Toby Dorr
Episode 24

Episode 24

Toby Dorr: Hello and welcome to Fierce Conversations with Toby, the show where we talk about the hard things. I’m Toby Dorr. In today’s episode, we’re going to dive into second chances. Our guest today is Gina Hanna, who founded Beauty for Ashes Ministry with her husband Dirk in 2009. Their vision was to drastically reduce recidivism in prisons across the United States by providing a biblically based, Christ centered program for prisoners and ex offenders.

Toby Dorr: Her vision for the ministry came from her own personal struggle with drug addiction, which led to her incarceration in 1998. Through Gina’s journey to true freedom and healing, she discovered her life’s mission and now uses her story to help and encourage. Beauty for Ashes provides programming in prisons in Missouri and Kansas, as well as operates a residential recovery center for women shielded by faith recovery.

Gina Hanna: You caught me getting a drink.

Toby Dorr: That’s all right. We’re getting ready to start. It’s a perfect time. So thanks so much for joining us. Gina and I go back several years. When we lived in Kansas City, I ran into Gina because I was interested in what she was doing with Beauty for Ashes and we became friends. And so I’m just delighted to have her on our podcast today.

Gina Hanna: Well, I may, thank you for inviting me to be a part of it. It was an

Toby Dorr: You’re welcome. Thanks. So I have a question I ask everyone when we start out to just give us an insight into who you are, and that is what’s your favorite color, and what do you think that color says about you.

Gina Hanna: Oh, well, I initially want to say green because I always say green’s my favorite color, but when I was kind of thinking through, cause I, you know, kind of preparing for this, I realized, no, I always, I say green, but I love red and I love red because I like to wear red. And when I wear red, I feel like a powerful leader.

Toby Dorr: Ah, I like that.

Gina Hanna: I love purple because it’s kind of like royalty. And I feel like, you know, we’re royalty as children of the

Toby Dorr: Yes.

Gina Hanna: And so, and it’s the color of recovery. So that’s become, that’s become what I’m attracted to. But I think when it comes to green, which I’ve always said all my life is my favorite color.

Gina Hanna: I think, um, that I like that. It’s like, what I love is green, green grass. And to me, I

Toby Dorr: Mm-Hmm?

Gina Hanna: I love the new life. Like I love that there’s a new, a new growth in us, so to

Toby Dorr: hmm. I love that too. So I think it’s great. I have three favorites too, which are pink and orange and purple. So, and I, and I like to use them together. And a lot of people think you can’t use pink with orange. Oh, I love pink and

Gina Hanna: do. I’ve seen your workbooks. They have those colors on it.

Toby Dorr: yes, they do. Yes, they do.

Gina Hanna: That’s

Toby Dorr: So can you tell us about a crossroads in your life that pushed you in a different direction.

Gina Hanna: Yeah. I mean, I have definitely a specific one that, um,

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm. Mm hmm.

Gina Hanna: one is, uh, when I sold drugs to an undercover cop in 1996. So probably the crossroad was the moment that I thought, No one else has any. I can get them some.

Toby Dorr: Ah,

Gina Hanna: when I made that decision was a crossroad.

Toby Dorr: yes, it was,

Gina Hanna: Yeah, I definitely ended up, um, getting busted for that two years later and going to prison. So it changed my entire life.

Toby Dorr: it certainly did. And boy, it pushed you in a new direction. And, and it’s a positive direction. So that particular crossroads definitely worked out.

Gina Hanna: yeah, yeah, it definitely, I mean, ultimately it did. It took me a while to get there, um, even after prison, but God hasn’t wasted a decision I’ve made in my life since then

Toby Dorr: No, he hasn’t. Yeah, I think that’s so true. I could say the same as well. You know, I think when you follow the doors, he opens in front of you, you, you can’t lose. So that’s a good motto.

Gina Hanna: adventure. You don’t know what’s behind door number one,

Toby Dorr: No, you have no

Gina Hanna: it’s something amazing.

Toby Dorr: it seems so such a stupid idea, but you know, it works. So I love it.

Gina Hanna: Inspired.

Toby Dorr: So you, you told me once that when you were in prison, you had a vision that you would be back in a way that helped others.

Toby Dorr: So tell us about Beauty for Ashes.

