Knitting Hearts Together with Jesus Program: The Knitting Hearts Together with Jesus is a dual program which teaches incarcerated women to crochet plus studies the Bible and Steps to Christ with them. The program has about 40 to 50 incarcerated women, who are broken into small groups of 8 to 10 offenders and 1 to 2 Bible/crocheting teachers. Offenders are taught the basics of crocheting by crocheting a square which is used to make a patchwork lap blanket. Once they have learned, they can crochet a variety items such as baby blankets for premature babies, stuffed animals, scarves, hats, etc. The completed items are given to various charities.
Learning to crochet teaches the offenders a skill plus it helps to build their sense of self-worth. Many of them have never made anything before and have never been told “Great job! Look what you made!” Often these incarcerated women have lived a life of “Me, Me, Me” and giving back to hurting people in the community gives them a sense of helping and blessing other people, something previously unknown to many of them. The crocheting time provides a wonderful opportunity to listen, encourage, mentor, and pray with the offenders.
An important part of our time with these women is studying the Bible and Steps to Christ. This time is very participatory with the women reading the Bible and Steps to Christ out-loud, asking questions, making comments, and applying what they are learning to their personal lives. Many of the offenders have told us that this study has transformed their lives and helped them surrender their life to Jesus.
When first going into the prison, several of our volunteers have been apprehensive and fearful; however, as they have worked with the offenders and built friendships with them, they have been very blessed! Repeatedly our volunteers have said, “I can’t wait to go back and spend time with the women!” and “When I’m sitting in our small group studying the Bible and crocheting, I feel like I’m sitting in my living room sharing with a group of my friends.”
Testimonials from Offenders about the Knitting Hearts Together with Jesus Program:
- “I never thought I could learn something like crocheting, but I love it! When I am released I plan to crochet gifts for my family. It will give me something worthwhile to do instead of wasting my time.”
- “Look at the book I ordered. It has one hundred different crochet patterns. I want to learn how to make all of these.”
- The compassion and love I see in the volunteers has deeply touched my heart and inspired me to change and live a life of unselfish service to others.”
- “Thank you for the Steps to Christ and the Steps to Christ Bible lessons! They have totally changed my life and led to my salvation. Without this, I would still be lost.”
- “Being incarcerated has been a horrible nightmare, but it has been an incredible blessing because I have learned to know Jesus as my personal Savior while I have been here in prison. I thank God that I found Him through being in prison. Thank you for helping me find Jesus!”