Magic Valley Prison Aftercare
~ History ~
The Calling and Beginning of the
Men’s Risen House and Women’s Serenity House
In 2003 Steve Wills had been in the Twin Falls County Chaplains Corps for five years visiting men on the inside. Steve had recovered from using drugs in the late 60’s. Most men were involved in methamphetamine addiction and related crimes. Too many guys who accepted Christ as their Savior were returning because they did not have a new place to go grow in their walk with God. At a Prison Fellowship gathering in Boise, Idaho, Mark Hubble the Northwest Director was speaking of the need of aftercare and how without new playmates and a new playground the odds were stacked against inmates making a new life. God put the burden on Steve’s heart at this meeting.
Steve shared this burden with Gale Mitchell. Gale heard of a house in Jerome, Idaho, that was for sale. It turned out to be the old St. Benedictine nun’s home behind the St. Benedicts hospital. The Hospital is now called St. Lukes. It was perfect with 8 bedrooms, 4 baths, a meeting room and a family type room. Steve and Gale bought the home in December of 2003. After a brief remodeling guys began to move in shortly thereafter. Tom Walker is now the men’s (Risen House) manager. In 2008 a new men’s house was opened. Tim Wood is now the Lazarus House manager.
In September of 2004 the need for a women’s house was evident. Steve spotted a house on Blue Lakes Blvd in Twin Falls, Idaho. He began to check into it. Gale was skeptical about the home but agreed to go and look at it as it needed work. When he saw the house he knew it was from God. The house number was the same as the first house that he and his wife had moved into when they were just married. The house was bought, remodeled and soon ladies were moving into it. Tim Wood is now the Serenity House manager.
In 2013 Tim Wood took over direct management of the women’s division of the aftercare services.
In 2015 Tim Wood took over direct management of Lazarus House.
In 2015 Tom Walkers took over direct management of Risen House.
Our board consists of Doug Lincoln (CPA), Steve Wills (LCPC Counselor), Bill Rehwalt (Mason Contractor), and the house managers Tom Walker and Tim Wood.
As God leads, more houses may be established as God’s heart is for the lost, addicted and hurt who may be in or out of prison