Book Review: Miss Brenda and the Loveladies

I’m trying out a new book review format… let me know what you think!

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Title: Miss Brenda and the Loveladies

Author: Brenda Spahn and Irene Zutell

What’s this book about? 

This is a story about a woman (Brenda) who finds herself too close for comfort to landing in a prison cell, and how God used this to open her eyes to a totally forgotten group of people. What does it look like to serve them, love them, know them, help them? Brenda is a woman of courage, determination, and love– she used her resources, passion, and time to establish the Lovelady Center, which is today the largest nonprofit transitional center for women. This book tells of Brenda’s crazy adventures, mistakes, fears, and successes as God used Brenda and many others to build this incredible center. The story takes place in Birmingham, Alabama, and is hence rich with southern culture. I laughed. I cried. I got angry. I read it in less than a week. 🙂

Why did I choose to read this book?

Love the widow. Yes.

Love the orphaned. Yep.

Care for the poor. Mmhmm.

To be honest, my heart doesn’t race when I heard about prison ministries. It’s not really of interest to me, so I decided that perhaps it is because I haven’t been exposed to the realities of being in prison and I don’t know people who are trying to figure out how to successfully enter the “real world” upon release. I wanted my heart to soften for this group of people.

My Takeaway:

God deeply loves those whom have been imprisoned. Unfortunately, America hasn’t aced the rehabilitation process, so many ex-convicts find themselves back in the place where their crimes were initially committed…and then quickly find themselves back in prison. These women (and men) need the hope of the gospel. Their children children and family members who are hurting need the hope of the gospel. Many of the crimes are drug-related, and often times the drugs were initially used to try to make them feel better- to forget about the past filled with abuse, neglect, and dysfunctional families. Not only do this group of people need to experience God’s love, but they also need access to practical tools that will help them as they learn to be a part of society again.

Questions I’m now asking:

What is our responsibility to the prisoner? The post-prisoner? How can we creatively serve this group of people?

Where can you go to learn more?

The Lovelady Center website

Miss Brenda and the Love Ladies on Facebook

Prison Fellowship Ministry

Celebrate Recovery

 

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

All opinions are mine. 

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