Coming from a poor family and surviving many “bad choices” concerning drugs and other illegal activities, Leticia found a relationship with God that allowed her to turn her life around and offer herself to the aid of others. Her ministry, A Peaceful Habitation Home & Aftercare Ministry, Inc., is now offering a light of hope to women coming out of prison, hope that she herself needed, to be able to overcome the realities of post-prison life.
As a child, Leticia was one of 8 brothers/sisters from a poor Southern New Mexico family. The memories of her early years were good. The good life turned bad as drugs overwhelmed her. Eventually, the addiction shattered her marriage and eventually her life. The street life engulfed her and took her places that no woman should ever have to endure. She was raped, beaten and left for dead. She made two very bad choices in men that almost cost her life and did take away her parental rights to her only son.
Arrested and convicted, Leticia was sent to jail (Prayed into jail by a guard, who saw her dead in a ditch and got up to PRAY! Later that year led to Christ by another guard, who was faithful to go out and make disciples.) and then prison. But prison was where she discovered and developed a wonderful relationship with Jesus Christ. Through her four years in prison, she turned a disaster into the most wonderful relationship with God that could ever be imagined. She attributes her prison sentence to not only saving her life, but also cementing her relationship with Jesus Christ. The drive that made her early life successful was the determination that helped her develop an exit strategy from prison, as well as overcome the overwhelming obstacles of post-prison life.
During and since her release, Leticia has dedicated her life to helping others overcome the hurdles of prison release. She states that she and others are offered ways to change through education, relocation, incarceration and rehabilitation, but only God can make the transformation. After God made that transformation in her life and based on her experiences leaving prison, she founded God’s Provision Ministry and later with co-founders, Donna Jennings and Patricia Conkling, A Peaceful Habitation Home & Aftercare Ministry, Inc., a ministry that provides transitional housing, resources, life skills, Celebrate Recovery (12-step) and all other assistance for the women to make their transitions back into their communities - one woman at a time.
This dedication to God has provided the springboard from which she has given her positive testimony to thousands of people at national conferences of Celebrate Recovery and Transition of Prisoners, and several church groups throughout the country. Her work with Celebrate Recovery has continued from inside the walls of prison to becoming a coordinator of the Crossings Unit for a short time and facilitator of the Celebrate Recovery program at the NM Women’s Correctional Facility. Her work and her testimony have also aided in her meeting with President G.W. Bush who then used her as a positive example of success in his speech at the 2004 Faith-Based Initiatives Conference in Los Angeles. He quoted the scripture she used from Esther: 4:14 “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Indeed, for such a time as this.
Leticia had lost her parental rights to her son, Isaac, but God restored their relationship. Leticia is also re-married. She and Bob met on a Kairos prison ministry weekend in 2003 while she was still on parole. They married six months later and are still married (praise the Lord) and very much in love. She and her husband, Bob, continue working on Kairos weekends. In the past, she was also allowed to lead a women’s Kairos team; was chairperson for Grants Kairos Advisory Board; Advisory Member of the Christian Association of Prison Aftercare (CAPA) and is an advisory board member of CMCA, International; She and Bob are volunteers with the Joni & Friends ministry, Wheels for the World; she has been instrumental in the coordinating and organizing of the NM Department of Corrections’ annual volunteer conferences; and a member of the House Memorial 3 Task Force in NM. God has brought her a long way and performed many miracles in her life.
Leticia would like to one day write a book; obtain a pardon from the governor of NM; speak at churches to encourage them to embrace the formerly incarcerated citizens into their congregations by providing mentors and support; go to the prisons and jails to encourage others to never give up hope and to embrace their God-given talents and use them for the good of society.
Leticia writes, “During our addiction and criminal lifestyles we become people that are selfish, self-centered, and even abusive. We should apologize for the pain we caused and give back of ourselves, time and money to those we have injured and taken from. We must stop blaming everyone else, take responsibility for our actions, the bad choices we made and become contributing and positive members of our families and our communities.” She would also like to have another house in Albuquerque and open a business that will hire and train the former incarcerated women.
President G.W. Bush congratulating Leticia after their meeting on March 4, 2004 at the Faith Based Initiative Conference in L.A. where he used her as an example of a success story when God is allowed in a person's life. John Baker - author of Celebrate Recovery (who submitted the testimony to the White House) looks on proudly!
A Note From Leticia's husband, Bob Paulette
It is probably obvious that my testimonial should identify that my wife, Leticia, is the Executive Director of APH. That said, I had recognized the need for prisoner and after-prison ministry even before we met. We actually met serving together on a Kairos Prison Ministry event. Prison ministry has been my main “social return” ever since.
My involvement in APH began as the handyman and stuff-mover. I continue to become more involved, loving every minute. The ministry that APH provides is an outgrowth of the individual aftercare gifts that Leticia has given to individuals since her own release from prison. I have seen that care, that need for her to “give back” the love and caring that God has given to her. It is hard not to positively respond to the love she has for the aftercare ministry.
APH is an avenue in which we all may “give back.” God shows His love to each of us in each day of life He provides to us. The least I can do is respond to His command to minister to others. I minister with those in prison as well as those who struggle to become normal in the outside world after prison. As you might note, I indicate I minister with prisoners – not to prisoners. I have found that I am ministered to by prisoners as much as I minister to them. That is an unsolicited benefit of the ministry. Come join us!