Gina Hanna: Yeah, um, it was, and actually, um, when, the day I was sentenced, which, because it was a first time in trouble, quarterback of marijuana, I did not see that I was gonna be going to prison that next week, that I was gonna have to turn myself in. I really thought, Everyone else was getting two years probation.

Gina Hanna: We thought that’s what we’d get. But when they sentenced me to four months in prison, in that moment, I had such a peace and I heard the Lord say, this is for a reason. And so I went to prison thinking, well, one, you know, I’ve always loved the underdogs and I’ve always liked to save people in my life. So they’re going to be so glad they sent me there.

Gina Hanna: I’m going to love everyone and save them, not, not save them for the Lord, but, you know, be their friend at least. Um, and so, and so then, I come out of prison and I end up back in my addiction. And so about six months into that, I had a conversation with the Lord going, really, what was the reason? Cause nothing’s changed.

Toby Dorr: Mm-Hmm.

Gina Hanna: that night he gave me a vision. I could see a wing of the prison and, um, I didn’t know what, what it was we’re going to be doing. But I had this gut feeling inside me that whatever I would have to do to get set free from my addiction, I would go back and teach others. And that’s the journey he’s taken me on.

Toby Dorr: I think that’s just beautiful. And so how many women have completed your beauty for Ashes Program? Mm-Hmm?

Gina Hanna: the program in the prison, um, I was trying to think, I mean, I’d have to go into our database and I can’t remember the password to it right now. Um, so I would say we’ve had over 500 women do a portion of the program if not completed it. So, and that’s been since 2011. So, we had the program in the prison from 2011 until COVID.

Gina Hanna: And then they didn’t have us come back after COVID, at least haven’t yet. Um,

Toby Dorr: Uh, yeah. Covid messed everything up.

Gina Hanna: It did. The devil got some groom, but you know what?

Toby Dorr: Yeah. Yeah.

Gina Hanna: He does not want this back.

Toby Dorr: how many, what percentage of those women that went to your program have stayed out of prison? Do you have a feel for how many?

Gina Hanna: Yeah, so, yeah, we, we tracked, um, recidivism. And so, for women that completed at least 9 months or more, so our program was 12 years, or 12 months long, so if they got anywhere from 9 months on, the recidivism rate actually dropped to less than

Toby Dorr: Oh wow, that’s excellent. Yeah.

Gina Hanna: of improvement. And the other part of it is we’re part of their lives on their journey once they get out.

Gina Hanna: So

Toby Dorr: Yes, I was gonna say you still have. Yeah, you still have a community and a relationship with a lot of those women today, which I think is just a beautiful thing. Yeah, and a lot of the women that I featured in my butterflies unleashed book I featured their true stories and. Uh, the majority of them came from Beauty for Ashes.

Toby Dorr: So, yeah, their stories are just beautiful.

Gina Hanna: Yeah.

Toby Dorr: Yes, they loved it. I talked to Indra quite often. So,

Gina Hanna: That’s awesome. Yeah, she just graduated school

Toby Dorr: Yes, I know. I know. So, she’s doing really well. I’m pleased with that. So, during my own journey, I found that women’s prisons had less opportunities than the men’s prisons. And the number of women being incarcerated is rising.

Toby Dorr: Actually, it’s rising at double the rate of men incarcerated. And 80 percent of the women in jail are mothers, and most of them are single parents. So what needs to be done to stop this trend so that children don’t lose their mothers during a critical part of their lives?

Gina Hanna: um, I would say a couple fold. I think to stop the trend for sure. We have to offer stuff within the community. I mean, that’s, that’s the direction that we went as a ministry after hearing from a judge saying, if you ministries would offer something in the community, I would send them there and not to prison.

Gina Hanna: And

Toby Dorr: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s true. That’s good.

Gina Hanna: and so that’s, I mean, honestly, that was in a meeting. It was. pretty phenomenal judge. He brought us all together. So he brought probation and parole and all the people that works for corrections on this side and then he brought any, um, brought in churches and ministries and he said, okay, state, what are your problems?

Gina Hanna: And he said, okay, church, how can you meet these needs? Because we need to be

Toby Dorr: Wow. That’s great.

