A Letter From Prison

It had been a year since I had gotten a letter from our former resident from prison. I had that letter out by my computer and I promised myself I would write her again. I wanted to say something really helpful and important, I guess, and felt so inadequate to the circumstance she was in. Summer had been in so many hard situations in life, some caused by herself, some not. When she came to Hope House pregnant, we loved her immediately, but she had a deep sorrow, and anger at her past and at God. Her brother, her dearest friend, died when she had not been in our home very long. She left the house and married her baby's dad before the baby was born. They got in some trouble together that broke probation about 4 months after their daughter's birth. It seemed like a "fail" on our part, but I always remember this "where there is breath there is Hope". So we continued to pray for them.

I finally wrote to Summer - sharing a passage of scripture that was useful in my life that day.
A week or so went by. One trip to the mailbox I saw letter from prison. I flipped it over and even before I opened it I was blessed. There on the back was "He put a new song in my mouth" (Ps 40:3) decorated with hearts and stars. I was already tearing up.

In the letter, Summer told Ken and me that she was sorry for the way she behaved at the Hope House and that she made our jobs difficult at times, but that she wanted us to know our efforts were not in vain. After she told us she was close to getting out, and wanted to help Hope House and the Living Hope Women's Center any way she could when she returned, she closed with this:

"The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself". Prov 11:25.

I had definitely felt the refreshment of the water of her encouraging words that day - and even better I could see the signs of a true conversion - her heart was new! She was different!

She has now returned home. She spent the day with me yesterday, helping me weed out the movies we have at Hope House for viewing, helping get a room ready for a new girl who is coming out of jail, and cooking with me a nice pot of lentil soup for dinner. She says I am such a blessing to her. The truth is there is no way she could possibly understand the depth of blessing all of us receive from watching the effect of unconditional love, the Gospel, and the family here at Living Hope Women's Centers on her life. Glory be to God!

Peggie Balcom
Hope House Mom