The purpose of this ministry is to show Christ's love to families and friends of theincarcerated by providing a safe place to share their specials needs, feelings and questions. Caring volunteers will offer encouragement, acceptance, and hope through discussion, speakers and God's Word.
Hope Givers meet on the 1st Wednesday of each month at 6:15pm to 7:30pm, Room 180
Contact us for more information.
"Be Strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord." Psalm 31:24
As the mother of an incarcerated adult son, my "journey" was one at times filled with heartache, pain, guilt feelings, isolation and loneliness even though I am blessed by God with many Christian friends who love me and lifted my family and I up in prayers. However, none of them had experienced this situation in their own family. During an especially "low" time in my life, some of them who attend First Baptist at the Mall, shared with me about Hope Givers. I attended their next monthly meeting and found caring, understanding people who were experiencing the same or similar situations. They embraced me and supported me with prayers from the beginning. Here is a place where we feel free to share freely in a non-judgmental atmosphere.
A few years ago the call went out to all connect groups that a new ministry called Hope Givers was forming and would be for family members of someone incarcerated. At that time as part of a Faith Riders outreach we had been going to faith based Lawtey prison every other month to minister. We would go to minister to them but it never failed they would minister to us. They have an unhindered love and worship of God and the saving grace of Jesus. They also would always have requests for us to reach out to their families. Unfortunately rules and regulations prohibited that. We wanted to help those families but could not and now here was a new opportunity to help.
I went to Hope Givers with some preconceived ideas and quickly found that this was going to be a group of compassionate, loving, caring, God centered and Jesus focused people who just wanted to help. They had experienced incarceration of a loved one. They know about rules and regulations that hinder contact. They know and have experienced agonizing separation from their loved ones. Here is a place they can gather to love one another, encourage one another, support one another and reach out to others who are hurting with the same kind of situations.
I did not have a loved one incarcerated at the time and little did I know how much I was going to need this wonderful group of people. Our daughter slowly slipped into prescription drug abuses which lead to a meth addiction. We reached a point where we had to act on behalf of our daughter and prayerfully decided to petition the court with a Marchman Act petition that would force our daughter into drug addiction treatment or face jail time. It didn't take long before they arrested our little girl. I can't express the feelings and emotions we went through. God had a plan in place and Hope Givers was and is an oasis during a very difficult time.
Praise God our daughter is on the road to recovery! Praise God for ministries like Hope Givers and the people who come to share the comfort with which they themselves have been comforted. (2 Corinthians 1:4)
If you or someone you know has been going through these very difficult times, please come, give Hope Givers a try. You don't have to explain why you are there and no one will ask. It is a safe place to share if you like or just listen and be encouraged.