Stones of Remembrance: The Red Shoes

“Just as God told Joshua before they entered Canaan, to place ‘large stones’ for the Israelites to always remember His miracles, so I have lovingly kept some ‘memory stones’ from my own life. This month I celebrate thirty-five years in Aglow Prison Ministry by sharing a story from my ‘Stones of Remembrance’”, writes Earlene Leming.

Earlene continues, “At a Chaplain’s Conference in 1986, I met the Chaplain at the California Institute for Women, the first California women’s prison, who asked me to speak to his ladies on Mother’s Day. Soon Aglow teams began monthly services, volunteering under various Chaplains. It was my joy to play piano for praise and worship, often leading together with an inmate named Mary. When Mary was released after her incarceration of 32 years, I took her shopping for some new things for life on the outside. I’ll never forget how she chose a lovely pair of red dress shoes!”

“One Sunday evening Mary, and 2 other former inmates shared testimonies at my church. Mary sang her famous solo, ‘I Must Tell Jesus All of My Troubles.’ She also was blessed to attend our Annual Aglow Prison Retreat where she met volunteers and Grads from all over California.”

“Last year Mary passed on to Heaven. Her sister phoned to tell me they buried her in those ‘red shoes’ and played a recording of her singing the solo at her memorial service. I think of Mary who is now face to face with her risen Lord. I am grateful for the Aglow Prison Ministry for faithfully bringing hope in Jesus to women behind bars.”