sometimes you fear that. … [But] we don't respond in the same way. We [speak] love and compassion, and we bless them and keep it moving."