Dear friend and partner,
I believe this report will deeply move your heart!
It is a witness to the power of God working through one woman who has surrendered to Him, who has been transformed by His love, experienced healing and been equipped, empowered and set free to multiply. Tanya is now bringing God’s love and hope to women in jail in S. Florida. She obeyed the Lord’s urging to reach these women who feel the lowest of the low, the outcast and the shamed. With great faith, she led them through 3 months of Love UnVeiled transformation leadership and disciple making teaching every week. This week these women “graduated”! Their testimonies of how God has changed their lives are an amazing witness of the life changing power of the Holy Spirit and the multiplying impact He has had in their lives as Tanya has taught them His truth about their identity and freedom in Him.
Here is Tanya’s beautiful report and photos…the photos speak a 1000 words!
Being a part of Love UnVeiled, feeling and knowing God’s love in a real and personal way, and experiencing the transforming effect and power of the Holy Spirit, has been completely life changing for me. It is my privilege and honor for God to use me to share Love UnVeiled teaching at the jail so that these women can begin to understand and experience the same thing.
It is amazing to me to see how God moves when we step out in faith in the area that He calls us to and has anointed us for. God has given me such a heart for these beautiful, broken women who He is raising up to be beautiful butterflies. They have experienced hurt and pain that goes so far beyond any words I could ever express. Yet God is moving among them, and they are experiencing healing and freedom. Miraculously, they are also forgiving people for things that are completely and totally un-forgiveable to people who don’t know our Jesus.
We just completed our first Love UnVeiled Workshop 1 “Graduation” with the group of women at the jail. Being that this was the first “graduation,” a group of the “higher up’s” at the Sheriff’s Office attended so that they could get a feel for the program and listen to some of the women give testimony. The Sheriff’s Office employees were touched themselves, and commented that they could feel God’s presence and Spirit in the room with us. They have been, and will continue to be, very supportive of the program, which is exciting. There are many wonderful men and women who work for the Sheriff’s Office who know and love God and are excited to see how God is moving.
There were 13 women who completed the class and “graduated.” Originally there were 16, however a few of the women were released throughout the class so were unable to “graduate,” but I know that God also moved through these women as well. What is exciting is that the large majority of these women would go back to their dorms after class and teach the other women in the jail with them. These women began to pray for each other, in and out of the class, and also to pray with and for the other women in the dorms with them. It was remarkable to watch God work in and through these women throughout the 3 months of class. So many more than the original 16 lives have been touched! Some of the women are going to prison, and are excited to help and teach other women in prison. Some of the women are going to other states/cities to relocate closer to family/better support systems. For the women who are local, I will offer a once a month gathering at my church (TC3), where a room was made available once a month on a Saturday morning, for praise, prayer, and fellowship. God put this gathering on my heart and it is so important to continue to be a presence in these women’s lives. At the monthly meeting I will also do a short teaching, perhaps what the Bible has to say about parenting one month, marriage another, finances another, etc. Please pray that I will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading in this area and what the needs of the women are for that day.
Many miracles happened and prayers were answered during the class, from people who had very lengthy prison offenses who ended up receiving much shorter sentences, to the group of women who were supposed to leave for prison the morning of the graduation which God somehow delayed so they could attend the last class. God has truly given these women a heart to seek and know Him. One of the things I always loved during the class was the singing. We always start the class with 3 songs, then prayer. These ladies were so excited to sing to our Lord, I have no doubt you could hear them all the way down the hallway where the dorms are! They were totally unashamed of our Lord and Savior, and sang boldly, lifting their hands, and often crying. No holding back, no lukewarm. If only the people in our churches would sing with the enthusiasm these 16 women sang, worship would never be the same!
There is a picture below of some of the women who were comfortable being photographed. It was so touching to hear the ladies testimonies on the last day, here are just a few of the comments from the women who “graduated” and spoke that day (names deleted).
- “This program has brought me from a very dark place. Life in jail is very hard because I understand that I broke the law and deserve to be punished for my crime. However, the emotional disparity, shame, guilt and remorse was unbearable. This is not the first time I have been incarcerated, but because of Love UnVeiled my perspective towards God and life have undergone a tremendous change – a change of heart. It is said that you cannot give what you do not have, and I was so full of shame, guilt, disappointment and anger towards myself that I could have just stayed in the painful prison. Now I understand God’s true character “love” and that he loves me unconditionally. I have been forgiven and released from the negative!”
- “I’ve been coming to jail’s, prisons, and been into trouble my entire life. I was broken. I was downtrodden. I was ashamed. I had built walls so high even I couldn’t see over them. Every time I got locked up I grabbed a Bible, but I only looked for what I wanted to see. I never really read it, I never received what was written for me to save me until now. I am a new creation. I am loved. I now love. I didn’t care, now I do. I feel brand new, beautiful, younger, lighter…better. Thank God for this program. Bless everyone involved.”
- “This class has helped me when I was feeling really down and helped me to understand more about God and how we can trust him through any circumstance we are in and we don’t have to worry or fight anymore. It’s not our battle it’s the Lord’s.”
- “I recognize the strong feelings of peacefulness that are taking over me. When I don’t think I can stand another second I give my emotions to God and I know through Him I can overcome anything.”
- “Thank you deeply from the bottom of my heart. I have strength, hope, and courage now, and have experienced the unconditional love of God through my trials.”
- “This program has showed me that I can be different. I can live different. My charges and my past does not define me, that is not who I am. I am God’s child and He loves me. I am strong and God will guide me on the right path if I keep pursuing a relationship with Him. Being in jail has been a blessing in disguise.”
- “This program has changed my life forever.”
- “I thank God for his forgiveness and being able to forgive myself and others. So much weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I will continue to walk by faith and not by sight.”
- “If it were not for Love UnVeiled I would not have turned out to be this beautiful butterfly that God made me to be, the way God created all of us to be!”
- “I’ve truly been transformed from an ugly caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly!”
- “When I get out in the free world I want to share with my sisters and brothers. It is good to learn how you can be transformed into God’s image and also from a caterpillar to a butterfly.”
Please continue to pray for these beautiful women of God, that they will continue to experience healing and freedom in Christ. Please also pray for the women who will go through the program in the future.
The next class starts on 2/20. Please also pray that God will raise up the women He wants to be a part of this jail ministry. Women who love God, who have a heart for women in jail, who have experienced God’s transforming love themselves, and who will be steadfast/reliable/trustworthy.
Please pray that God will open the doors for other women in LUV to reach many more women in jail around the world.
Yours in His love, with a full and thankful heart.