ATLANTA, GA – It may surprise you to learn that more than 230,000 women are incarcerated in prisons in America. That’s more women than the entire populations of Richmond, Virginia; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; or Seattle, Washington.
Courage for Life, a faith-based organization headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, specializes in ministries to imprisoned and at-risk women. Every one of those women is suffering “painful experiences that led to poor choices that resulted in painful consequences.”
Even the best of prisons – if there is such a thing – are places where inmates lose hope. Confined within the memories of their own pasts, many fall into despair when they consider their future inside and even outside the gates.
A burden for women who have chosen the wrong path in life and for those who “are suffering due to circumstance beyond their control” led Ann White to establish Courage for Life. The ministry is not exclusively about imprisoned women, but they are certainly at the core of it.
Women in prison either pretend that they “have it all together,” or they are plainly discouraged and broken. As we know, “having it all together” is an illusion we create, so we think that others will not see our own insecurity.
Ann and her well-trained teams introduce women to the hope and freedom that can be found only in Jesus Christ. She shares the need for those women to believe God is who He says He is, that He never changes, and that He has revealed Himself to us through His only begotten Son. As she says, “Appropriating those truths for yourself is the beginning of finding your courage for life.”
“Every month, in multiple states, small groups of 20 women gather together weekly to study our Courage For My Life curriculum where each woman learns how to confront her past and is given Biblical steps to move forward with courage found only through Jesus Christ.”
Is Courage for Life making a difference?
Greg Murphy, the Chaplain at the Chillicothe Correctional Center, said that the Courage for Life material is vital for these offenders. There has been a change that I have seen. I’ve had staff come up to me and have made comments, “We are seeing and hearing about the impact and the change in some of these offenders’ lives. So much so that some of them (staff) want to be a part of it.”
There is a waiting list at Chillicothe to take the “Courage for My Life” course.
One of the female Chillicothe inmates shared that the Courage for Life program and Bible studies have “helped me to be stronger in my daily walk in here and to have the courage to separate myself” from others who have chosen a different path. She may not realize that she was describing living a holy life, regardless of the time, the place, or her circumstances.
In 2019, Courage for Life released what is believed to be the first audio version of the New Testament recorded in a woman’s voice. The app is free for Android and iPhone users.
Ann White sums up the Courage for Life ministry as helping women who are desperate for love, care, and comfort … to understand who they are in Christ and see themselves the way God sees them – “Valuable and deserving of love and hope.”
- Courage for Life, Official Website
- The Christian Post, First-ever female voiced audio Bible brings hope to thousands of incarcerated women