Prison ministry

David and Tiffany Stevenson, of OCS Ministries, spend so much time on the road delivering Bibles and discipleship books to prisons, that they bought and refurbished an old school bus which serves as a mobile home away from home. The outside of the bus is decorated with the encouraging words, “There’s always hope for tomorrow.”

Despite rules in place to prevent prison inmates from possibly being exposed to COVID-19, a prison ministry based in the Hunt County area is reaching in to prisoners with Bible deliveries and organizing drives to collect items to help inmates transition back into society.

Since last summer, David Stevenson and his wife, Tiffany, of Farmersville have been traveling through multiple states in an old school bus they’ve refurbished (and decorated with the slogan, “There’s always hope for tomorrow,” painted on the side) and have been delivering Bibles and discipleship books to prisons as part of their ministry, Online Christian Services (OCS Ministries).

“Since they’re locked up, they’re out of sight, out of mind, so our main mission is to make sure that they know that they’re not forgotten,” David Stevenson said. “The Bibles we give them are even new Bibles, not old used Bibles that other people have marked up. They’re in large print, and we have them in both English and Spanish, because we want to give them the best.

“What we tell people is ‘you are somebody,’ because a lot of people in prison think ‘I’m nobody,’ but you’re still somebody because God didn’t come to die for nobody.”

Since the beginning of 2021, the ministry has made eight trips on their bus, making stops at multiple prisons each time, delivering the Bibles and discipleship books. Now, they are working to also support prisoners in other ways.

“We’re now in the process of collecting donations of jeans for a state prison in Oklahoma, because it’s little things like that that people need when they’re first released from prison, and have to go out and find a job,” David said.

These and other challenges that prison inmates face are things that David knows first hand, as he was once in prison, a story that he will tell in his soon-to-be-published book, titled “From Lemons to Lemonade.”

“When I was in prison, it was when I learned the meaning of the scripture ‘I will never leave you or forsake you,” David said.

The book is currently in the editing and cover design phase, but is expected to become available within the next few months, and will be available for purchase through the ministry’s website, www.ocsminsitries.com, and through Amazon.

Another area into which the ministry is working to expand is offering spiritual support for chaplains who work for prisons, the military, police departments, and other organizations.

“With prisoners being unable to receive visitors because of COVID, it’s been really hard on them and it’s also overwhelming the chaplains who minister to them,” David said. “So, we’ll be sharing testimonies through our Facebook page, to help chaplains know that they do make a difference.”

Those who would like to learn more about OCS Ministries can view their website at www.ocsministries.com, their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ocsministries, or contact them by email at thereshope@ocsministries.com

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Travis Hairgrove is a news reporter and features writer at the Herald-Banner and covers city government for many municipalities in Hunt County. To reach him outside of business hours, email THairgroveReporter@gmail.com.

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