Jean* had enjoyed a simple life. She lived in a nice home with her husband, they had raised a family together and both had rewarding careers.
Jean was a bookkeeper for a local business for years, until they declared bankruptcy. That’s when some anomalies in the bookkeeping came to light and all eyes were on Jean.
Despite pleading her innocence Jean was found guilty of fraud and sentenced to prison. Her grief was only compounded by the unexpected death of her husband during her trial.
Jean could never have imagined what great joy awaited her within her prison cell. Upon her arrival, a prison chaplain greeted her with a warm smile and kind words. It was something she wasn’t expecting within the prison walls.
Jean said that to ‘feel seen’ during her time of grief and betrayal was an extraordinary gift. She found peace during the weekly chapel services and joined a regular bible study hosted by one of her cell mates.
Jean felt comforted by reading the bible she was gifted and enjoyed long chats with the prison chaplains who always had time to answer her many questions about God and faith.
Prison can be a very lonely place, as it can be difficult for family and friends to travel for visits. However, Jean never felt completely alone because the chaplains were a constant source of friendship and connection.
She had learnt to cast all her cares on the Lord, who was there even during her darkest moments, when all hope seemed lost.
Jean served her sentence and is now home again. But she’s not the same person who walked into prison years earlier. Today, she is an active member of her local church, and she hosts a regular bible study for young women.
Jean said recently: “Prison chaplains are a shining light, a beacon of hope, in an otherwise dark and hopeless place. Without them, I don’t know if I would be here today.”
* Name has been changed and a stock image used.