Thursday, December 18, 2008

Update on Hannah Overton

If you have noticed the photo link on my sidebar mentioning Praying For Hannah's Freedom, or have gotten my e-mail about praying for her, you know it is a huge burden on my heart. I pray continually for Hannah's strength as she has been in prison for a couple of years, separated from her 5 small children and husband, accused falsely of poisoning her adoptive child. I'm on the list to be updated with news about her case and just got an e-mail this week from her aunt.

In it, she says, "The only other news we’ve gotten is that a woman in Corpus Christi who worked for CPS and is married to Detective Hess, the primary investigator, was recently arrested for making a false report of child abuse against someone else. We have no idea whether this will tie into Hannah’s case, but many of us see a connection, especially since it was CPS who filed a false affidavit against Hannah and it was Hess who decided very early on that Hannah was guilty and proceeded with a “tunnel vision” investigation that presumed her guilt. I can’t help but suspect that there was a pattern of knee-jerk reactions and playing fast and loose with the truth when it suited their purposes. Many – probably most – CPS workers and police have the best intentions. But we have all seen in recent news how a culture of corruption can develop, and the disastrous consequences that can occur when it does. Here is the article if you want to read it: "

I find this amazing since I have specifically prayed, no doubt along with many others, that Hannah would be vindicated and her enemies would be thwarted and judged! God is truly answering prayer in this case.

Hannah's aunt also says, "Every Thursday the 13th court of appeals posts their latest decisions. We eagerly await each Thursday to see whether they’ve made a decision on Hannah’s case. "

So, this holiday season, please be praying for Hannah, especially on Thursdays. I can't imagine being in her shoes but she is truly one of my heroes. A quote on my sidebar says "Wimpy Theology Makes Wimpy Women" (John Piper). Hannah is one of the strongest women I know of today and does not suffer from wimpy theology!

I leave you with Hannah's most recent letter from prison. Please take the time to read it and realize the wisdom borne of suffering that overflows from her words.

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ, 12-7-2008

“If it had not been the Lord who was on our side” (let Israel now say) “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side when men rose up against us, then they would’ve swallowed us alive, when their wrath was kindled against us”

Have you ever really considered the spiritual battle going on around us every moment of every day? In my circumstances this has become so much more evident to me. 1 Peter 5:8 warns to “be sober & vigilant (disciplined & alert), because our adversary, the devil, walks around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” And John 10:10 says, “The thief does not come except to kill, steal, and destroy” so, we have a spiritual enemy that is desperately trying to ruin our lives. Not just on a big scale (ex. Finances, sickness, death, separation) but also on a more personal scale, our thoughts & emotions.

You see, no matter what is going on with our circumstances the enemy can attack us and keep us locked up in fear, depression, selfishness, unforgiveness, etc. For me his favorite tactic has been fear & depression since all this started. Joshua 1:11 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid nor be dismayed.” The word afraid here means: To dread, to fear, or to be terrified. The word dismayed is a depression resulting from continual fear meaning: To be beaten down, broken down, or fall prostrate. God commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous, not afraid and dismayed. He commanded all this when he was a new leader and was going into battle. This battle, on a human level, could not be won and the fear of this battle had kept the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 yrs. But, God had promised victory! How would Joshua be able to put aside fears and follow God’s command? Because God was with Him! Now, we all know that God is with us always but we continue to be hit with attacks from our enemy.

How can we overcome this? James 4:7 says, “Therefore, submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you” Notice submit to God comes 1st. As we surrender ourselves wholly into His hands we can find peace. As we wholly submit to the Lord knowing He loves us and always has our best in mind we then don’t leave room for the enemies attacks so he must flee. When we are completely surrendered to Him, even if our circumstances seem like chaos we can relax. This is because we know who holds them in His hands. Luke 12:6-7 reminds us that not one sparrow is forgotten by God and we are more valuable than many sparrows. In Eph. 6:10-17 we are exhorted to use the armor of God in standing against the enemy. As we study this we can see that using God’s armor is allowing God to be our strength, and our guide in all we do. Our shield (above all) is faith in Him. 2 Cor. 12:9 reminds us that His strength is made perfect in our weakness. As long as we struggle to fix things ourselves, we stand in the way of His strength being perfected in us. It’s in our surrender we find that we don’t have to stress or struggle in sorrow for “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” Nehemiah 8:10b .The word strength here means: place of safety, refuge, or protection. Notice this doesn’t say He gives us strength but His is our strength. So we can say “The battle is not ours but God’s!”