Gina Hanna: it was from that, that. So I think that would be a really big deal is if we could find ways to treat without having to incarcerate, but with, with oversight from Department of Corrections

Toby Dorr: Yes, yes, I do agree. Yeah, because I think there’s a lot of crimes that women get sent to prison for that really aren’t crimes that society needs to be shielded from them for that there’s other ways. Yeah, right, right. And so, yes, yes, men related. That’s true.

Gina Hanna: a case from that man because he loves me.

Toby Dorr: Yes, that’s right. Mm hmm. That’s so true.

Toby Dorr: So Shielded by Faith is your new ministry, which was born out of the need to do something for women outside of prison. And Chris and I, my husband, were fortunate enough to see your property when it was first acquired, and then tour it again a year later when it was ready to open. What a tremendous, uh, facility you’ve put together.

Toby Dorr: So tell us about Shielded by Faith.

Gina Hanna: Shoulder by face. So yeah, it is the exact same program that we offered in the prison. Um, and like I said, from Judge Barry requesting to do this, we, we sought the Lord. We had always had a vision for it, but there had been different times. God’s timing wasn’t right.

Toby Dorr: Mm

Gina Hanna: it was. And so, um, that’s when we decided to move the program.

Gina Hanna: It is, it’s a residential, um, recovery center. So it’s 12 months long at least. And then, um, and then we are looking for women. They can come right in their addiction. They can show up at our doorstep needing to detox and we bring them and, um, and do that, but the Lord has provided everything for this program.

Gina Hanna: And I mean, in, in ways that are so much higher than ours that

Toby Dorr: hmm.

Gina Hanna: he

Toby Dorr: And the women don’t have to pay to come into your program,

Gina Hanna: no. And in fact,

Toby Dorr: is the beauty of it, I think.

Gina Hanna: yeah, and, and that, uh, I would say the testimonies we’re getting are women that said, I’ve been trying to get help, but I couldn’t afford any

Toby Dorr: Yes.

Gina Hanna: And the, and really the, the big moment is when they’re walking around and they ask, so how much does this cost?

Gina Hanna: And we don’t, we say nothing. The Lord has paid your, your bill

Toby Dorr: Right. Yeah.

Gina Hanna: I cannot believe. So it, it’s pretty amazing. I mean, the place I did make it beautiful and.

Toby Dorr: It is beautiful. I’ve, I’ve lived there. I mean, it’s just beautiful. And yeah. So how many years has it been open? Has it been two years?

Gina Hanna: we’re just coming up on our two year anniversary. Yep.

Toby Dorr: Yeah, I was thinking so. Yeah, it’s, it’s really nice, uh, facility. So how many women have completed the Shielded by Faith program?

Gina Hanna: we are doing a graduation on May 7th. And I think at that point, we’ll be around 15 or 16 that have completed the whole year. So again, we’ve had way more than that come and some come for. An hour and some come for, you know, some have made it all the way to 11 months and then

Toby Dorr: Yes, I know I tried really hard to get one of my friends in there and And she just couldn’t commit to the 12 month thing, which is sad, because

Gina Hanna: I was just I’m doing an interview with one of our ladies who’s already graduate graduate and she’s interning for us now. And so I was doing an interview with her and she said, I said, well, how is this program different than she’d done two other treatment programs in her past? And she said, well, for one, this is, we don’t just talk about a higher power.

Gina Hanna: This is about Jesus. I was like, yeah. And she said for two, the length of time she said, but I will tell you, that’s what I realized. That is how much time that’s needed. Cause

Toby Dorr: Oh, yeah.

Gina Hanna: so much time dealing with the roots and getting that healed. And she said, and then I needed time and someone to teach me how to do life.

Gina Hanna: And it took,

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm.

Gina Hanna: the rest of that six months to really be ready

Toby Dorr: Yeah. You know, I found, I was in prison for 27 months, and I found that it took me about six to eight months after I was released, before I could feel confident in society. And so I would imagine with an addiction, you do need a length of time to reorientate yourself and change your habits and change your way of thinking.

Toby Dorr: So

Gina Hanna: And, and truly, truly, so many people didn’t even have anyone that taught, especially people that end up in this place. They didn’t have to teach of life skills. So it’s nice to have like that time of community around

Toby Dorr: yeah, and, and you have counselors that work with them and you have women who mentor them and teach them skills. And actually, I think you have a couple of businesses there that the women can work in, right? Your thrift shop. Oh,

Gina Hanna: that’s exactly right. Um, we have, we have our thrift store, and now we’re starting, um, some, this amazing lady is donating her Cricut. It’s a commercial Cricut, one where you cut the vinyl, and she’s giving us a t shirt press and all sorts of things. So we’re going on Thursday, and she’s going to start training some of our ladies that have gifts in this.

