Beverly Totty thought she was just going on a short term missions trip in with her friends from Parker Creek Baptist. The church, which is located just outside of Nashville, had been involved for a number of years working in the country of Belize. What Beverly didn’t realize was how much this trip would change her life, and launch her into a ministry that would impact hundreds of inmates in a Belize prison.
Parker Creek Baptist has been a faithful financial supporter of the Dickson County Family YMCA and RESTORE Small Groups for a number of years. But their commitment goes much further than just their pocketbook! They have actively partnered with both organizations and opened their church doors to host quarterly 8 week “Journey to Freedom” courses, annual JTF Facilitator Training, and participated in semi-annual mission trips to present, grow, train and support RESTORE efforts around the world, focusing specifically on Central and America, including Belize!
On a return trip to Belize in January 2014 Beverly was exposed to work of JTF at the Kolbe Facility, the Belize Central Prison. Though apprehensive about this new ministry opportunity, Beverly and the team were surprised to find that God had opened the doors for them to train 38 JTF facilitators in the prison. These servant inmates would then lead the 8 week JTF small groups in the months to come.
A return trip in June 2014 gave Beverly and the team from Parkers Creek the opportunity to once again pour into the lives of these inmate facilitators. This is the only prison in the entire country of Belize so it houses those whose lives have been broken by every type of crime. These facilitators would have the access to share what true “freedom” was all about.
In January 2015 the folks from Parkers Creek and RESTORE Small Groups returned to Belize to be a part of the first “graduation ceremony” at the Kolbe-Belize Central Prison. To their surprise they were greeted by a class of 180 graduates who had completed the JTF course over the past 6 months. Many lives had been completed changed as their hearts were transformed by the power of Christ. The celebration was something to behold. Harkening back to the Old Testament, Beverly called it a “Day of Jubilee”!
To say that these trips to Belize and her involvement with RESTORE Small Groups and JTF has changed Beverly’s life is an understatement. Watching the transformation of those who have gone from “hopelessness” to “hopefulness” has been transforming for Beverly herself, from the inside out! You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who is more excited about the work of RESTORE than Beverly…..except maybe Scott Reall who wrote the JTF courses!
What’s next? Beverly now refers to herself as a “JTF Missionary”. A return trip in June 2015 will give Beverly and the team a chance to train more facilitators and “be a part” of the second graduating class at Kolbe-Belize Central Prison. Working with the Dickson County YMCA and her home church at Parkers Creek, Beverly is committed to share hope and healing for the rest of her life through “Journey to Freedom”.