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From Prison to Pastoral Ministry: Apolonia’s Story


This is a story of a Woman who served almost 25 years in prison that should have received a sentence of 8 years or less…

but because of fear, lies, and a corrupt system, she received a sentence of 35 years. After several years of mis-starts, dashed hopes, and legal dead-ends, she was finally set free on Dec. 31st, 2020 and joyfully reunited with her family!

A photo of Apolonia (in blue) happy to be with her Sister, Veronica.

Who Is Apolonia?

Lila, one of our workers at ImpactHope, met Apolonia 18 years ago when she started volunteering at the women’s prison in Oaxaca, Mexico and started a weekly Bible-study. Since Apolonia had been converted to Christ in her former prison in Puebla, she was already a devout follower of Jesus. Apolonia attended every single meeting of the year-long Bible-study course, constantly encouraging others to do the same.

In 2006, during a time of great civil unrest in Oaxaca, Apolonia and all the other women prisoners were transferred to different prisons across the state of Oaxaca. Wanting to encourage Apolonia that God was sovereignly directing her steps even in unwanted transfers, Lila and some visiting pastors from Vancouver Island commissioned her as a missionary in the new prison. Ever since then, Apolonia submitted detailed monthly reports of all her ministry activities among her fellow prisoners.

Freedom Turned Into Blessings!

Now that Apolonia is released, she has accepted the responsibility of part-time chaplain at Casa Compasiva, the Birthing Centre and Maternal Care Clinic that Lila founded. In fact, Apolonia leads the weekly staff devotionals and directs the prayer ministry, counselling and encouraging the staff! What an amazing and truly powerful testimony of how God works in and through people for our good!

Leading Bible Study at Casa Compasiva with the Staff
Teaching a family in Puebla how to make Probiotics & roasted chili-garlic peanuts, and salsa
Apolonia having dinner with Isaac and MariFer (Son and Daughter Inlaw of Lila's)
Apolonia spending time with a friend named Josefina
Unwrapping a new sewing machine that you helped fundraise for!
Being interviewed for a radio program in Puebla
Apolonia (in the middle) with her Son Jaime, Sister-In-Law & Mother

The Fruits of Her Labour

Apolonia’s son Jamie was ten years old when she entered prison but she did not let that stop her from caring for him. In fact, while she was in prison, she made and sold artisan crafts to put Jamie through school while he lived with her parents. Today, Jamie is a professor and has founded a new University in the city of Oaxaca called Universitario Antequera de Oaxaca (UNAO)! Apolonia is also working at the University as his assistant!

Thank YOU For Giving Apolonia A New beginning!

As a result of your generous donations, Apolonia has been provided with a brand-new sewing machine with which to use her considerable skills to run a small home business, as well as potentially train low-income women to learn marketable skills. She has also been able to acquire a laptop computer and is now taking computer classes every Saturday to catch up with twenty-five years of technological deprivation. Thank you so much for your ongoing support for her as she adjusts to a whole new world on the outside!

(Above are photos of the table Apolonia was able to buy for her sewing machine, along with the new sewing machine itself. Now she is equipped to start creating materials and has a workstation to do it in!)

While she has not yet begun formal ministry back inside the prison, her heart is to eventually return to the prisons to share what God has done in her life through the grace of the Lord Jesus! In the meantime, she keeps in touch with her former fellow prisoners through phone calls, and she traveled back to Puebla state to share in the churches of prisoners who came to Christ during the time of her years in prison there.

Apolonia’s Interviews (On Youtube)

(Click the image to watch this video)
(Click the image to watch this video)

If you were touched by this amazing story and would like to support the Ministry that Apolonia is currently working in, you can do so by clicking the button below! Your donations towards Casa Compasiva will go towards their Birthing Centre and the overall operations at the facility. Thank you so much for your support!

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