Prison Ministry Report 1

Have you ever wondered what it was like to work with inmates at a corrections facility? Does the thought scare you? When God said He wanted me to do a prison ministry. I thought of everything bad that could happen and felt woefully inadequate. The Gideon’s International organization I was a part of began a Bible Study in the local corrections facility. I joined the prison ministry team a year later. God led me to write my healing testimony in Hope for Complete Healing, which I provide on this website. I gave this book to all the girls who came to our Bible Study to offer hope to these precious inmates.

Over the course of the next year, God was working on eliminating the strongholds in my life through a hostile layoff. So, I added the many strongholds God removed from my life to my testimony book. I have seen a miraculous change in my life and in the lives of the inmates.

The corrections facility has recently allowed volunteers back in after two years. In those two years, I published two books, Fighting Unseen Battles and Breaking Mental Strongholds. It is so good to be back to leading Bible Studies with these hurting women. We have completed four sessions so far this year. I will summarize each session to give you an idea of how we do our prison ministry.

The first week we had eight women, and only one girl knew nothing about the Bible or Christianity. We got to know the girls, what they like to do, and where they were in their relationship with God. Sandy is my co-teacher, and she taught that night out of Hebrews 12 about God’s discipline and His love. The inmates were eager to share their thoughts.

The second week, we had two girls come. Anytime two girls come, I know God wants to minister intently into their lives. One woman returned, Destiny, who knew nothing about Christianity, and a new girl, Kate, who grew up in the Amish community but left at 21 years old. They said others had signed up but were not on the list. I taught that week about how Jesus is the only one who gives us life and keeps us on the path of life. His spirit gives us understanding because the spirit of God knows the thoughts of God and will reveal them to us.

I began with Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus says, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” They already knew what the destructive path is, so I focused on the path of life, how to find it, and how to stay on the path of life. I had to explain what the Bible was, the difference between the old and new Testaments, an overview of the books of the Bible, who wrote it, etc. Destiny had a lot of questions. Kate said that no one ever explained the Bible to her, and she said she wanted to receive Jesus into her heart so she can be on the path of life. We went through the last page of the Gideon Bible and asked if she believed each scripture listed and she said yes, then she prayed to receive the Lord as her savior. How exciting! They sent her upstate to the women’s state penitentiary the next week. That was the only time we saw her. Please pray for Kate. Destiny did not know what sin was or understand who Jesus was, so she was not ready to receive Him. Please pray for Destiny.

One lesson I learned was to always pray for God’s protection from demonic forces. When you minister in a demonic stronghold, you must cover yourself with the blood of Christ and His protection, then when you leave, ask for all evil spirit attachments to be removed. We forgot to do that because we were so happy that Kate came to know the Lord as her Savior. The next morning, I could not wake up, I felt so tired. I went to my sister’s house, and she discerned I was being oppressed by demons, so she prayed over me, and they left. Then my feet and legs cramped, which I have associated with a demonic attack on my body. She prayed again, and it left. I called my friend Sandy, and she said she had the same experience.

In the third week, we had three girls, two new girls, and one from the first week returned. Destiny was not there. Some girls went home on probation or were sent to state prison. The girls that came said they knew Jesus as their savior. But one girl seemed to have a mental illness, which is not unusual because of drug use. Ashley was in a Texas state prison for several years and found the Lord there. When she got out, she got involved with the wrong people again. Now she is in our Bible Study and has rededicated her life back to God. Sandy taught about God’s love and the Beatitudes and how Jesus is teaching us how to live our lives. God touched each girl in a special way.

Teaching inmates is very rewarding. It is helpful to prepare lessons applicable to the needs of the inmates. Depending on the leading of the Holy Spirit is critical because each inmate has different needs. Next, be flexible because inmates come and go, and you may need to review or change the direction of what you planned based on the need of those who attended. Check out this post: Free from Anger–County Jail Testimony and Teaching to see how I ministered to an inmate who was extremely angry and wanted to kill her mother.

If you like these updates, I will continue to write about my experiences teaching at the county jail.

All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share this link with your friends and family; The information is copyright protected. Please do not reproduce any part of the posts or my book without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website.

If you find this website helpful, you will benefit from the latest book. You can order Breaking Mental Strongholds on Amazon. Also, check out my book called Fighting Unseen Battles on Amazon. I would love to hear what you think. To learn more about my book, read: How to Fight Unseen Battles.

Contact me at, and ask for a PDF of Eight Life-changing Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. I will also send you the Lord’s Prayer Model to pray effectively. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

Author: Joyce Holzman Hanscom

I teach incarcerated women in the county jail about how to discover a new reality for their lives. Discovering a new reality is achieved when you heal emotions from painful memories and transform negative heart issues. When false beliefs are transformed by truth, then you can love from a pure heart and make wise decisions.

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