Gina Hanna: And we’re going to start, we’re probably going to do an Etsy store or something along those lines where we can take orders. So I’m

Toby Dorr: Yeah. I love that. What a

Gina Hanna: going to get to, they’re going to get to learn how do we run this company. Like those of you that are good at accounting, I’m going to give you a role and you know, we’ll definitely make it something that they

Toby Dorr: And then they can take that out with them and and become entrepreneurs, perhaps, you know, find something to do themselves. Yeah, I think that’s beautiful. I love

Gina Hanna: then they do work over at the thrift store and now our manager and our assistant manager for our thrift store are graduates of our program

Toby Dorr: Oh,

Gina Hanna: for us. So they have such, I mean, I just, One thing is I live three hours away, so I have to hire people that I can go, I’m not going to micromanage you because I’m going to be over here.

Toby Dorr: right, right. Yeah, that does make a

Gina Hanna: it and running with it. So yeah, it’s

Toby Dorr: Yeah, that does make a difference. And so Shielded by Faith, we’re talking about the state of Missouri and Shielded by Faith is west of St. Louis. Was that where you would say it is? Mm

Gina Hanna: Yeah. It’s like Northwest, I think a little bit, maybe. St. Louis.

Toby Dorr: Yeah,

Gina Hanna: Yeah.

Toby Dorr: yeah, yeah. Oh yeah, that’s

Gina Hanna: and a half hours from Kansas city and about an hour from St. Louis.

Toby Dorr: Yeah, I was thinking that. So, still, you know, if you’re in the Kansas City area or the St. Louis area or anywhere in the state of Missouri, it’s certainly within a distance that your family could still be involved in your life. So, yeah, I think that’s beautiful.

Gina Hanna: things we’re seeing

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm.

Gina Hanna: Really women who said, I don’t want to do the program. I don’t want to leave my kids. And then I’m like, have you been with your kids lately? Oh, no, not in the last year and a half. I’m like, okay, so you’re probably

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm. Right, right.

Gina Hanna: to come, but then these, then we see like them getting their rights back and they’re, you know, getting, um, just God restoring those relationships. That’s so cool to see.

Toby Dorr: Yes. You know, when chris and I were living in Sedalia and we started with conviction, we called it and uh, it was a group where we went to the parole officers and told them, you know, that we’d be willing to mentor people getting out of prison. And one day I had this woman come in to our shop and she was just in tears and she had just gotten out of conviction.

Toby Dorr: Her fiance had died in prison and She did. She’s the judge had taken away all five of her Children and she had a court date in two weeks and he was going to sever her parental rights. And she came in crying and said, I need you to help me get my kids back. And I said, Well, you know, I don’t know what I can do to help you get your kids back, but I can help you.

Toby Dorr: I said, have you ever considered college? She said, no. So we filled out a FAFSA application and enrolled her in the community college. And she came and I told her, you know, go out there and see what classes you want to take because you’re enrolled. And she came back the next day and said, here’s my schedule.

Toby Dorr: I’m a full time student.

Gina Hanna: That is awesome.

Toby Dorr: three weeks later, she went into the judge and he said, what’s changed in your life? And she said, Well, I’m a full time student, college student. He said, Oh, well, that’s a difference in life. Let’s let’s meet again in three months and see where you are And i’m not going to sign this paper today by the end of the year She had gotten all five of her kids back one at a time And she was tutoring math and she had received a full scholarship to rolla engineering college So what a difference, you know, yeah That was a win.

Toby Dorr: So you’re right. If you spend the time to work on yourself, that’s the best way you can be back in your kids lives.

Gina Hanna: That’s exactly right. What a great story. And honestly, what I hope people hear on that, Toby, is that you guys did that. You just went to the probation and parole office and said, hey, I’m willing to do whatever training or whatever, you know,

Toby Dorr: Right. Uh huh.

Gina Hanna: sign me up. You can match me up with whoever you want.

Gina Hanna: Like, anyone could do that.

