Joy for Life in Prison

joy_fo1In 2002 a prison officer in Lancashire, England found out about Joy for Life and the series headed ‘Real Women’ which tackles the story of 30 women in the Bible with life application for women of today. It tackles women’s subjects and many are related to troubled women, like prostitution, forgiveness for abusers, prostitution, how to choose a Boaz rather than a Bozo…! childlessness, and favouritism of children and many more. The chaplaincy department of that prison started a Joy for Life group and the clients chose to commit for twelve weeks and received a certificate at the completion of the course. Since then two volunteers attended the prison for two years. There were many fruitful relationships made with so many girls recognising their need to establish their lives on the Word of God and the power of speaking the Word over themselves and their situations. We know that for many Joy for Life was the help they needed not to reoffend.

The prison was then changed to a male prison so the work stopped for 12 months.

This work was started again in a female prison community in Surrey, England, once again through the chaplaincy department. Today there are three volunteers running two groups in separate parts of the prison on a weekly basis doing a Joy for Life study of Acts in one group and Real Women in the other. The women attend voluntarily for three hours so the time is left up to the leader depending on the needs of the girls but always the focus is centrally on the Word of God. This is very rewarding work as the women see that we are committed to their spiritual growth and we share Jesus’ total and all-consuming love. The girls are encouraged to remember that there is nothing we can do to make Him love us more and nothing we have done that makes Him love us less.

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