“the family of the changed hearts”. Because this is true, I know you will be eager to hear about the part of our family in the minimum-security facility of North Carolina Correctional Institute for Women (formerly Raleigh Correctional Center for Women). Located in the same block as the larger maximum-security facility, the two are now under the same administration, though separate in all other functions. Shepherds Heart (another ministry that uses Disciplers materials), maintains a Bible study outreach in the larger facility.
Changed Hearts is a prison outreach and sister study of Saltshakers Bible study and is supported as a missions ministry by Christ Baptist Church in Raleigh. The leadership consists of faithful women who go weekly to share God’s word with the incarcerated women. They go armed with their Bibles, Disciplers Bible study lessons, much courage, and love, and supported by prayer. They have been doing this for five years now. Out of a prison population of 120 inmates, an average of 25 women attend the weekly Bible study. They are women of all ages, in prison for many different reasons, but they all share a love for the word of God because it has changed their hearts and their lives.
Dale Hardin, the teaching leader of Changed Hearts, shares, “The study is open to all who will come and hear the truth of God's word. Even one time may be God's appointed time to open a woman’s heart to Him. Many of our members state emphatically that it was God who brought them to prison to save and transform their lives through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are grateful for the wonderful resource of Disciplers Bible study. Please join us in praying that God will keep the doors open for us to continue this Bible study. As long as He does we will gladly continue to go.”
Dale has also shared some comments made by women who faithfully attend the Monday night Changed Hearts study. I know these words will touch your heart as they have mine.
“It means so much that the leaders (of Changed Hearts) are doing the Bible study along with us and show up every week. It makes me want to be prepared and keeps me accountable”
“Before prison I lived for myself and did whatever I wanted….I didn’t care about anyone else. Since being in prison and realizing that Jesus died for me, all I live for is to share this love with my 3 year old daughter. I want her to know Him and His Word. So I have to know it first.”
On the studies of Joshua and Hebrews: “I can identify with Rahab. We learned in Joshua that God gave her faith and saved her. He did the same for me. Rahab is named as an ancestor of Jesus in Matthew and then praised for her great faith in Hebrews. It gives me hope.”
On the study of Esther: “This is the first Bible study of my life. I can totally identify with this story of what Queen Esther did. Now I ‘own’ this story and can tell it to my children.”
What else can I say except: thank you, God, for the dedicated women of Changed Hearts, both the leaders and those they serve in Your name. And thank You for opening our eyes to this precious ministry.
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I have been involved in Disciplers since 1987, as a discussion leader, teacher, writer, and now as director. I am profoundly committed to the stewardship of this ministry which God has entrusted to me for a time. God’s word is the chief joy of my life. I cherish my personal time in the word, and I am filled with gratitude to be able to share His word with you, my fellow disciples in Christ.