Toby Dorr: That’s right, which really leads me. Yeah, that’s excellent, which really leads me into my next question, which was going to be, how can what you’ve done both within prison and outside of prison be replicated? And, you know, you’re right. Just go to the parole office and say, how can I help? What can I

Gina Hanna: Yeah, that’s

Toby Dorr: I mean, that’s simple.

Toby Dorr: It doesn’t have to be a huge, big recovery program.

Gina Hanna: it’s, it’s very true. Um, and, and that, and that’s it. I mean, it’s just, um, being a week ahead of someone, really. And coming alongside them. And I would say this, um, you know, just knowing I’m, you can’t work harder than they do. You know,

Toby Dorr: That’s true. That’s

Gina Hanna: I always tell people, I’m not gonna work harder than you do.

Gina Hanna: But if you work harder, I’ll be right there with you. And I’ll just be behind you, like, pushing you and cheering you on. But, so I think, you know, understanding boundaries before you do that. If you could just replicate it. And then for us personally as a ministry, it is our vision to replicate our program.

Gina Hanna: We want to replicate the programs in the prison and our recovery center. And so really, honestly, what it’s going to take is me sitting down and putting an operations manual together. So I can do that. I can do

Toby Dorr: going to, we’re going to include information to connect with you too. So if people are interested and want to learn how they can do a program. You know, we’ll we’ll put them in touch with you and you know in our experience I think for about two years we we did that mentoring and in Sedalia and i’ll tell you we had two wins and probably 25 That couldn’t do it.

Toby Dorr: Yeah misses So, you know don’t be discouraged because even just one win is worth the time you invest it. So

Gina Hanna: true. Yeah, you know, and I, on the, on the misses, what I really have seen is missing, missing, and causes the misses, is when there isn’t an opportunity to go back and really deal with the, the root issues, the childhood trauma and stuff, and learn how to take that through the cross.

Gina Hanna: I would say that is where our success comes from, is that the Lord’s called us to that specific healing piece of it. That we make sure the people we work with at least get that and then ideally rebuilding you. And I think when someone doesn’t do that, even when they get out of prison, even with the best cheerleader and help next to them, they just see their identity in

Toby Dorr: does take a lot of internal work. And I think every one of us has old wounds that

Gina Hanna: All of us

Toby Dorr: healed. You know,

Gina Hanna: we all have an enemy

Toby Dorr: Yes, that’s

Gina Hanna: kill, and destroy.

Toby Dorr: That’s right. So, um, let’s see. I was going to say, Well, I would never want to repeat it. I found that my own prison journey provided me an opportunity to spend time analyzing my life and make necessary changes.

Toby Dorr: And how did your prison stay affect your future direction?

Gina Hanna: Well, I mean, it definitely became, well, I will say this, it became a burden at

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm. Mm hmm.

Gina Hanna: became this, I know God wants to do something with this. And I totally see that there’s a need for something new. You know, the,

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm.

Gina Hanna: seven out of 10 of you will come back. It was like, Oh, then something’s broken.

Gina Hanna: What do you mean? Seven out of

Toby Dorr: That’s right. That’s

Gina Hanna: And so it put that burden on my heart. And, um, Pastor Greg, our pastor at our church this last weekend was talking about what you have to do when you have a burden. Like, the Lord puts the burden there first, then you really have to pray and seek, I’m like, is this your burden, or is this something I, you know, I’m really supposed to do something with?

Gina Hanna: And then you give it back to him, and he will unfold, and he will give you the steps to take and you have to be obedient in that. And that’s our call, right? That’s our calling. So, it changed my trajectory by giving me a calling that then the Lord had to prepare me for. Through my journey, but then when the time was right, I was prepared and then I had exactly what I was supposed to do.

Gina Hanna: I didn’t even know all the big picture yet. Um, but I think all of us have that in life because we

Toby Dorr: I think so, too. Yeah.

Gina Hanna: be in the kingdom and doing ministry and we all have a call. We just have to start with, okay, what’s burdening in my heart? Like, Lord, you’re going to give me a burden and then I got to be obedient.

Toby Dorr: Yes, I totally agree. I totally agree. And there’s so much out there that needs to be done. And I think, especially those of us who have had difficult journeys, have the tools to help someone else through a difficult journey.

