When Jesus Went to the Women’s Prison
Palmer Home for Children partnered with Nashville-based children’s ministry Jonah’s Journey in 2014. We’ve been moving full steam ahead ever since and haven’t looked back. Approximately 39 children have been placed in loving caregiver homes since the two ministries joined forces. Jonah’s Journey works most often with children of incarcerated mothers, many who reside at the Tennessee Prison for Women. If it weren’t for the passionate supporters and caregivers at Jonah’s Journey, these children would likely end up in state foster care; they probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to connect and bond with their birth mothers.
However, when a child is placed with Jonah’s Journey, they are given the chance to know their birth mom. Several caregivers within the ministry make it a point to not only foster a relationship with the child in their care, but also to build a relationship with the child’s mom. And while Jonah’s Journey doesn’t require this of its caregivers, many discover the bonds of friendship can run deeper than the stigma of social disgrace.
“I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am one mistake from being in her shoes,” said one caregiver about the mother of the Jonah’s Journey child in her care. “I had a great family support system growing up that she didn’t have. But I could make one wrong decision and it could destroy everything. That became very clear to me.”
We’ve seen God act over and over again in the lives of the children in the care of Jonah’s Journey. But we’ve also seen how He can use this children’s ministry to change the lives of the birth moms. When LeAllison Whittinghill, Founder of Jonah’s Journey, first met Jesse, she couldn’t have predicted that their blossoming friendship would eventually lead Jesse to the most important decision of her life.
We could tell you what happened, but we’d like to invite you to watch the story unfold in a beautiful video put together by our friends at Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Click HERE to hear the rest of this amazing story.