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. Even though hard, the memories of her early years were good. The good life turned bad as the drugs overwhelmed her. Eventually, the addiction shattered the 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 her life and did take 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. That drive that made her early life successful was the determination that helped her develop an exit strategy from prison, as well as overcoming 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 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 and the President then using 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 him to her. He is legally adopted by her sister, Ramona, but visits on a regular basis and at the age of 6 said, “He wanted to “rock” for God!” He is now 13 and serving God. 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 each year. She was also allowed to be a Leader of a women’s Kairos team; Chairperson for Grants Kairos Advisory Board; Advisory Member of the Christian Association of Prison Aftercare (CAPA); has been instrumental in the coordinating and organizing of the NM Dept 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 returning citizens into their congregations by providing mentors and support; go to the prisons and jails to encourage others to never give up hope and 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 any 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 (returning citizens).
~ 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 that love that 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.
Debra Valdez - First Graduate
My name is Debra and words cannot express my gratitude and love for all my Lord and Savior has done and is doing for me. It has been a life-changing experience for me, with God in control and under the care of A Peaceful Habitation. Before coming to APH, my life was a mess and unmanageable. Anyone who knew me, and I myself knew that there was nothing left in me. God’s grace, mercy and love for me didn’t agree, and through Jesus Christ I have been saved. Before coming back into the world I resided at APH for seven months. I am truly thankful for APH. At APH I learned to how to live life all over again. It was quite an experience, but a good one. Through structure, discipline, classes and learning my Bible, I can now live a free and enjoyable life. I have been clean for 2.5 years; I have maintained my job for two years; and I will be registering for school soon. I have a great home church and my mentors are the most dedicated. Today I have a lot of faith, hope and goals. With God all things are possible, Matthew 19:26. I have a new life in Christ; I have a purpose. I hope anyone that wants a better way of life will join us at APH. Most importantly, find Jesus and get to know Him.
Pamela Sifre, Testimony
I must admit I didn’t know it at the time but the Lord saved my life December 13, 2003, the day I got arrested. This was not only the beginning of my recovery from alcohol and meth but my walk with my Heavenly Father. I’ve now been clean for 57 months. Praise God and I walk with the Lord in all I do. I know how to listen for the voice of the Lord and I know when I’m not feeling peace in my spirit. I need to take time out of the world and spend some time with God to hear what he has to say to me. So I can feel his peace again. While I was locked up I spent as much time as possible reading my bible and going to church. When Leticia Chavez-Paulette came to the prison to tell us about APH I knew that this is exactly where I need to be. I graduated APH August 27, 2008 and the past 6 months have been one blessing after another. My foundation in God has been reinforced. I’ve met so many wonderful people here and have been to so many amazing functions. Everyday I woke up here was a blessing. Thank you APH for this opportunity.
Elaine Belue, Testimony
My name is Elaine Belue. I am 42 years old. I am a cancer patient. I have had a very hard life. Drugs and prison played a big part in my life. I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart on December 26, 2007. I was in prison at the time. I was finally tired of living that life of my past I didn’t have any strength left until I asked Jesus to come into my heart. I have been clean now for almost 3 years. I am living at A Peaceful Habitation Program. I have been here 3 months. I never know that life could be so pleasing and peaceful. APH has given me the chance to learn and spend time with Christ Jesus. The Christian people that have been part of my life have been very encouraging and trusting to me. I have given now all my troubles to the Lord. I am going through another bout with cancer, but I have at the same time peace & joy, and trust that everything is going to be okay. The people here at APH are the people God has chosen for my life and they are a blessing. The structure, the bible studies, the friendship and love all go together in one. It’s awesome. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Thank you Lord for giving this blessing.