Gina Hanna: Well, that’s the redemption process. God will not waste a thing. He will not waste a thing. So whatever it is you have gone through is probably where you need to be looking to serve. Um,

Toby Dorr: agree. So in addition to these two nonprofit ministries that you’ve started, you’re also a minister for Vineyard Church in Kansas City.

Toby Dorr: Uh, and how does that fill your soul?

Gina Hanna: I love to pastor people, um, that, you know, it is a calling apparently for me to be a pastor too. Cause that’s the vocation that I’ve gotten to work in for so long. Um, and so I think part of it, it fills my soul because I get the redemption story, even in that. Like. I showed up to Vineyard in my addiction and in my mass and I looked around and found like this is a safe place, I think, to talk about this, which I’d never seen church as a safe place to share that type of stuff in the past, but they had made the comment, this is a hospital, not a country club, you know, and this is where people come to heal.

Gina Hanna: So I shared with my pastors at that time, I’m struggling in an addiction, I’m getting high on my way here, and they’re like, okay, just keep showing up. God will, it’s a character issue and he’s going to work on your character. And I think it’s okay. So I love being able to be that pastor to others. I love being able to show that grace to others that like, come as you are, our church loves you right where you’re at, but we love you enough not to leave you there.

Gina Hanna: And they,

Toby Dorr: Yeah, I like

Gina Hanna: with you. And yeah, that is our pastor, Greg, that’s part of the, the vision that he cast for our church. We’re going to, we’re going to fight for you to become everything God wants you to be. And we’re going to

Toby Dorr: I think that’s beautiful.

Gina Hanna: going to do that.

Toby Dorr: I like that. I like that. So, what’s the hardest decision you’ve ever had to make?

Gina Hanna: Um, I was thinking about that question as I was looking, as I was preparing. And I, I feel like there have been, um,

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm.

Gina Hanna: big dreams that I would, I would go, I don’t know how I’m supposed to get from here to there, but I know we’re supposed to say yes. Like I have a faith.

Gina Hanna: Right? And so, um, a lot of the decisions and the big steps of growth that we’ve made, I have said yes without even thinking about what I just said yes to. You know what I mean? I’m like, I feel overwhelmed and inadequate. What did I just ask for this for? So, those haven’t been hard ones because they just fly out of my mouth.

Gina Hanna: And so, but, um,

Toby Dorr: hard part comes after

Gina Hanna: yes, exactly. Then you go, what? Lori, you better do this for me. I was your mother. But I think the hardest, I, one of the hardest decisions that I’ve had to walk through being made and now it makes sense because we have a recovery center. But there was a time where we had found a property that I just knew what, and I still know, I just feel like the Lord’s going to give it to us someday.

Gina Hanna: I literally just knocked on the guy’s door a couple weeks ago and said, okay, you bought this house. Do you ever plan on leaving it? Because I like this property. No, but uh, anyway, I just felt like this was the property we’re supposed to buy. And of course, that’s why you have a board of directors. And I spent 21

Toby Dorr: Okay.

Gina Hanna: God workbook and going through the study of like how God gives you property and gives you, you know, everything that you need.

Gina Hanna: And then we were in negotiations on the building and one of my board members started to go, yeah, I feel like the Lord is saying no. And then eventually they all voted against it. And I was like, you have not been fasting and praying. The Lord told me we’re going to get a plan. So it was hard to submit to know that the Lord had a plan and they don’t, that’s why you have a board because I don’t always have the best idea.

Toby Dorr: And you know, I find that even just two people, when you put two people together, it doesn’t equal two. I think one plus one equals something more like eleven because two minds together is exponentially powerful and brings in different ways to think.

Gina Hanna: the body of Christ, right?

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm. That makes so much sense.

Toby Dorr: So what’s one question you wish I’d asked?

Gina Hanna: Well,

Toby Dorr: something you want to add?

Gina Hanna: um, oh, yeah, I was, because at first I was going to say, to talk about the thrift store and stuff, but you asked about that. So, um, so I, but I would say, um, you know, are you do, you know, we know the doors are shut for chilled coffee for our program. Are you doing anything else in prison? And that has been another interesting shift for us.

Gina Hanna: Um, because we, we were in Chillicothe, and then when they didn’t ask us, we picked all of our stuff up. Well, at the same time, Lansing Correctional Facility, which is a men’s prison where we started, we’ve

Toby Dorr: I know Lansing Correctional

Gina Hanna: Oh, you do.