Since 20/20 aired I have received so many encouraging letters. I wish I could personally write to all of you and thank you and respond to all the neat stories you’ve told me etc. Please know that each letter is greatly appreciated, and I so look forward to mail time. Thank you so much for all your prayers and offers to help.

Some of you have talked of Larry & I & the kids as if we are heroes or something. We want you to know we are nobodies but as I said earlier it’s in our weakness that He is strong.

The verse I started with was laid on the heart of a good friend of mine while we were praying at a visit a few months ago. It is so true because without our God we would be swallowed up. It’s only with Him carrying us that we can continue to go on. It’s not a heroic act at all that keeps us sane, but a faith in the One who can do just that.

I’m amazed at how God continues to open doors for ministry through this. His plans are so much bigger than us. I’ve been blessed to receive many stories of how God has used our story to touch lives for Him, even atheists attending church for the 1st time etc. It is encouraging to see fruit from our suffering.

We want God to always get the glory from our lives. I pray God continues to use this long after I’m home.

On a smaller note, God has continued to open doors for ministry here in my dorm. I’m going through Healed and Set Free with 5 women in here one on one. Another 8-12, depending on the night, we are going through a study on 1st Peter with one called Faith Under Fire. This is a daily study and it has really had an impact on the dorm, as we do it every night.

On Thanksgiving the Lord laid on my heart to do something special. For most, the day means eating turkey with family, & nothing more. So I remembered what it is really for, thanking God. It was also a good time to express the family of God. We had a neat time of communion, prayer, scripture, and even a game of Bible trivia. I think it was a special time for everyone. It helped a lot as most of us just wanted to cry all day because we missed our families. About 8 women joined for that.

We are going through an Advent book, which is new to everyone and a cool way to remember what the reason for this season is. If I’m still here I’m praying God is my strength to once again use Christmas to minister.

Please continue to pray for the women in the Bible study. The enemy is not happy and is trying to stop what God is doing, but He is bigger. And if you have any Christmas ideas let me know. I’m sure God will give wonderful ideas.

My family is going good. Getting ready for Christmas and praying for the judges to quickly make the decision to bring me home. There is no time limit for the decision making process and even if they decide to reverse the judgment now it could take awhile for them to get me home. Please pray for me to be reunited quickly to my family and for the judges to see the truth. Pray for us to have strength to continue to be faithful to His plan until we’re together again and even after. Pray for peace and joy in Him, especially during this season. Thank you for all your letters and support. It’s through your prayers that we are held up!

In His Hands,

1 Chron. 16:11, 35
“Seek the Lord & His strength, seek His face forevermore!
And say “Save us, O God, of our salvation, gather us together & deliver us….
To give thanks to Your Holy name, the triumph in Your Praise!

To read more about Hannah or watch the 20/20 show about her case, visit

When Hannah is released to go home, we will be throwing a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE party at our house!!!


S. and Company said...

Lindsey, Thank you for posting that. It makes my heart just ache to think about being away from my family like that (not to mention all the other aspects, like being wrongfully accused). We've been praying for her. Please, if you would, let us know if you hear news about her.
(glad to hear Justus is doing well, by the way, and I really liked the simmering jars too)
with love,

R Dvorak said...

Hello, I have been catching up on reading your blog. I love the simmering jars idea. I'm sure they smell wonderful. And the "peace" gift sounds very sweet and homey. I love those kinds of gifts.

By the way, you have now been tagged. Please see my blog to find out what I mean.


Momma Bear said...

Although I believe God is just and good. It's so difficult to read this. Her ability to persevere amidst her circumstances is so mindboggling to me. What a vertical perspective! I pray that she will be reunited with her family and that her children will love God and follow Him and see their mother's time away as glorifying to the Lord and not merely just separation. What a difficult and painful reality she is going through but to God's glory nontheless.

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