BOLIVIA — Does it make sense to thank someone for causing you to be in prison – especially if the sentence was unjust? A woman inmate who wrote to the TWR Project Hannah staff in Paraguay, next door to her home country of Bolivia, suggests that sometimes such a course of action may be appropriate.

Project Hannah teams have organized prison ministries in many countries, including Paraguay.

“I am from Santacruz, Bolivia. I have four children – two boys and two girls. Six years ago, I ended up here in jail because of what was done to me by a certain person. I have hated this person and wanted revenge. For three years I planned how I would pay her back, do damage to her where it hurt her most.

Thanks to the Bible study that I have had here with the women and other studies that I have had, the hate and desire to take revenge on these ladies has disappeared. These studies helped me to forget. I felt much better physically, mentally and in my heart. The anger that I had would not let me live in peace. It enabled me to ask for forgiveness from my family and my son. Having been here for six years has been very painful, not just for me but for my whole family.

If I have the opportunity to ask for forgiveness from the person who sent me here, I will ask for forgiveness and will say, “Thank you for sending me to this place.” Because of being here, I have learned to appreciate things that I didn’t appreciate before.

Forgiveness gives life, forgiveness gives health. A person who does not forgive is a sick person. To live in peace, a person needs to learn to ask for forgiveness and needs to learn to forgive others.”