Toby Dorr: well Yes

Gina Hanna: Duh. What am I saying? I’m explaining to the listeners. Yes, Toby does.

Gina Hanna: If you have not heard that story, you can see it on Lifetime, you can buy her book, which you should.

Toby Dorr: Right.

Gina Hanna: redemption story. But, um, anyway, so yes, at Lansing, the doors have opened wide up there. It’s crazy, like, like we now have a wing of the prison that no one’s living on, that we get to have our own program.

Gina Hanna: There’s no guard, it’s just, uh, me and Jack, one other staff member, and we get to open it up to anyone who wants to take our classes. And so we’re in there, we’re taking Oaks of Righteousness, we’re, and, and really my vision for For there is not reentry. I feel like the Lord is telling me discipleship and

Toby Dorr: Mm

Gina Hanna: kingdom living inside the prison Like you’re in this world, but not of this world and God has a purpose for you And he’s

Toby Dorr: Mm

Gina Hanna: abilities and gifts and he has divine appointments for you To help people’s lives heal and change.

Gina Hanna: So we’re trying to walk these guys through that process. And then we want to go back and equip them to have them be in tune for whatever the Holy spirit would have or what they can serve on them.

Toby Dorr: I think that’s beautiful. What part of the prison is, is your program in?

Gina Hanna: It’s in the max it’s in

Toby Dorr: In the max custody. Really? That’s excellent.

Gina Hanna: but they’re not behind the walls anymore. They’re not in the brick. They have a new. Max and medium. It’s a crazy. I mean it looks what I feel like looks more like prison I said that to someone else and they’re like no behind the walls looks like prison. I’m like, ah But this more it looks like you’re you know up to date prisons.

Gina Hanna: It’s

Toby Dorr: I had some dogs in the maximum custody and you know it is what you see on TV. It’s these old, old, old brick buildings with iron barred doors that slam shut. And they’re on tiers and you walk up four tiers and there’s just railings and people can look over. Yes.

Gina Hanna: did flip over those. I mean, it just

Toby Dorr: did. Yeah.

Gina Hanna: yeah, this one is definitely more like the, the today prison, so to speak. Um, but yeah, it’s, it’s pretty cool what God’s doing. And our church also has a campus there. So they had, they had up to 125 guys and a huge waiting list going to church every Monday.

Gina Hanna: We have our program going on. Brothers in Blue has their program going

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm.

Gina Hanna: So between all of these kingdom ministry programs, a good percentage, and they’re, and they’re showing the, the, um, church on the, uh, internal TV, so

Toby Dorr: Oh, that’s excellent. Yeah, so they can watch the regular Sunday service.

Gina Hanna: Yeah. Any day of the week. And if, if their family members watch it on the outside, then they have something to talk about, which is

Toby Dorr: Oh, I love that. That’s really good. I’m really glad to hear that.

Gina Hanna: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Toby Dorr: I’ve loved our conversation. I think we’ve covered a lot of things and I think, you know, I love what you’re doing. I’m trying to do things in my own way. And, um,

Gina Hanna: I love what you’re doing. You’re, you are definitely an example of discovering. What God created you to do, where you get the most joy and putting it to work to tell his story. And you’ve done it so many creative ways. I’m just impressed with you.

Toby Dorr: Well, thank you, Gina, so much. And I’m so glad that you joined us. And, um, I’m going to wrap up our session here.

Gina Hanna: Thanks for having me.

Toby Dorr: Thank you, Gina.

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Toby Dorr: Remember, none of us is our worst mistake. We all have so much more to offer the world and those so called mistakes are blessed opportunities to learn and grow. Next week, we’ll continue to bring you inspiring stories by people who have identified a need for change and are working to make a difference in the world.

Toby Dorr: Subscribe to our Patreon channel. Fierce Conversations for special access and behind the scenes info. Go to patreon. com slash fierce conversations. Or click on the link in the show notes and ten percent of our patreon proceeds are used to provide workbooks to women in prison The show notes also provide a link to purchase my book living with conviction and a link to gina’s websites and programs In my memoir living with conviction.

Toby Dorr: I recount a conversation. I had in prison where my friend lisa told me In here we can talk about all the hard things. In fact, I think we must And so we shall. This is Fierce Conversations with Toby. Until next time.

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