Meeting the Needs of Women Inmates in Paraguay
– by Laura Diaz, TWR Women of Hope Paraguay
Each week for more than 15 years, the TWR Women of Hope team in Paraguay has been serving female inmates. Currently, we are working with 50 women, training them in life skills and various sewing and craft trades. Our team ministers to their souls, as well, and sharing the message of salvation with these women and having a weekly Bible study with a smaller group of 10 inmates.
After 1½ years of being unable to be with the inmates due to COVID-19 restrictions, the doors opened for us not only to resume ministry at the prison but also to begin new ministry at two additional prisons! What a privilege to be able to take the gospel message to one of the most forgotten and despised segments of society – imprisoned women. With the challenge of traveling to three locations each month, we praise God for faithfully providing the funds to continue this new ministry through the end of the year.
Another blessing is the partnership we have with the organization Diaconía, which provides us with everything needed to train the women in trades, develop workshops, purchase materials and locate the best people to teach the classes. Men from various churches are also partnering with us to teach the Bible at each meeting.
Long ago, God gave our team the desire to share the love of Jesus with teen girls. This year God opened up the opportunity to work at a correctional facility for minors. We now have a group of five beautiful teenagers who are very receptive to biblical teaching and classes we provide them twice each month.
We rejoice that former inmates may now participate in activities at our Women of Hope office. This gives us the wonderful opportunity to follow up and bond with them as they navigate their new lives. Women of Hope has also obtained the legal authorization so that imprisoned women who enjoy a semi-free status can attend weekly meetings in our offices and hear teaching on the life and work of Christ.
We choose not to ask any details about the crimes for which these women were imprisoned. That way we do not judge them but love and serve them. In Christ there are no unforgiveable sins – we all come to the Father in repentance and faith. Over the years, we have witnessed many begin walking with Christ, getting baptized, joining a congregation and sharing the Word with others. We praise God for the fruit of this ministry!