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By Fayth McConnell

For more than 18 years our ministry team (my husband, Bill, me, our daughter Joy Brown, and her husband, Del) has regularly visited a prison for women in northern Mexico.

Each Wednesday we bring lunch for the women and their guards, spend time in fellowship, worship and pray together, and then hold a Bible study. It has been our joy to watch three of the inmates step up to help with worship. Two of the women play guitars and another leads our singing.

During our Bible studies we teach the women to live life on purpose and make each day count. Each woman receives her own study material and a Bible. We study a chapter each week, and then when we gather, the women share what they learned that week. What a blessing it has been to see the growth in all of our lives, including the guards. Joy has said, “Wednesdays are by far one of my favorite days of the week.”

Women come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Yvonne, a 49-year-old Native American currently incarcerated at the women’s prison, shares her story:

“I am in prison in another country I know nothing about. It was very hard for me to adapt at first because I speak only English. Everything changed when I joined the Open Bible study group. In the group I learned to take responsibility for my own actions and how to love and be patient. I love my new Open Bible family. Everyone is so loving and caring. God is helping me get through this trial in my life. This group has also taught me how to grow closer to God and learn to trust Him in everything. I used to feel so alone, but I give thanks to God for the new family I now have.”

Yvonne’s sister Carmello had been sending her care packages and letters and has prayed for her. But because Carmello lives in Hawaii, she had been unable to visit Yvonne in prison. Then Carmello planned a trip to Tucson, Arizona, to visit her daughter and other family. While in Tucson she was hoping to also see Yvonne.

Carmello contacted us, asking many questions about the border crossing, safe places to stay in Mexico, and the process to obtain permission to visit Yvonne. We invited her to stay with us when she came to visit her sister in prison and offered to cross the border with her. Carmello gratefully accepted our offers and was soon able to see her sister two days a week for two months. While she was with us, she shared the following:

“First and foremost I want to give Jesus Christ all the praise and glory for this miracle journey. Without Him I never would have been able to visit my sister in a Mexican prison. Jesus connected me with American missionaries Bill, Fayth, Del, and Joy, allowing me to spend time with them – not just in the Mexican prison but in all the ministries they participate in while I am with them. For two months the missionaries helped me cross the border, let me sleep in their home, and fed me. They treated me like family. When I first arrived at the McConnells’ home, they told me how well my sister was doing and shared uplifting and encouraging stories about her and the other women who attend the Bible study with Yvonne. Words can’t describe the joy I felt when I saw my sister. They were right; she is doing so much better. Thank you, Del, Joy, Bill and Fayth, for the wonderful hospitality you freely give me.”

Fayth is grateful to be part of these sisters’ miracle reunion!

About the Author

Fayth McConnell and her husband, Bill (in front), with Del and Joy Brown (back) serve as Open Bible missionaries to northern Mexico.

About The Author

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Since 1920, Message of the Open Bible has been a medium to celebrate all the wonderful things God is doing through His people in Open Bible Churches – from personal testimonies, to news-related stories, to inspirational articles by quality authors.