My name is Overton 1478117. My first name is Hannah, but that 7-digit number has identified me for the past seven years in prison.
Years ago the Lord gave my husband Larry and me the desire to adopt, then he opened doors. At our church, we met a wonderful little boy named Andrew and fell in love with him. Andrew was a 4-year old foster child we felt compelled to adopt. He would be the sixth child in our “forever family," in addition to our five biological children. A few short months later tragedy struck and our world was turned upside down. Andrew went home to be with Jesus when he died from a condition that caused fatally high levels of sodium in his body. Our sorrow compounded when my husband and I were accused and charged with Andrew’s death.
On September 7, 2007 I was convicted of capital murder and sent to a maximum-security prison for “life without the possibility of parole” for a crime I didn't commit. This left Larry at home to care for our five children. I started questioning everything. If God loved me why would He allow this to happen? How can I make it through this? Without my family or my freedom, how does God want me to live? Is God enough?
Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” For seven years God proved to me—by His very nature—that He was enough! There is not a need that He cannot meet. I believed the only way I could be secure in that truth was by getting to know Him in a new way. Being in prison enabled me to spend more time with Him and learn more about Him. I finally understood what Paul said in Philippians 4:11-13: “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength."
After seven years in prison, I was miraculously exonerated and all charges were dropped! During my time in prison, God not only held me and my family in His hands but He also used this trial in mighty ways. God who works all things out for good has used my story to bring many strangers into relationship with Him. Although I am now home with my family, Hebrews 13:3 challenges us to “remember those in prison as if you were bound with them.” I will continue to minister to those behind the gates and remind everyone that this command is not only for those who have been there, but for ALL believers in Jesus! My heart’s desire is to share our story, to encourage those facing sorrow to always trust—God is faithful and He is enough.
Hannah and her husband continue to minister to those behind bars through Syndeo Ministries.
Coming from varied backgrounds, struggles and triumphs, our speakers want to encourage you that there is hope and victory in Jesus!