The last seven years with IOPC have been so very memorable for me. Father God did indeed bless me with this work to do for His Kingdom. My two years as a chaplain at Arthur Gorrie became a stepping stone to my coordinating Inside Out Connection. The experience “inside” helped me to have an understanding of these men and women to whom we are called to minister.
The early days of setting up the programme were quite wonderful for Director John Walker and myself. We worked side by side to unravel and put into place his vision for released prisoners. I absolutely could not have managed without him. God also placed other people in my path who are indeed Godsends, not the least of whom is Sue Morris of Queensland Corrective Services. She along with the External Services Panel of QCS, shared with John and me much wisdom about the process of setting up such a programme, particularly the legal aspect. As a consequence we were able to have Inside Out Connection fully approved by QCS as an external service. Sue has continued throughout the years to be a confidante for me and I appreciate her so very much.
Chairman Kari Gobius and the committee of IOC who placed so much trust in me by asking me to take on this role were amazing and full of encouragement as I set about placing some precious people in local church fellowships. Many Pastors and people in leadership of churches throughout Queensland have been excited to come on board with us. There we have found some very precious people who would become mentors for the prisoners “while they were inside and when they were out”! All thanks be to our awesome God for the local church!
I also wish to acknowledge our chaplains, my brothers and sisters in Christ who have been as a “rock” for me throughout the years, and with whom I have formed many true friendships. There are many who will continue to be in my life and I value that. My heavenly “Rock” has always been there, in the highs and in the lows. He has guided and inspired me in all that I have done. At times I got it wrong and realised that I had not listened to Him, but always He steered me back to the point where I deviated and led me in the right direction.
My family, my friends and my church family have also played a huge part in keeping me on track in what was at times a very lonely and difficult ministry. Jesse and John before him, were always there with encouragement and support. They sometimes needed to advise this woman in how to handle some “tricky” moments. I wish to express my extreme gratitude to you, the supporters, members and pray-ers of IOPC. Where would we be without you? Each aspect of the ministry has as its back bone, His wonderful saints behind the scenes. It has been a great joy for me to share with many of you each year at our Celebration. Bless you for your faithfulness.
I have so much for which to be thankful to Father God, that He would dare to use such a one as me in such an incredible way. My heart is full of love for Him for allowing me to serve His people, people who are so often rejected by society. As I enter the next stage of life, I wonder what next He will surprise me with? I’m ready and eager to do the “next thing”!