She was there to minister through art to murderers and those whose crimes were now costing them time behind bars.
“Instead of us performing for them we went and trained them in the arts, acting, singing, working together, she said.” She was part of the group Shining Light Ministries, they go
into prisons to offer hope, joy and the gospel. “I wanted to spread love and light to those who have been forgotten and I thought it would be an amazing opportunity, she said.”
Hannah says the mission trip was amazing in ways she’s still processing.
“The talent was amazing, I was surprised at the talent, she said.” But some of the memories are heartbreaking. “There was a woman there she had already been there for 35 years and she
was 69, she said.” The woman was serving life. Hannah says more than half the women will die behind bars. Yet they, the women, gave her a gift; they unwittingly got Hannah, a Christian to
reexamine her faith.
“It deepened my walk with the Lord like never before. To see these women who’ve made terrible choices and are bound in this place, some of them forever, and they’ve accepted Christ’s forgiveness
and they are choosing to walk in the love of God. If they can do this having committed murder and other crimes what is stopping you, she says.”
Hannah graduated from college with a degree in performing arts, performed in a professional opera company last summer and would love to travel the world performing but her faith has to be a pat of
any career decision she makes. When she heard about Shining Light she knew it was a dream come true. “My faith is very important and this was a combination I was looking for music,
art, singing, she said.”
And next month, she’s off to prison again as a member of the Shining Light Impact Tour. It is a group of 30 young adults from across the country. They are coming together to go into
prisons across the east coast and minister through the arts. “We will travel to Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Pennsylvania, she said.”
But, she had to earn her spot not only through auditions but also by raising 1000.00 for hotels and food. Like many young people who want to be socially responsible but don’t have the funds she
set up a Go Fund Me account and was pleasantly surprised.
“ I was brought to tears when I saw the response, she said.” The money was raised in less than a month. “I am not a lover of having to ask people for money but my parents said it’s an
opportunity to allow someone to be a blessing through this and the money came in faster than I thought, she said.”
Hannah is choosing not to have preconceived ideas about her next stint in prison; the people she’ll meet, the impact her performing group will have on the prisoners, or vice versa but she’s open
to her life being changed again by people others have written off. “I have found that today it’s like were all about change. We want to see change, we want to see revival you know, not just in
Christianity, we want to see a move, something take place. But, I think the revival needs to start inside us first. We can’t lead someone to a place we haven’t gone first, she says.
For more information about Shining Light Ministries go to http://shining-light.com/our-story/