Prison Fellowship's art program for incarcerated women is positively received.
For the Create: New Beginnings™ team, prison visits are routine. Martha Ackerman and Stephanie Logan Segel have facilitated Prison Fellowship®'s unique restorative art program in various correctional facilities for the past two years. Create: New Beginnings helps incarcerated women explore core issues of identity and purpose to create new beginnings in their lives inside or outside prison.
Each of the art workshops offered provides women with the unique experience to "be an artist," while working through tough subjects such as vulnerability, accountability, forgiveness, shame, and pride.
When Martha, Stephanie, and fellow team members Annie Goebel and Kristin Caldwell arrived at Minnesota Correctional Facility-Shakopee recently for two days of art workshops, they were so excited. They had assumed they would be working with a new small group of women each day, but they soon realized that God had other plans.
A STORY OF GOD'S PROVISION
That first day was a special time for both the incarcerated women and the Create: New Beginnings staff. The women at Shakopee had been looking forward to this event, and the correctional officers decided to let the group use the Shakopee prison gym. They transformed the usually cold and sparse space into a life-giving environment for the budding artists. The event was such a hit that many of the women wanted to come back the next day, a request that the correctional officers granted.
The Create: New Beginnings Staff felt a little uneasy when they heard some of the first day's participants would be returning that the next day. Would they have enough supplies for such a larger group? Did they have enough volunteers?
"That's OK!" Martha, Annie, Kristin, and Stephanie told themselves, even as they wondered how they could adequately serve the expectant prisoners. "We'll figure it out. God will take care of it."
And He did. Despite having more participants than they had expected, the Create: New Beginnings team and the correctional staff were able to work together to pull off an incredible event. They discovered they had all the supplies they needed: extra paper, paint palettes and paint brushes, and a whiteboard. "We have our loaves and fish!" Martha exclaimed, referencing Jesus' miraculous feeding of 5,000 of His followers.
GOD WAS THERE
Thanks to God's provision, the Create: New Beginnings art workshops went smoothly and women at Shakopee had a unique opportunity to express themselves artistically and explore deeper issues.
"We were reminded of the importance of having faith and that we can't deny His gifts of bread and fish," Kristin says. "The weekend at Shakopee was a success as many women were able to experience a fun, relaxing time in community being artists."
"But most importantly," Kristin adds, "God was there, too, and He showed us His presence every minute."
"The weekend at Shakopee was a success as many women were able to experience a fun, relaxing time in community being artists."
DID YOU ENJOY THIS ARTICLE?
Make sure you don' t miss out on any of our helpful articles and incredible transformation stories! Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter, and you' ll get great content delivered directly to your inbox.
Your privacy is safe with us. We will never sell, trade, or share your personal information.