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Tetelestai hosts fundraising banquet

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Editor’s Note: This is a three-part story about the ministry of Tetelestai House. 

Tetelestai House hosted their third fundraising banquet on Saturday, Aug. 27, in the Durand Center at Signature Bank Tower.

Director Tracy Lindsey said she was grateful for the 34 churches, organizations and families who provided table sponsorships. 

Lindsey knows first hand the struggle a formerly incarcerated woman has with being released and needing to find new surroundings to start over. After a 16-year meth addiction, she received Christ as her Savior in prison and was led by God to start a prison ministry that not only reaches women in jail and prison, but guides them through a one-year faith-based process after release through the Tetelestai House. “But God,” Tracy told the crowd Saturday night.

There are 1.2 million women under the supervision of the criminal justice system. The number in Arkansas’ jails has increased more than 30-fold. More than 60% of women in state prisons have a child under the age of 18. In Arkansas, almost half of the inmates released will return to prison within three years — But that number drops dramatically upon completion of a faith-based program.

Tetelestai House, or T-House as it is also known began in 2013 when Lindsey and the Board of Directors were originally loaned a house. The first woman was accepted into the program in 2014 and 32 residents have stayed in the home, but not all have completed the program. In January 2020 a new home was built for T-House and thanks to volunteers and donors, they are completely debt free. They have had four women in the new house and one graduate. 

 

COVID shut down many of the jail and prison ministry operations. But in spite of the obstacles, they were still able to hand out 271 Bibles since 2018. When they couldn’t get into the jails and prisons, a weekly community food ministry began. Lindsey said, “We knew we were supposed to be serving our community and it was good practice for our residents.” It turned out some of the families they were helping with food and supplies, during COVID, had family members that T-House had connected with in prison or jail. 

Lindsey felt honored that God was using them to meet small physical needs and introduce them to the one who can meet all needs. She thanked the donors and sponsors in the room, “You are going with us when you partner with this ministry.”

The testimonies shared that night gave encouragement to those who still have family members with addiction problems. Jayma Rhoten, T-House executive assistant said, “Some of you still have someone impacted by incarceration in your life. God’s got a long arm and no one is beyond His reach.”

Boone County Judge Robert Hathaway has been involved and a supporter of Tetelestai House from the beginning. As County Judge, I have seen Tetelestai House work to reform and acclimate ladies who have been unfortunate enough to fall under the influence of drugs and hard times. They focus on getting them back into society and into our community by faith and hard work. This not only benefits them and their families, but the community as a whole. Programs like these provide a path for these ladies to get the help they need so that they can return to society and live a productive and meaningful life."

A silent auction and a live auction raised more than $30,000 for the non-profit organization after expenses. For more information or to donate to the 501(c)3 organization visit TetelestaiHouse.org or call 870-426-4988.

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