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In the women’s prison where we minister, most inmates are incarcerated for “moral

reasons.” They have been convicted of prostitution, adultery, deserting their husband, or

failure to obey/submit. Some are serving a sentence in the place of their husbands and

others have been convicted of murdering their husbands. Such women are outcasts in

society and most will not be welcome at home even when released. Their children can stay

with them in prison through age six, if not wanted by relatives. They share the food on

their mother’s plate, and all they see is the inside of a prison cell. We try to meet basic

physical needs and focus on hygiene materials and the necessities of newborns. Just

recently, we were able to provide hygiene materials for mothers and logistics for healthy

lunches during the winter. Handing each mother a bag, I prayed a blessing over her in the

name of Jesus. All responded gratefully and looked me in the eye, as if to say, “really?”

After we gave out the gifts, other women came up to us, sharing their needs, and although

I had nothing more to hand them, I was able to pray over one of the ladies and lift up

her request.

“Suzy” was sentenced to prison for killing the man who raped her. She arrived at the

prison with her two children and is now being trained in tailoring and microfinance,

allowing her to sew projects for money while still at the prison. It has given her hope. When

released, she will be able to open a tailoring shop of her own to support her family. The

opportunity to bring living water to thirsty souls is thrilling!


My husband and I teach English in a very conservative country that forbids

proselytism, but being teachers clearly identifies us with a position in society, and

is a natural way to connect. Education is viewed as a way to overcome oppressive

poverty and shame. Many have said we taught them much more than English and

this is what we want! Our highly-motivated students show up for early-morning

classes before going to university or work. They are not free to ask many questions

or come across as seekers, yet some ask about our faith, and some have found

helpful websites on their own, and shared them with fellow students. The Good

Book is available to download in their language and we can talk about our faith

in a general way when discussing Christian holidays. Just being here is a witness.

We routinely get asked why we left our homeland to come here, and that sacrifice

speaks to them. Someone once asked, “You don’t beat your wife, do you?” Our lives

are an open book and read on a daily basis.




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