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Deck the Halls

Every fall, Lee Rust and her family travel to Ashe County, North Carolina, to bring home dozens of Fraser Fir evergreen trees, wreaths, and greenery.  

Customers pick up their greenery along Jefferson Street to fill their homes with the fragrant scent of evergreen to celebrate the Christmas season. But even more, the greenery has a strong tie to the Christmas season as 100% of the proceeds benefit Freedom Forever Ministries.  

Lee Rust founded Freedom Forever Ministries 22 years ago after receiving a divine message revealing a need for her servitude. A chaplain approached her about the idea of volunteering to minister to women in the local jail, something she was not so sure about in the beginning. But after being approached multiple times by the chaplain, who believed she was the best fit for the job, she sat down one morning to talk with God and to journal her thoughts. All of a sudden, she started writing what would become the name of the ministry, Freedom Forever Ministries. In that moment, she knew God was calling her to serve a greater purpose and minister to the women who are often forgotten yet need to know of God’s unconditional love the most.  

Freedom Forever Ministries’ mission is to glorify God by providing Biblical principles to at risk women through worship, scripture, and life application. 

Freedom Forever Ministries began as a prison ministry which solely ministered to female, incarcerated women throughout prisons and jails in Kentucky. When the pandemic impacted our community, the prisons and jails closed their doors to the outside and the ministry was unable to continue ministering to the women inside these facilities. After thoughtful prayer, Lee engaged with the idea of purchasing a food truck to sell the famous Coney dogs her home state of Michigan is known for. The food truck, named The Coney Express, would be an ongoing fundraiser for the ministry and more. Lee knew God had a strong purpose for her food truck and he has proven the worthiness of her cause time and time again. Through the food truck, Lee and her volunteers for the ministry have served the famous Coney dogs and more at local community and private events. Even more, The Coney Express has served hot meals to people in need including those impacted by the December 2021 tornado that swept through Mayfield and the American Red Cross workers who tirelessly helped these individuals. The food truck is another way the ministry is reaching the community and sharing God’s love with many.  

The ministry has recently re-entered McCracken County Jail to minister to the women every Monday. With help from the ministry’s volunteers and donors, Lee sees a bright future for the ministry which has already impacted thousands of women inside prison walls to give them hope for a better life.  

As the Christmas season quickly approaches, we encourage you to support Freedom Forever Ministries’ mission of spreading God’s love to the incarcerated women and the people within our community. It’s a great way to beautifully decorate your home for Christmas while supporting a good cause!  

Greenery is available for purchase online at throughout the month of October. Fresh greenery will be ready for pickup at 814 Jefferson Street in Paducah on Monday, November 21st and Tuesday, November 22nd.  


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