Neshoba County, Miss. In this month's Eleven Who Care, Newscenter 11 is spotlighting Sandi Lewis, who retired two years ago so she could spend more time volunteering.
The Neshoba County Jail isn't a place most folks want to go if they don't have to. But Sandi Lewis is there each Tuesday, leading women inmates in Bible study. We weren't able to show the actual inmates. Lewis has been showing jailed women the love of Christ for 20 years now. She says the group uses Bible study, prayer and inspiring books to touch lives.
"We started a little library so the girls could have materials to read while they are here," Lewis explains. "It's a christian library, all the books are donated. It's a memorial of my husband's grandmother, Helen Tate."
Lewis says the jail ministry lead her to start another ministry in 2008 to help not only the inmates when they are released, but all women in Neshoba and surrounding counties who need help getting on their feet, and getting back into life. The Christian Women's Job Corps meets on Monday nights at the Neshoba County Baptist Association, helping women earn their GED's, and receive life skills and job training.
"We all make mistakes," Lewis stresses. "There's not a one of us, in that regard, we're all ex-offenders, so with that though in mind, they all deserve to have love and respect. We want them to know the word of God, because we think that strengthens their lives. It helps give them a basis and a foundation for how to live their lives, so hopefully they don't return here, when they leave."
When asked why she gives so much, Lewis says it's simple.
"It's my way of giving back, you can't repay Christ, but I can serve him, so that's why I do it," Lewis reflects.
Many people are glad she does do it. Her gift of time continues to give again and again, making things better for her neighbors and her community.
WTOK-TV would like to thank Mr. David Vowell for nominating Sandi Lewis for this month's Eleven Who Care. If you would like to nominate someone for Eleven Who Care, you can stop by WTOK-TV or print out an application from wtok.com.