For the past 20 years women inmates across Kentucky have been shown the love of Jesus Christ through worship services and the Christ-centered teachings of Freedom Forever Ministries. KY-MSC Missionary Lee Rust says they minister inside, behind the bars. In addition to the worship services Lee and her volunteer team provides a 10-week Good Grief program and are reaching women who are often forgotten, with the Word of God.
“We see God transform lives right before our eyes,” Lee says. “We get to know the women, share their heart and pain, and see God work through them. We are His voice. We are rewarded by seeing what He does, by seeing changed lives.” Lee says it is not unusual to have women come up to her years later, ask if she remembers them and tell her how well they are now doing thanks to Freedom Forever Ministries.
Cheri, a former inmate who was incarcerated at the Western Kentucky Correctional Complex for three years, is more than happy to sing the praises of Freedom Forever Ministries. She was very broken and really struggling while in prison, but said this ministry was “such a bright spot for the ladies in a really dark world we were living in. They were such wonderful people, so loving and kind,” Cheri said. “It encouraged my faith, kept me from lagging and from falling into the ways of prison life. Once you came in, if you weren’t a believer I don’t know how you could go out and not be a believer, because you heard the Word in the message given by Lee each Wednesday, you heard the Word in the music and the seed was planted. They were a soft place to land in a hard, hard world. It was so nice to see a smiling face each week, to have somebody ask how you were doing, how your week was going. They did their very best to take that extra minute here and there to be personal, interested and compassionate. They were truly the hands and feet of Christ.”
Lee’s husband Eric and daughter Erica are also a part of the ministry. Erica was not allowed to go into the prison until she turned 18. Once she turned 18 however, Erica too joined in the ministry. Cheri recalls Erica singing at the services, saying “she followed her parents’ servant hearts.”
Erica just recently married and, when choosing food for the wedding reception, reconnected with Cheri, who is now released from prison, has her life back together, and has her own business of making beer cheese. Cheri said it was the first time she had seen this family since being released from prison and it was such an honor to meet on the “other side” and to “give back” to a family that had meant so much to her.
Pray for Lee and Freedom Forever Ministries as they make a difference in the lives of many women when they are at their lowest. To learn more about Freedom Forever Ministries go to https://freedomforeverministries.com/ or connect with them on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FreedomForeverMinistries/), where you will find a video of Cheri’s testimonial.