Abigail Freeman – USA
I was born and raised in the United States, the only child of parents that unfortunately I must admit are not spiritual people. In 1994, at the age of 12, I was introduced to the church. That being said, it wasn’t until September 2nd, 2009 that I really came to know the Lord. At that time, my second child was 3 months old and I was sitting in a church service feeling lost. Every word the pastor said was echoing in my head and I could not see or hear anything else around me. I was crying, I was scared, and I knew I needed to get up there and beg and plead for the forgiveness the pastor was making it clear would be granted with the slightest whisper. I was incredibly shy and knew almost no one around me, but I stood up and walked to the altar. I bowed down and just started crying and saying how sorry I was over and over again.
From that point on, I vowed that I would do my best to live for the Lord. I haven’t been perfect, I wouldn’t even pretend. In fact, I explain it as “sin rehab.” We are always sinners and temptation is there; it’s only with God’s help that we will resist that temptation and turn our lives around. It is definitely much easier to do ministry in the United States, but with so much political correctness, it’s often not considered politically correct to be Christian anymore. However, God said it would not be easy and if this is the most difficult thing that we face here, how can I complain in the least?
I was working in a nursing home around two years ago when the daughter of one of my residents told me about CLI. At that time, I was newly married and active in church. I had been telling my husband I really wanted to get involved in ministry but had no clue how to start, as we really did not have the funds for me to go to school. After much encouragement from my husband, I started classes at Christian Leaders Institute. In that time, my knowledge about the Bible and my walk with the Lord has grown tremendously. Our marriage and life in general has been so blessed, especially in the past couple of months. I strongly believe that my time so far at CLI has been the main reason I have been able to stay so focused on my spiritual walk.
This ordination will help me continue in the direction that I believe without a doubt is my spiritual calling. My passion is to witness to women who are incarcerated and help bring them to the Lord. Through focusing on Women’s Prison Ministry, I believe that God can use me to reach women that are troubled, falling deep into sin, and may be creating a path that their children will grow up to think of as the normal way to go. I feel an urgency to get started and know that God has plans that He is just waiting for me to start putting into action. In this way, this ordination will help me to become a Pastor that can travel to Women’s Prisons and use His word to make a difference in these women.
When I first began this journey, it wasn’t so clear to me what direction I wanted to go in. However, I had always thought about the possibility of going into prison ministry after my niece had been in some trouble when she was a teenager. After I brought it up to my husband that I was considering prison ministry, he informed me that his aunt runs a prison ministry for women in Texas. I have never met his aunt and did not know about it, but she does prison ministry as well as a halfway house for the women when they get out. My father-in-law is also getting me in touch with her so that she can mentor me.
Some of the unique challenges I face in my geographic area would be that the closest women’s prison in my state is 5 ½ hours away from where I live. I am hoping that my fulltime job will help make it more possible to travel and do my ministry work. Another challenge I am facing in my area is that I am living in Arkansas currently and attending a Southern Baptist church. We have just moved to this area and haven’t attended the church very long, but I have been warned by my husband that women are not normally looked upon as someone that should be a pastor. This being said, my local church has been supportive and has asked questions about my classes, my ministry calling, and Christian Leader’s Institute in general. I have had several talks with my Senior Pastor regarding CLI.
I am extremely excited about the chance to not only get ordained, but to follow through with my calling and be able to spread the Word. I am also excited to continue forward with my schooling at CLI and continue to grow personally and spiritually. I will forever be grateful for this free ministry training and everything it has made possible in our lives. Please pray that God continues to guide the direction for my ministry and opens the doors needed so that God can be introduced into the lives of those women who need Him. Thank you!