Thank you for asking me to sit down and write a brief testimony and how I feel about A.P.H. I feel Honored, I feel blessed and highly favored of our God. The Lord Jesus Christ has given me the ability to express the way I feel concerning my testimony and A Peaceful Habitation. A.P.H is a God ordained ministry, God centered Holy Ghost filled haven for those wishing to change their old behaviors and start a new beginning based on God’s basic life principles and not judging an individuals faith. The program is designed and structured for those needing an intimate relationship with our heavenly father, while providing love and care. A Peaceful Habitation it’s mentors, along with it’s Executive Director, Leticia Chavez-Paulette have been an endless blessing to us all that have been fortunate enough to participate in this program. A.P.H is blessed and has some of the best mentors and God fearing people I have ever met. Each member is concerned is with instilling in us the bible values to succeed in things of God and the love that Christ represents. I highly recommend the program to anyone who sets ones heart to change their way of life and thinking. So I acknowledge with a grateful heart A Peaceful Habitation, Leticia Chavez-Paulette and its mentors for believing in me, helping me, and giving me an opportunity at a new life. You have succeeded in showing me that I am a worthwhile person and that I deserve to live. I realize that God’s best still awaits me if I choose to stay strong on the straight and narrow. I thank God for all of you and for the love and support that you have demonstrated to me when I was at A.P.H; I will never forget you. So in closing I leave you with this scripture Hebrews 13:2 “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it”. ~ You’re Sister in Christ, Sylvira
Georgia Vigil, Testimony
Hello my name is Georgia Vigil; I am a 15 year heroin and crack cocaine addict. In 2005 I picked up charges for trafficking cocaine! I was sentenced to a 3 year prison term. While in prison I found the Lord and my life changed completely, good things started to happen to me, I got my self-esteem back , my self respect, and I looked at life in a different way. I got to see my twelve year old daughter for the first time in eleven years. I wanted more out of life than I have ever wanted before. When Leticia came to the prison with a presentation about A Peaceful Habitation I was interested and determined to go. I wanted to further my walk with God while getting the help I needed to stay clean and sober. When I got my acceptance; letter it was one of the happiest days of my life! I got to A.P.H in January 2008. Everyone was so wonderful and giving, I was provided with everything I needed, I learned so much being there. The way I feel about the program now is I regret ever leaving, I have always felt it was a beautiful, peaceful and wonderful place to be. I encourage other women that I talk to, to go there. I give out the address like it’s my own, If I could go back now I would be more than happy to! I miss it a lot. ~ God Bless You All. Georgia
Tiffany Romero, Testimony
Praise His name. I am a 26-year old mother of my beautiful 2-year old daughter, Chanel. I was saved in 2004 at Calvary Chapel, baptized and made new. The Lord is very special in my life and He has kept me close. Whenever I have strayed too far, He has allowed me to come back. I love Jesus Christ for all He has done for me. I have struggled with addiction for 14 years of my life. Because of Him I stayed clean and sober one week shy of two years, so I know that He is successful in my life. Because of A Peaceful Habitation and all who support it, God has given me the opportunity to live free. I understand and believe that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, Philippians 4:13. I believe in prayer and wake up each day as a new woman for Him. APH has taught me how important my daily relationship with Jesus is in my recovery. I have learned to be accountable to all the people of support I have in my life because of APH. I have learned to love again, have hope, and accept help. I have learned to really live my life clean and sober. I am a better mother, daughter, granddaughter, friend, employee and sister in Christ. I ask for forgiveness and look to Him for guidance. He has saved us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves in whom we have redemption for the forgiveness of sins. So thank you Leticia and all that have loved me graciously. My life was completely out of control, a never-ending downward spiral. And just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, it did. It was my last trip to jail and I had no idea this time of how long I would be there. I opened a Bible and decided to attend the Bible study class. I continued to read and study the Bible while I was incarcerated and it was then that I turned my life over to the Lord. I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. The Lord had a plan for me and it was called "A Peaceful Habitation". This program is a blessing in my life that will continue to help me stay in recovery long after I graduate. APH is giving me the structure, encouragement, and spiritual guidance I need to fulfill my God-given purpose in life.
Vanessa Kane, Testimony
I am so thankful to A Peaceful Habitation and especially, Leticia Chavez-Paulette for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to grow in a Christ-like environment. This program is responsible for giving me hope of a lifelong recovery that will work through Christ, Who is the only way. My background was one of confusion and chaos; full of misunderstanding, and lacking in guidance. God has delivered me from the life filled with alcohol and drugs that I used to numb my feelings and forget my pain. I praise God for His true Word and am so thankful for His forgiveness. Without Him I am nothing. I have been transformed by Him from the inside out and I have a life filled with hope today. My faith is solid. Thank you Jesus. Thank you APH.
Wynne Baca, Testimony
My life was completely out of control, a never-ending downward spiral. And just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, it did. It was my last trip to jail and I had no idea this time of how long I would be there. I opened a Bible and decided to attend the Bible study class. I continued to read and study the Bible while I was incarcerated and it was then that I turned my life over to the Lord. I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. The Lord had a plan for me and it was called "A Peaceful Habitation". This program is a blessing in my life that will continue to help me stay in recovery long after I graduate. APH is giving me the structure, encouragement, and spiritual guidance I need to fulfill my God-given purpose in life. I thank my Heavenly Father for this program and the dedicated and awesome people who are APH.