"Letters from Inside" is a blog series featuring incarcerated women at Minnesota Correctional Facility–Shakopee, where Prison Fellowship® runs one of its Prison Fellowship Academy™ sites. Hear from women who are not only serving time for crimes but are now trying to live their lives for Jesus behind bars.
For more "Letters from Inside," click here.
My name is Angelina. I know without a doubt that there has been a calling on my life—even in prison.
My time in the Prison Fellowship Academy has shaped me and changed me into the woman that I am today. God has given me the tools to have a leadership role in the Academy. I can honestly say that it gives me great joy to help other women that come into the program. A lot of times they are scared or defeated and don’t feel hope in their lives. So, I sit down and give them a little piece of my testimony. I tell them how the Academy has transformed my life. We have incredible staff and amazing volunteers. The longer I talk with these women, the more I see hope in their eyes. And I hope to see their lives change just like mine has.
Guiding and leading can look like many things. I lead women in Bible study and through encouragement. I help direct activities, art projects, and game nights. Good leadership has a definite result, and I want to see each of the women in this Academy make it to graduation. It is a true joy to see so many life changes in these women, and reconciliation with our families.
You see, I don’t do any of this alone. I have the Holy Spirit. He has helped me overcome my fears, and when I don’t know how to pray in a certain situation, the Holy Spirit steps in to be my helper. In John 15:26, the Holy Spirit is referred to as the Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener … and I know this: You will never be more productive, effective, or blessed than by doing what He calls you to do. I have found purpose by pouring into women’s lives, praying, listening, and giving hope. God knows the plans for our lives.
Some people have asked me, “How do you live in freedom while serving such a long sentence?” I tell them I have found purpose. God has anointed my life for prison ministry. I tell the women in the Academy, “Why not change your story by going through the Academy? Why not do something different in life? You have nothing to lose but a whole lot to gain.”
In the Word of God, Jesus never sent out one of his disciples alone; He always sent out two. So, as an Academy family, we’re in this together. As a leader, I plant the seeds so He can water them, and I watch them bloom where He has planted.
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