The Giver of Life and Hope
by Esther Chen, Intern
Graciela* is an inmate at the Buen Pastor women’s prison in Asunción, Paraguay. Her life is not easy there.
She shared, “Because of the crime I committed, the other women in prison rejected me. My sentence was 22 long years behind bars. As I waited for the years to pass, I was full of regrets. In my loneliness, I thought I had lost everything and wanted to commit suicide.”
But one day, Graciela was invited to join the TWR Women of Hope group on Monday morning inside the prison. She agreed to go. After that day, Graciela’s life was completely changed.
She said, “We made crafts – I still have the first one I made. But more importantly, I heard the gospel and started reading the Bible. All these things made me forget about suicide.”
Graciela thanks TWR Women of Hope for bringing about the change in her life. Although she is still in prison, she feels hope because her spiritual needs have been cared for.
Fittingly in this prison whose name means Good Shepherd, Graciela is experiencing Jesus’ lesson in John 21, when he tells Peter to take care of his sheep.
“That is what TWR Women of Hope has done for us in prison,” Graciela said. “They pray with us and give us words of life and hope.”
For many years, the TWR Women of Hope team has been bringing the message of the gospel to these inmates on a weekly basis. Besides sharing the gospel, the meetings also include making art projects that the women can sell. The TWR Women of Hope staff aim to teach the inmates new job skills, such as sewing and hair dressing, that they can use after they are released.
Because of TWR Women of Hope’s ministry, hundreds of women like Graciela have turned to Christ in prison.
* A pseudonym to protect her privacy